Scientific Name: Acanthocybium solandri
Ideal Temp: 72-80°F (22-27°F)
Lure Type: Trolling
World Record: 83.46 kg (184 lb 0 oz) Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The wahoo is a scombrid fish found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. There are indications of seasonal concentrations off the Pacific coasts of Panama, Costa Rica and Baja California in the summer, off Grand Cayman (Atlantic) in the winter and spring, and off the western Bahamas and Bermuda in the spring and fall. It is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh make it a prize game fish. In Hawaii, the wahoo is known as ono. Many Hispanic areas of the Caribbean and Central America refer to this fish as peto.
The body is elongated and covered with small, scarcely visible scales; the back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery, with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars and have razor sharp teeth.These colors fade rapidly at death. The mouth is large, and both the upper and lower jaws have a somewhat sharper appearance than those of king or Spanish mackerel. Specimens have been recorded at up to 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) in length. Growth can be rapid. One specimen tagged at 5 kilograms (11 lb) grew to 15 kg (33 lb) in one year. Wahoo can swim up to 60 mph (97 km/h). They are some of the fastest fish in the sea.
The wahoo may be distinguished from the related Atlantic king mackerel and from the Indo-Pacific Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel by a fold of skin which covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. In contrast, the mandible of the king mackerel is always visible as is also the case for the smaller Spanish mackerel and Cero mackerel. The teeth of the wahoo are similar to those of king mackerel, but shorter and more closely set together.
The barracuda is sometimes confused with mackerel and wahoo, but is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the caudal keels and blade-like tail characteristic of the scombrid (mackerel).
Wahoo tend to be solitary or occur in loose-knit groups of two or three fish, but where conditions are suitable can be found in schools as large as 100 or more. Their diet is made up of other fish and squid.
It is found around wrecks and reefs where smaller fish that it feeds upon are abundant, but it may also be found far out at sea. The first scorching run may peel off several hundred yards of line in seconds. Occasionally this fish jumps on the strike and often shakes its head violently when hooked in an effort to free itself. Fishing methods include trolling with whole, rigged baits as well as with strip baits or artificial lures. Live bait fishing and kite fishing are productive, but the wahoo is a relatively scarce species and is usually taken incidentally while fishing for other oceanic species. The wahoo has commercial importance in some countries. The flesh is finely grained and sweet and is considered excellent eating.
Ballyhoo rigged behind Islander type lures trolled near the surface are popular methods. Purple/Black and Red/Black lures are most popular. Run at least 50# mono or braid with shock leader. Run 5 baits/lures in the spread with 2 teasers (squid/daisy chain).