Hunting the Fast and Furious Wahoo. An article by Mike from Blue Water Charters Durban, Captain of Durbans top Marlin, Big Game and Tuna boat. The article covers an alternative way to taget Wahoo.
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Hunting the Fast and the Furious Wahoo

 

 Article by Mike from Blue Water Charters / Adventure Fishing Safaris

Scientific name:  Acanthocybium solandri. The Wahoo is the second fastest fish in the sea and can reach speeds of 96Km/hr; they are also a fast growing species that can triple in size within a 1yr period. Closely related to the King Mackerel (Couta) these fish have incredibly sharp teeth and are ferocious feeders. They can be found alone or in packs.

 

Wahoo fishing is mostly associated with high fuel bills, fast trolling and weighted dark lures and whilst this is an effective method to target them it is by no means the only way. I have caught many Wahoo slow trolling.

 

Although it is common knowledge that Wahoo like dark coloured lures like Black/Purple, many a Wahoo has been subdued by light coloured lures on my boat, especially All White or Red/White. One of the things that I have consistently noticed is that Wahoo prefer a lure that does not leave a large smoke (bubble) trail. Slowly trolled Bullets, Feathers and Konas have been extremely effective along with Rapalas at 4-5knts. My favourite Rapalas for Wahoo are the X-Rap 20 and the XRS14 in Mackerel and Ghost.

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Fishing Articles by Mike from Blue Water Charters, Durban, South Africa

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Live baits that are rigged up the same way we fish for Couta trolled at 3 knots are also extremely effective. Live Bonnies and Mackerel make excellent baits usually its best to troll 3 baits at a time, 2 on the surface on the outsides and 1 down rigged in the centre.

 

Belly Shine and Squid strip baits also make a welcome addition on Bullets, Feathers and Konas, and one can then troll at about 4knts.

 

Wahoo are less sensitive to water temperature and colour than other game fish and so they are in our waters for a much longer season and can be caught from Spring right through to Autumn for about 9-10 months in the year. They are generally surface feeders and can be found near colour lines, pinnacles, reefs, ledges, bird activity and bait fish. Wahoo will generally move between 2 or 3 of the above areas and so it often pays off to work around a few of these areas at a time.

 

When rigging Bullets, Feathers and Konas I personally prefer a single hook rig using stainless cable inside the skirt and no wire after the lure. When rigging Rapalas I prefer to use about 1m of no. 9 wire with a strong smaller size swivel onto a 0.70mm leader. When rigging live baits I also use a 0.90mm leader onto 1.5m of no. 10 wire and I use no. 12 wire on the treble hooks. Please note that when using swivels the thickness of the swivel wire must never be thinner than the leader that you are tying onto it.

 

If I am specifically targeting Wahoo I generally prefer to fish with 50lb tackle as Wahoo are fast and very aggressive and the chance of hooking up a big Tuna, Dorado or a Marlin are high.

 

For live Baits as mentioned above I like to run 3 lines, I also like a mixed spread with 4 Rapalas (2 XRS14 and 2 X Rap 20) and 3 Bullets. Other popular spreads that I like use are 3 Bullets or Feathers on the riggers and 4 Konas.

 

With live baits light drags are essential, but with Lures I prefer to set the reels on strike. When you get a strike on lures one must accelerate the boat immediately to ensure a good hook up, do not touch the rod for at least 10 seconds, with live baits wait 10 seconds before you start tightening the drag.

 

I never stop the boat when we have a Wahoo on, and will only slow the boat down once the angler has full control of the fish as the speed of the Wahoo makes it a formidable opponent and any slack line will almost always cause the fish to come off the hook or bite through your trace.

 

When you have the Wahoo at the boat one needs to focus properly or someone can get hurt, make sure you know where you are going to boat the fish and make sure that the area is clear of an person as once on deck Wahoo thrash and their jaws are moving and even the slightest of contact with those sharp teeth can cause severe injury. Once the fish is on deck keep the gaff in the fish until it settles down, and then into the hatch it goes.

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Wahoo

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WahooBlue Water Charters - Durban and Richards bay
Marlin, Tuna and Big Game Fishing Specialists

WahooBlue Water Charters - Durban and Richards bay
Marlin, Tuna and Big Game Fishing Specialists

WahooBlue Water Charters - Durban and Richards bay
Marlin, Tuna and Big Game Fishing Specialists

WahooBlue Water Charters - Durban and Richards bay
Marlin, Tuna and Big Game Fishing Specialists

Wahoo