Wahoo (Acanthocybium Solandri)
Wahoo also is known as “Ono” which stands for “delicious” in Hawaiian. Some fisherman also refer to this species as the Pacific Kingfish because of it’s close relation to the king maceral. A fast-moving, powerful, predacious food and game fish of the Scombridae family that can grow up to 8 feet long. Wahoo is a streamlined fish with an iridescent bluish green on the top of the fish that fades to silver in the middle and bottom of fish. They have several cobalt blue vertical zebralike stripes extending along the side of their bodies. They have an elongated and narrow mouth with razor sharp teeth, a long snout, and a tapered body ending in a slender tail base. They also have a row of small finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins similar to a kingfish or Spanish Maceral. The average size Wahoo you will catch in Miami is between 10-50 pounds but if you’re lucky you can land an 80 or 90 pound Wahoo. The record for the largest Wahoo caught off of Florida is currently 139 pounds. There is no minimum size limit and the daily recreational bag limit is 2 per harvester.
How to catch Wahoo in Miami
High speed trolling in a zig-zag pattern is the preferred method to catch Wahoo along the Florida coast. They can be caught while trolling at any speed but 14mph is a great way to avoid getting hit my small Bonita or barracuda if your specifically targeting Wahoo. After you hook a wahoo you should keep the same speed and gradually slow down to 10mph in order to keep tension on the line. Planers are very common among wahoo fisherman especially an old salty No.4 planner. The planner allows your bait or lure to sink lower in the water column keeping it away from all the commotion of the boat waves. A spread of 5 lines in the water is common practice on a Miami wahoo fishing charter but if you’re on a smaller boat 2 or three lines will also work. Having more lines in the water allows you to cover more area and increase your chances of catching a wahoo in Florida.
Where to fish for Wahoo
Wahoo’s prefer temperature between 68-85 degrees. Drop-offs, structure, seamounts, and weedlines are a great place to start looking for Wahoo in Miami. High speed trolling offshore between 10 and 20 miles per hour in water between 100 feet and 500 feet around the color changes is a very effective method of catching wahoo off the Florida coast. 180 feet of water is a good depth to fish for Wahoo along ledges and bottom structure. Fishing east and west is also preferred over North and South. Going fishing with a captain that specializes in Wahoo is a great way to catch these fish if you have the budget to do so. Going on a wahoo charter in Miami not only gives you a better chance of catching wahoo but also allows you to pick up techniques that you can later use on your own boat. You can catch wahoo off the Florida coast in Key West, Key Largo, Islamorada, Palm Beach Shores, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Destin, Stuart and even Tampa.
Best time of the year for fishing Wahoo in Miami
The best time of the year to catch Wahoo is before, during and after a full moon in July and August but they have been reported to be caught sporadically year-round off the coast of Florida. During these months the moon is as close to south Florida as possible which produces the two largest tide swings along the east coast of Florida. During large tide swings, favorable currents bring in schools of wahoo. When the tide starts to drop it feeds bait fish to pelagic fish at lower depths that attract this beautiful game fish. Many seasoned Wahoo fishermen prefer to fish for wahoo during the outgoing tide during sunrise or sunset. When the sun is at full strength they tend to feed a lot deeper making it more difficult to catch them. If you’re going fishing for Wahoo in Miami you should be out trolling at least an hour before sunrise in order to increase your odds of hooking one.
The best bait to catch Wahoo
The best baits for Wahoo are usually goggle-eyes, small bonitos, and skipjack tunas. Trolling is the best method to catch wahoo specifically trolling with a planer. Inline planers are easier to use but other types will work as well. Old salty No.4 planners have been said to be a great choice by tournament fisherman. Sunrise and dawn are the best and most effective times to fish for Wahoo. If you have a big enough boat then putting 5 rods in the water gives you a higher chance of catching a wahoo. The lines should be placed at various distances from the boat. The lines should be placed between 100ft and 350 feet. Fishing with a combination of dark and light lures gives you a higher chance of catching a large wahoo in Miami. Darker lures are easier for fish to see but using both gives you a higher chance of catching these prized fish. Black and purple is a great choice for a dark lure and white and blue are also very effective but you should always try different colors and stick with whatever is working for you.
Florida Wahoo fishing regulations
There is no minimum size limit for Wahoo but there is a daily limit of 2 Wahoo per person or 100lbs per person daily. There is no closed season so they can be caught year round. A current Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish for all types of saltwater species in Florida. You can obtain a license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by going online, calling or going to a bait and tackle shop.