Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wahoo Fishing In Florida

If you want to change up your offshore saltwater fishing in Florida up a little bit, why not try and do some wahoo fishing. Wahoo can be found in tropical and sub tropical waters all over the world, and they are highly fished for in the Florida Keys. So if you are getting tired of catching dolphin fish and tuna, why not give some wahoo a shot. Be warned these fish are not cheap to go after, you will be spending lots of money on gas, while you may hook up with a wahoo or two while trolling for dolphin or sailfish, turn up the speed on your motors a little bit and target the wahoo fish.

In Florida, wahoo can be found on the Atlantic coast from the middle of the state down to the Florida Keys. You may need to go out about 40-50 miles, and you and you want the water to be at least 100 feet deep. The all tackle record for the biggest wahoo caught is 158 pounds, 8 ounces.

While you can troll at speeds like 12, 14, 16 knots and effectively catch wahoo, you might as well be saltwater fishing for dolphin. Crank the speed up to 20 plus knots, then you will be wahoo fishing, and you will cover a lot more ground than you would if you were trolling for dolphin. Some captains are skeptical about trolling at such a high speed, but wahoo love to snack on bonito and tuna, which are some of the fastest saltwater bait fish there are in oceans and seas, so for a torpedo shaped fish that can max out over 60 miles per hour, trolling over 20 knots will not phase them at all. They are even more likely to strike at high speeds like these, and when you are trolling at such a high speed, you can almost be sure that the hook will set when these torpedos come crashing at the lure.

Wahoo can be found in mostly all of the places that dolphin fish can be found, such as big drop offs, floating debris, big temperature changes, and diving birds will make a good selection for some wahoo fish to be hanging out. Unlike dolphin fish though, wahoo tend to travel alone, and not in schools, although you may find a couple of giant wahoo fish swimming around each other if there are a lot of bait fish nearby. I have read and found out from many captains that you want to be in at least 100 feet of water for these warp speed fish though.

Bait and Tackle You Will Need For Wahoo

Do not go light on the tackle when you are fishing for wahoo. You will want to use a heavy duty trolling reel and rod, and unlike fishing for dolphin, I recommend only have about 4-6 fishing rods out at one time. Make sure that the fishing reel can hold about 500 yards of 50-80 pound test monofilament line. The reason you want to use monofilament line is because it stretches when hit hard, and when trolling 20 plus knots when you get a hit you will need the extra stretch. Now when it comes to terminal tackle, you will have to take this pretty serious, this is no time to short yourself. You wont want to be tying any fishing knots when rigging your leaders together, instead use some heavy duty ball bearing snap swivels. Use a 3 foot cable wire as a leader, nad have a 300 pound test shock leader before the cable leader, about 20-30 feet. In between the shock leader and the monoline you will need a good sized trolling weight.

There are many types of fishing lures out there that are specifically designed for wahoo fishing, but before you make your selection of what kind of fishing lure you will use, you must take into consideration on how fast you are going to be trolling. Not many people troll 20 knots or more when fishing for wahoo, and not all wahoo lures can handle such speeds. Captain Mike Genoun recommends that you use a 32 0r 48 ounce banchee when you are trolling at 20 plus knots. Now once you get a wahoo on line, you will need great maneuvering skills with the boat, you don’t want to reel a fish in 400 plus yards, you will have to go to the fish in most cases. Once you get the wahoo up to the boat you will need to land the fish, this can be done by gaffing the fish.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is an Excellent Wahoo Fishery in Northeast Florida: Jacksonville, and St.Augustine. For References ask Captain Don Combs, of the Shark Bait and C & H Fishing Lures( Jacksonville,Fl.) and Conch Resort, St. Augustine,Fl. Also, some Captains like to use 50 to 80 lb. Braid line on their Reels.