Wahoo/Ono

What:

Wahoos are the speed demons of the game fish world reaching speeds of 60 mph. I remember seeing one jump around 20' high and hit a flying fish sending it well over 40' in the air.  Wahoos are long thin torpedo like silver fish with vertical stripes down its body. They are relatively fast growing fish and can grow up to 10 pounds in a year. They can reach well over 100 pounds and longer than 7 feet but fish of this size are rare. Fisherman have to use cable leaders when trolling for these fish due to there razor shape teeth. Their flesh is relatively soft and tears outs to happen.

Where:

Top destination include Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Indonesia. Found in Tropical and Subtropical waters, these fish prefer bottom types with pronounced structure changes. Bottom changes where the depth of the water is between 90' to 350' with good current are good places to find them. When hunting these fish, I usually try to swim far enough off of the reef ledge to where you cannot see it anymore. Basically, a little farther out than for Mahi. Another common place to find them is in the open ocean under floating debris and weed lines where bait like to gather. Wahoo love to pray on small schools of mahi, and often times they hangout just under those same schools.

My son, Hunter, with his first wahoo.
When:

Year round (70-86 degrees), but the best time tends to be when water temperatures are between 72-77 degrees. Also, moon phase tends to be fairly important because these fish love high current areas like dogtooth tuna.

Tips:

These fish can be difficult to land for three reasons. First, when you shoot them they will run extremely fast along the surface. I mean really fast! Another issue which can make matters even worse, is that they tend to have softer flesh. When you combined soft flesh with a wahoo's extreme speed tear outs happen. A good holding shot is key to landing them. The third issue is that sharks will go right after them due to the initial run. There ability to fight hard gains everyones attention including sharks. Recommend gear would be a bungee floatline to release pressure on the fish in order reduce the likelihood of a tear out. I would also recommend a good light Bluewater speargun, 3 bands, with some range on it in case they keep their distance. Another gear suggestion would be to work the flashers and chum. Try flashers with eyeballs on them. This is important because the wahoo will come in closer to look at the flasher if it sees a more life like appearance. Chum is another important tool in order to get the wahoo to stay longer in the area. I seen them come in, look at the flasher, and leave without giving me a good shot. The eyeballs and chum should prevents this issue.

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