Port Douglas, Queensland (AUS)
Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri), also known as Ono (meaning “delicious” in Hawaiian), are found in many subtropical and tropical waters. They’re identifiable by their blue-green upper body which shifts into silver towards their belly. They also have blue vertical striping along their sides. These predators are torpedo-shaped and have razor sharp teeth.
The wahoo fish can be caught trolling or jigging, mainly inshore. Anglers love this fish because they're super strong, because they're great fighters and also because they're very good eating.
Wahoo fish are one of the fastest fish of the ocean. They can reach a speed of 48 mph / 77 kph. Only blue marlin and saifish do better!
Where are wahoo fish found? Wahoo are found in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. They are a rarity in colder climates, but some northeastern United States Atlantic fishermen have been known to occasionally catch wahoo fish that far north. However, the best places to fish for wahoo are tropical or subtropical, such as off the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Australia and more. The best times to catch them in these tropical locations are in their respective summers.
Wahoo are mainly caught trolling artificials such as diving Rapala, Halco, skirted baits... They are fast fish and like fast trolled lures (6 to 10 knots). Wahoo fishing can be done inshore, close to drop-offs.
If you have the luxury of GPS or bottom-mapping software on your boat, you should look for areas on the bottom of the ocean where you’re fishing surface is irregular and jagged, with a lot of rock formations, etc.
Since wahoo has sharp teeth, you want to be prepared for that as well. For this, outfit your line with a wire or cable leader to be safe, around 400 or 500-pound weight. They are generally attracted to anything that’s shiny, so you can catch them on something as simple as a diving Rapala or similar lures.
Wahoo, as you might guess from their Hawaiian name 'Ono' meaning “delicious,” are extremely good to eat. They have a sweetness to them and cook to perfect flakiness. As far as eating fish goes, there’s not much better than wahoo. Similar to tuna, they might contain high mercury levels however, so don’t eat too much too soon.
Wahoo can be grilled, fried or baked in many ways. The best wahoo recipes can be found on the web. Our top 3 wahoo recipes are:
- wahoo with lime, ginger, coriander onions and honey; wahoo
- wahoo with mexican rice (cumin, coriander, black beans, avocados, chipotle peppers, red onion)
- Grilled wahoo with Cilantro Chutney in Banana Leaves (ginger, cilantro, coconut, mint...)
Wahoo are fairly plentiful and for that reason, there aren’t a lot of restrictions on catching them. Many American waters have no bag limit and no minimum size limit, and some fishermen will leave with up to 20 wahoos on a good day. However, you should still be sure to check regulations of where you’re fishing.
Regulations vary by location, so make sure to stay up to date with the regulations in your area of fishing if you plan on fishing without a charter. Also, remember to keep in mind that fishing for the future is always a good idea and using correct catch and release methods are vital for this.