By Mike Beebe
As the heat of September continues to cook, so does the
South Florida Wahoo season. Although Wahoo are caught
year-round, the most numbers and the largest fish are
targeted from June through September. Wahoo are a member
of the pelagic family of fish. They are super fast swinmmers,
strong fighters, and great to eat no matter how you cook
them. With the exception of some billfish, Wahoo are one
of the only fish to have a single species tournament,
such as The Bahamas Wahoo Championship.
factors such as bait supply along our coast (i.e large
schools of bonito and flying fish), and water temperatures
in the 80+ degree mark attract fish. Another key factor
is a good north current, which is usually present in the
summer, along with a full moon.
the dolphin bite slows down, offshore fisherman look for
an alternate plan. Surface rigs give way to sub surface
fishing with downriggers, planers, and the ever-popular
wire-line. Techniques change, such as trolling speed,
depth, and time, which all vary from angler to angler.
Highspeed artificial lures do well when trolled at 10
knots or above, and large well-rigged natural baits such
as split-tail mullet, bonito strips, or horse ballyhoo
trolled between 5 and 9 knots seem to be the most productive.
Wahoo will hit a variety of bait at various speeds, but
the most important factor is well-presented or good swimming
bait. If it doesn't look good to you, Wahoo probably won't
like it either.
A Wahoo's mouth is a cutting machine. The hinge of the
mouth passes its serrated teeth and depending on the size,
the scissor like action can sever a full size bonito in
half in one quick bit. Wire leader is a must for Wahoo
fishing, with number 9 being the preferred size, or 175
lb cable when using lures.
Wahoo are known for long, lightning fast runs, line capacity
and smooth drags are most important when choosing your
tackle. 4/0 sized reels with 40lb monofilament will handle
most situations just fine, however most serious Wahoo
fisherman choose 6/0 or 50lb class outfits for either
surface or subsurface baits.
are pack feeders, and on any day, with good conditions,
more than one bite can occur in single area. A GPS waypoint
or certain depth and landmarks allow one to work a productive
area. Telltale signs of fish such as active baitfish (i.e.
bonito or flying fish) and good clean water make for a
good place to start.
A good amout of Wahoo seem and caught have cut a hooked
bonito in half and then returned for the other piece.
Most of the fish that do this are over 50 lbs. Last summer,
I I weighed a Wahoo for another angler with a similar
story tipping the scale at 72 lbs.
at Lott Brothers tackle shop in North Palm Beach, I can
definitely tell you the Wahoo holds the most burnt drag,
burned thumb, lure crushing, line breaking, reel spooling,
one that got away stories than any other fish.