I really do love everything about wahoo – their savage strikes, blistering runs, gorgeous stripes and, of course, on the grill…
This isn’t the type of trip I do with clients all that often, or really ever, but we typically get some really nice weather days in late august when the wahoo fishing is quite good. I usually pray that I may have one off so I can take a true busman’s holiday and run to the ‘hoo grounds. I really like offshore fishing – as long as it’s on my own terms. That means light-tackle and light rigs and the possibility for catch and release.
A few days ago we had that prfect day- slick calm, no storms and I was off. Katie, myself and my friend John went to bojangles, rigged bait and left late. It was great.
To make the story short – we killed it. We were getting wahoo strikes within 15 minutes of setting out and after a handful of short-strikes on the break-away planer rig…the fish just started to chew. For about 3hrs we were fighting fish and resetting the lines the entire time. Most of our fish were wahoo, but we did flip off a couple cudas, lost a blackfin and had a sailfish hooked up for about a minute before she threw the hook (1 billfish away from an EPIC day for a 23’ CC!).
Which brings me to my real issue – we landed several of 30-60lb+ hoos on TLD20s and Tyronos 16s – some were surface baits, others were on a breakaway planer rig run off a down-rigger. These are light kingfishing reels – sure the fish SMOKED the reels, one even got us into the last 100yds of line on the reel…but never were we over-matched and most fish were landed within 10mins. So why is it all the offshore boats find it necessary to troll 80 wides for hoos (or 50s if you’re lucky)? Just like many offshore fishermen winch in 20lb dolphin on 50 and 80 wides – why not enjoy these great sportfish for what they are and actually enjoy the tussle? I just don’t get it.
We also decided to release all our fish, minus the first one. The one 30lb ‘hoo fed about 15 people for at least 2-3 meals. Killing more than that one would have been a complete waste. I will say it’s a rush to leader, tail, photo and release one of these gorgeous fish. Not many folks can say they’ve done that.
This one – our first hoo of the day – came home with us.
LEADERED, TAILED, PHOTO’D and RELEASED