> Send This Page to a Friend
Follow us on Facebook
I guess the wahoo is probably my favorite of the "meat fish" that we catch in the Gulf Stream waters off of Hatteras. Since I was a kid, I have always gotten excited at the sight of a wahoo along side, just before the gaff. Wahoos are long and lean, built for speed. One of their trademarks is their famous "first run". I have heard that wahoos have been clocked at 70 miles per hour. I'm not sure if that is totally accurate, but I am sure that they are the fastest of the game fish that we target. It's rare to see a wahoo jump, once hooked, but is quite common to see one "skyrocket" out of the water on the strike. The pattern of colors on a wahoo is quite unique as well. Their backs are blue, and the blue fades in to silver as it nears the bottom of their belly. The most unusual characteristic of the wahoo is it's silver stripes. Wahoos have a zigzag pattern of stripes that run around the girth of the fish, and from gills to tail. These stripes are very prominent while the fish is alive, but like all of the pelagics that we catch, they loose their colors after they have been caught. You will notice that any dockside pictures of wahoos portray them as being kind of a "blah" grey. This is deceiving because I think that they are most beautiful.
We troll for wahoos, much like most of the fish we go after, and usually find them around bottom structure. Baitfish congregate around and along rock piles and ledges, therefore, when conditions are right, you will be apt to find a wahoo in these areas. We get a lot of surface strikes from wahoos, but when targeting wahoos specifically, we normally pull one rig down deeper, and have a lot of success that way. Wahoo, like dolphin, can occasionally be found around surface structure. The same bait/predator rules apply. Wire leaders are necessary due to the wahoo's razor sharp teeth. If you catch a wahoo on a monofilament leader, you can consider yourself lucky.
I have caught wahoos in every month of the year, but honestly feel that the best time to catch them is in the late summer and fall. We usually have a short run sometime in May, and it's not uncommon to catch one or two most days throughout the summer. My best catches have been in late August thru November, I like September.
My biggest wahoo was caught one November, while live bait fishing for kings. He weighed in at an even 90 pounds. I think the biggest that I can recall being caught out of Hatteras was 115.
Many people consider wahoo to be their favorite offshore fish to eat. The meat is very white, flaky, and mild. It tastes like whatever you cook it in. There are two ways to clean a wahoo, steaked or filleted. I think the most practical way is to filet them. It gives you the option of cutting butterfly steaks out of the filet, or cutting up chunks for the fryer. Italian dressing is my favorite marinade, and they cook up great on the grill. I always cook extra, with a special plan for the leftovers. Nothing like fresh wahoo salad out on the boat the next day! Chunk it up in a bowl with some mayonnaise, pickle relish, and a little Old Bay, mmm mmm good! Hungry for some wahoo yet?!!