Over the years I have caught many Wahoo and found them delightful adversaries every time. I have also witnessed many injuries inflicted by these fish. I have a mate that had to have 38 stitches after one of his customers dropped a 40lb dead Wahoo on the dock. It slid onto his foot with its mouth wide open and caused serious damage. Beware of their impressive sets of teeth as they are razor sharp. These fish are dangerous, do take care!
What makes Wahoo fishing in Fort Lauderdale so exhilarating?
These fish are beautiful and supremely fast. They are famous for their long and powerful runs. They can get rather large and are among the best fighters in the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes they travel in what I like to call "wolf packs", so we often catch many of them. They are one of Fort Lauderdale's greatest game fish because they regularly bite on all your lines at the same time.
What do Wahoo look like?
Their bodies are elongated and covered in small scales that are almost invisible. They have iridescent blue backs and their silver sides have an irregular pattern of vertical blue bars. Large bony mouths have exceptionally sharp teeth.
How big are Wahoo?
Generally they average in size from 15lbs to 20lbs but we do catch some monsters weighing as much as 75lbs fairly regularly. They get even bigger though and have been recorded as heavy as 180lbs and measuring over eight feet in length.
Where do you find Wahoo in Fort Lauderdale?
Sometimes we find them right on top of the reef, in as little as 80ft of water. They usually prefer greater depths though and can be found among debris and weed lines. The largest wahoo can be caught congregating at the drop off, from 200ft to 500ft of water.
What baits are used for Wahoo?
Lures, fresh baits and live baits are all greatly tempting to wahoo. I prefer to use live bonito for the larger ones and plastic lures are easier to hook into their bony mouths. Hard lures have a tendency to get spat out; often in your direction at alarming speed.
What tackle is used to catch Wahoo?
We commonly use 50# tackle with wire leaders and multiple small sharp hooks. Wahoo have bony mouths that are difficult to penetrate and their sharp teeth will easily cut through line. Medium weight gear combats their strength nicely without being too heavy to lose the thrill of fighting them.
What methods are used to catch Wahoo?
High speed trolling with artificial lures is a sure fire way to catch these purple speed demons. They love deep baits so trolling leads, planers or downriggers are instrumental to your success. I have caught all my biggest fish pulling small live bonitos around the outside of the reef and drop off.
What are the regulations for Wahoo fishing in Fort Lauderdale?
There are no size limits for wahoo but anglers may only harvest two per day.
Do you have a favorite recipe for Wahoo?
My personal opinion is that they should not be cooked at all because they make the best sushi and sashimi imaginable. If you cannot stomach raw fish, then try this recipe:
Grilled Wahoo with Lemon or Lime
- 2 Wahoo Loins
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil or Butter
- A Squeeze of Lemon or Lime
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (or 220 degrees Celsius).
- Grease oven tray with olive oil or butter.
- Season fish with salt and pepper.
- Place fish in the oven tray.
- Squeeze lemon or lime over the fish. Do not overdo it though as these fish are mild in taste.
- Grill for six or seven minutes, or until cooked through.