June 4, 2023
Going quick and protecting floor will put your lures in entrance of extra hungry wahoo like this one.
Blue Planet Archive/Alamy

The pursuit of wahoo is a comparatively simple means of fishing—and catching. There are a lot of groups who’ve perfected the craft and have had nice success with it. The time of yr and the situations are essential if you wish to capitalize on this tasty “quick meals”; simply watch these enamel.

Late fall and wintertime has at all times been the most effective wahoo fishing for me, particularly within the Bahamas, when the climate and water temperatures are cooler than regular. However fishing within the wintertime often means it’s going to be tough, so in case you’re fortunate sufficient to seek out some calm days from November via March, by all means, get on the market and provides it a go.

Places and Situations

Whereas many captains choose to fish for wahoo on an outgoing tide, I’ve discovered that in San Salvador, there could be a nice chunk on the backside of the ­incoming tide as nicely. For those who can wait via the lull of slack excessive, you’ll discover that they may begin again up as soon as the water will get shifting once more. Nonetheless, San Sal isn’t the one Bahamas island choice to focus on wahoo—Harbour Island and Chub Cay are additionally good, however they don’t serve up the monsters that San Sal is understood for. Even in Bimini, the place the 100-pounder is taken into account the holy grail, I actually consider that there’s a 200-pounder on the market ready for me in San Sal, merely due to the massive fish which can be landed there yearly. That’s my No. 1 decide.

Chub Cay is my second-favorite space to fish for wahoo within the Bahamas, and many of the fish caught there will likely be in 20- to 30-pound vary, with the occasional 50-pounder. Chub may give you a very good chunk, however you might want to get after it early. For those who begin simply earlier than first gentle, the chunk is mostly good and can proceed for a few hours. I discover that the tide issues much less in Chub, so reap the benefits of the low-light situations, and as soon as the solar comes up, change over to marlin fishing.

Cay Sal Financial institution isn’t void of epic days both, that’s for certain, however as a result of issue with Bahamian customs rules/procedures proper now, it’s almost not possible to fish there, sadly.

Hand-tied sport-fishing lures.
Hand-tied sea witches by Wild Willy’s Witches are made-to-order in lots of customized colour combos.
Courtesy Wild Willy’s Witches

Deal with and Lures

On Coin Operated, we fish 5 rods: two wire traces on Lindgren-Pitman electrical reels on the shorts, two 80s on the longs, and one 80 down the center. Heavy sort out and almost indestructible wire line make getting the massive ones boatside in fine condition doable, so don’t skimp on the beefiness.

For the shorts, we make use of a 48-ounce trolling lead; on the longs, we use 24 ounces; and the shotgun appears to work greatest with a 16-ouncer. We set the shorts 100 and 150 ft from the transom; longs at 200 and 250 ft; and the middle rigger goes out between 300 to 350 ft. Staggering your unfold will preserve all the things from getting ­tangled in case you get too far on high of the sting —and into the barracudas—and must “Loopy Ivan” your self again out in a rush; all of our traces are marked with color-­corresponding floss so the unfold stays in line with no questions.

Lures are a simple decide. Quite a few producers make {that a} no-brainer, with most of them offering a retail choice for lures which can be particularly designed for wahoo fishing, with cowbells being a favourite. Wahoo lures are available a wide range of sizes and colours, and we have now used all of them. Sea witches additionally catch a number of fish, with colours corresponding to purple-and-black, pink-and-white, red-and-black, and green-and-black making essentially the most impression when paired with horse ballyhoos.

I’ll run the largest lures closest to the boat—the medium-size ones on the longs, and the smallest one down the middle. I additionally arrange my lures with double stainless-­metal hook-sets on 800-pound cable with each hooks dealing with the identical route and the cable extending 3 ft in entrance of the lure. Connect a top quality ball-bearing swivel on the principle line, connect the trolling lead, then a 60-foot part of 200-pound monofilament as a shock chief. Then crimp on the lure, and also you’re able to go.

A group of sport-fishing anglers standing around a large wahoo.
The Bahamas supplies some good wahoo fishing within the wintertime and constantly produces fats and wholesome fish.
Courtesy Capt. Bric Peeples

(Idle) Velocity Kills

Going quick and protecting floor is the secret in terms of concentrating on these pelagic speedsters, and most captains will troll within the neighborhood of 12 to 18 knots. I discover that the 14-knot vary is nice for my program and what I’m doing, so plan on burning up some fossil gasoline with this mission. For those who really feel such as you aren’t getting bit as a lot as you must, or discover you aren’t getting bites in any respect, attempt rushing up a bit of. The vital factor is to current your lures the place the fish are hanging out: proper on the drop-offs. Continuously checking your backside machine will preserve you within the meat, so don’t neglect to look at it a bit of extra typically than you would possibly usually.

One other tactic I take advantage of for lure presentation is to zigzag out and in of the strike zone alongside the drop-off, ensuring to be absolutely on high of the ledge once I zig, and absolutely off and away from it once I zag. When you hook a fish, make sure to circle again across the space once more as a result of wahoo take pleasure in their associates’ firm and barely stray from each other if they’ll in any respect assist it.

Upon getting hooked a fish, pull again and decelerate to idle velocity with each engines in gear to struggle him. By no means take the boat utterly out of drugs, and at all times watch the hooked fish. They’re extraordinarily quick and may get a soar on you earlier than you even know what occurred. Any slack within the line will trigger your fish to go bye-bye—even on the wire, and particularly on the gaff. Sustaining ahead momentum is the important thing to touchdown your wahoo, so pay particular consideration to what’s occurring boatside.

The cooler months of fall and winter —at dwelling and within the Bahamas—is the most effective time to attempt your hand at wahoo ­fishing. It’s actually enjoyable, simple to do and requires much less “technical” abilities than hooking sailfish on lifeless bait (so long as you by no means put the boat in impartial). When you get the cling of it, wahoo fishing will present nice desk fare on your subsequent sashimi dock or home celebration.

This text initially appeared within the December 2021 print subject of Marlin.