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How to fish for Wahoo

Wahoo is pelagic fish living in solitary or forming small groups. Wahoo tend to congregate near drifting objects including sargassum or around structure such as ledges, shelves, wrecks, upwellings, rigs, and reef lines. Wahoo are found in tropical and subtropical waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific. Wahoo move with the changing seasons, traveling into cooler waters during warm summer months.
Wahoo is a favorite game fish of sport fishermen. The Wahoo is a strong fighting fish that can have bursts of speed from 45 to 50 mph. Although the Wahoo can grow to well over 100 pounds most angler caught Wahoo are between 10 to 40 pounds. Wahoo feed on porcupinefish, flyingfish, herring, pilchards, scad, lanternfish, small mackerel and tuna, and squid. Wahoo most actively feed at first light and at dusk. Tide changes are also a good time to target Wahoo.
The most common method for Wahoo fishing is high speed trolling with lures. Many fishermen have stated the most important aspect of targeting Wahoo is a 10 to 18 knot trolling speed with lures that will stay below the surface at those trolling speeds. Lures that have shown to be successful are orange and purple Marauders, Rapalas, Yo-Zuri's in the blue and green mackerel or purple patterns, and jet head lures of 6 to 16 ounces with squid skirts, bright metal flake colors in pink, purple, blue, green, red and silver are all good combos. To help keep lures in the water add a heavy cigar sinker rigged several yards in front of the leader. The weight is used to keep the lures from skipping out of the wake.
Light to medium tackle has drawbacks when high-speed trolling. At 18 knots for instance drags on 50w reels loaded with 80 lb line should be around 22 lbs. You simple cannot apply the proper drag on 30 to 50 lb line to accomplish high speed trolling. Also for fast trolling you will need a heavy action rod around 6 feet long. A shock leader of 400 lb mono 12 to 15 feet in length with a double ring ball bearing heavy duty snap swivel at one end of the shock leader fastened to the lure leader. A 3 to 4 foot properly twist stainless or music wire leader should be used that is at least #10 or heavier. Multi strand stainless cable works well also and is much safer than leader wire that is improperly twisted.


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