It was a beautiful day
Calm seas, Blue Water, light wind, and just past a full moon. When you put all those conditions together this time of year, it spells Wahoo fishing. These are the conditions you want and when I got to the boat in the morning I suggested to my customers that we “Go Big” today. They were fishing with me for two days, so we had another day to fall back on if Going big didn’t work. I didn’t expect we would get a lot of bites, but I was hoping we would get quality fish with the bites we did get.
For the first time in a couple of weeks
we did not stop and get live bait. Today we wanted to cover some ground. When looking for Wahoo I like to troll fast. Usually 7.5 to 8.5 kts. Wahoo are very fast fish and have no trouble catching a trolling bait at those speeds. They also have razor-sharp teeth, so you have to have a wire leader or you most likely just lose hooks. My mate rigged us up and we headed west in about 150 ft of water.
Our first bite
was on the deep troll. It screamed out line and started shaking its head, Classic Wahoo behavior. After a brief fight, we landed an ice 35lb Wahoo. A great start to the day. We continued to troll in the blue water, moving out to 300 and into 120, but the bites were not coming. I got as far west as Cosgrove Shoal Light, which is about 24 miles west of Key West on the Reef. I went in shallow to see if we could get some bites to wake up my customers. it worked as there were some really nice big Barracudas around the light.
After that, we worked our way East on the reef edge. I was hoping there would be some Wahoo along the edge as there sometimes are. Even if the Wahoo were not there, I figured we would at least get some King Mackerel this time of year. To be honest, It was pretty slow. I trolled the edge all the way back to an area known as the “End of the Bar”. It is where the outer Bar or reef ends and it can be a great place to find fish. There is also a sunken submarine about 3/4 of a mile southwest of there and that too can hold a lot of fish.
We got to the End of the Bar
There were a lot of boats there with the same idea as us. We picked up 3 nice King mackerel in short order. The biggest one was a little over 20 lbs. We did have a larger King Mackerel on, but the “Tax man”, aka Sharks ate everything but the head. That one would have been in the 30lb range I think. We also caught a decent Black Fin Tuna and a few Mackerel on the Reef. Not a lot of bites, but one nice Wahoo, some decent Kings, and a Tuna. All big fish so I guess our plan to “Go Big” worked reasonably well.
Wahoos are delicious and there are many great recipes around.
Here is a good one – https://www.food.com/recipe/wahoo-fish-481224