The wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) is highly regarded by anglers and is known as the Tiger of the Sea. Part of the mackerel family, the Wahoo has a long body with dark wavy lines that function as camo. The Wahoo is capable of swimming up to 60 mph and known for their sudden directional shifts and runs. If you want to catch one, make sure to grab some quality fishing equipment from Eat My Tackle first.
The Wahoo is usually located offshore, and it doesn’t move along in schools. The fish uses its speed to overtake and eat its prey, and it is highly sought after both as game and delicacy. In Hawaii the wahoo is called ono, meaning “good eat”, an indication of its standing as a delicacy.
You will find the wahoo in subtropical and tropical waters, but during the summertime they move to temperate zones. While the wahoo tends to move alone, they sometimes hunt together if it serves their needs. While this doesn’t happen often, when it does that spells doom for small baitfish as the speed of the wahoo can devour entire schools of small fish.
As the feeding frenzy commences, pelicans, gulls and other birds are drawn to the site and fight for the spoils. When this happens an angler or fisherman can see what’s happening with a pair of binoculars or the naked eye, depending on the distance. This is your cue to get your boat ready, cast live bait in the waters and grab a piece of the action.
However the most widely used method for catching wahoo is by trolling, and it’s not really that hard. If you’re trolling for wahoo or other types of fish, just go at a typical speed of 7 to 8 knots and you could end up with a good catch. While trolling at 7 to 8 knots may land you some wahoo, your haul will likely end up including tuna, dolphinfish and mackerel among others. If you’re looking for variety that’s okay but if you’re after wahoo exclusively, you have to troll more quickly.
Assuming the weather is ideal, the typical charter boat will move at 12 to 22 knots, as that range is essential to provoke them. Wahoo are aggressive by nature so you don’t have to worry about scaring them off with the sound of your boat.
You can use different types of lures to attract wahoo, and provide you’re moving at the appropriate speed will have no trouble drawing them in. Baitfish patterns entice the wahoo, but your chances of success go up by using lures with unique color combinations like orange and black, red and black or purple and black. Rig up to 15 inches of wire (#12), so the lure doesn’t get pulled by the fish.
Set up half a dozen lures on your transom and set them at 250, 350 and 450 feet at starboard and 100 , 200 and 300 feet at the port and troll at drop offs, high spots or wherever bird activity has been noted.