Scroll through Washington ocean charter photos on Facebook and you’ll see a whole lot of chrome-, white-, deep blue- and orange-sided fish, but a striking Seahawks-colored one popped up earlier this week.
The dorado, or mahi mahi, was caught by Taylor Veary during a pretty productive Labor Day trip out of Ilwaco targeting albacore.
It’s a very rare catch for the Northwest, with the Washington state record for the species only established in 2013.
“At one point we had four [tuna] on and everyone was at the rail for the bait stop except for Taylor, so he got to clear the handlines,” reported his dad, Mark Veary. “His payoff was yarding up a nice little dorado! Final score was 76 albies and one mahi mahi.”
The Vearys were aboard the Westwind at the time and this morning Sarah Gudgell at Pacific Salmon Charters, which operates the boat, termed the dorado a “very, very rare” catch.
Asked the last time one had been landed by an angler aboard one of the company’s boats, she replied, “It was before my time and I’ve been here since ’84.”
(Disclosure: Pacific Salmon Charters is a Northwest Sportsman advertiser.)
Dorado are typically found well to the south (Northwest Sportsman sister magazine California Sportsman reports this issue on fishing for them around kelp paddies off San Diego), but they can range as far north as Oregon and as far south as Peru.
The Washington record 16.27-pounder was caught in August 2013 by Alberto DaSilva off a private boat, also while tuna fishing. At that time, WDFW’s ocean fishing manager Wendy Beeghley said she’d never heard of a dorado landed in Evergreen State waters.