Spearfishing Wahoo – How to Hunt Series
Wahoo can be a tricky species. There are a few ongoing debates on factors that effect how these fish act. Some people claim the trick is the moon phase. Other people say water temperature is the trick. There are a few tricks to them, but the best advice you can take is listen to the local. If you are traveling and using a guide take the advice of your guide.
Wahoo is one of the best tasting fish in the ocean. They are also one of the fastest fish in the ocean. Wahoo can accelerate from resting to 60 miles per hour in a body length. They have a missile shaped tubular body and can vary in color from silvery grey to silver with beep blue vertical stripes. These fish are able to change their color patterns on their own. They tend to be in small groups or in solitary groups. Strong currents and deep structure are the most active sites to find these fish. Wahoo usually stay near the surface, so you don’t need to be a deep diver to target wahoo. If you can dive to 20-40 feet (6-12 meters) you can successfully target wahoo.
Moon Phase & Water Temperature for Wahoo
Bluewater spearfishing enthusiasts have had a longstanding debate on the conditions required to hunt bluewater species. The biggest conditions that people think wahoo behavior are moon phase and water temperature. The general consensus is that the week leading up to a full moon is the best moon phase for these fish. Water temperature is best between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-23 degrees Celsius). If you can overlap the two factors all the better.
Flashers and Chum
After environmental conditions you can help improve your odds by using things to attract the fish in. Flashers tend to be more effective than chum with wahoo. This is a result of doing long drifts over structure or along defined currents. If you are determined to use chum it is best to shoot a smaller fish and tie it off on your flasher float. Form there use your dive knife and cut chunks of the fish up for chum as you drift.
For flashers you should use a couple options. The group of divers should use a flasher and flasher float set to depth to get the attention of fish at depth. Once the wahoo have their attention on your flasher you can use a throw flasher to give them something new to focus on. They are voracious predators of bait fish and frequently will dart in front of you to try and beat you to a potential meal. If you present them with an opportunity for a meal you can aim where they are going to be and have the upper hand.
Equipment for Wahoo
Shooting the fish is only half the challenge with landing a wahoo. Wahoo have extremely soft flesh so you need some specific equipment and good shot placement to increase your odds of getting your fish. You need a slip-tip with spectra line, a floatline with stretch, and a small to medium hard float. That setup gives you the best chance of landing your wahoo. After that you need to shoot them in the right spot. Wahoo are counter intuitive in this regard.
If you aren’t going to shoot them in the spine and stone them you need to shoot them in the tail. If you shoot the wahoo in the back 1/3 of the fish you have the best chance to land them. Wahoo have a ton of intersecting bones in their tails that provide a great holding shot for the slip-tip. Anther benefit of shooting them in the tail is they are not able to accelerate quite like they normally do.