Wahoo Adventure

By: Terry Gibson


They say the king of the mackerel clan got his name from a mispronunciation of the Hawaiian word Oahu. This super-fast, aggressive and incredibly good-eating pelagic predator occurs in warm waters around the globe. But some of the world's best places to intercept migrating wahoo lie off Florida's Atlantic Coast.

Over the past ten days, leading up to the full moon, anglers fishing out of Stuart have reported excellent numbers of good-sized wahoo while high-speed trolling around the deeper structure out toward the edge of the continental shelf. That’s only about a 14-mile run out of the Sailfish Capital of the World. Capt. Justin Rieger, pictured, weighed in what may have been the week’s biggest fish.

Reports of wahoo catches are also coming in from the Palm Beach area. Talk about a short run. I’ve caught them less than three miles from the beach down there, where the water gets deep and crystal blue really fast.

No doubt the fleet is catching them in the Keys as well, around Islamorada Hump and other prominent structures in deeper water.

A good many veteran captains will agree with me that the best fishing for the biggest wahoo—with plenty of jumbo mahi mixed in—are caught during “ledge runs” out of St. Augustine, Jacksonville Beach and Amelia Island. They’re running out to high-relief structure near the edge of the continental shelf, about 40 miles offshore. Yep, it’s a run. But if you’re a serious bluewater angler you must put this trip on your bucket list.

Time it right and your’e just about guaranteed a big ‘hoo. Don Combs also holds the existing Northeast Florida Marlin Association's wahoo record, which weighed a whopping 125 pounds.

Like I said, you’re likely to catch and several big mahi, not to mention a get shot at a yellowfin tuna or marlin. I’ve had the best luck fishing the waxing moons in May, June and September. But this area fishes so well throughout the late spring and fall.


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