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Big Wahoo Fishing: Things to prepare

In most wahoo areas, (big) wahoo fishing is a prized sport fishing. This kind of fish is usually available not too far inland and is known popularly among fishermen for its speed and power on the first run. Besides some must-have items such as fishing rods and fishing reels; we will share some more things to prepare for a big wahoo fishing session. Here are some preparations for wahoo fishing you may need to know: wahoo fish, fishing season -  location, costume, a first aid kit as well as wahoo trolling lures.    


Wahoo - a kind of fish that has an elongated body with small scales. The back is iridescent blue, while the sides are silver with a pattern of irregular vertical bars in blue. They have about 25 to 30 cobalt blue vertical bars extending alongside their bodies. Besides, the big wahoo is similar in appearance to the Spotted and Narrow-barred Mackerel.

Wahoo, as well as Ono which means “delicious” in Hawaiian, can be found in all the world’s tropical and subtropical waters including the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Also known as the Pacific kingfish, it is closely related to the king mackerel. Also, it is a highly prized recreational fish because of its speed and power.

a big wahoo fish

The vertical trailing edge of the tail is different from mackerels, which have a more pronounced fork in their tail. What's more, the mouth is quite large, and the wahoo's teeth are razor sharp. Adult wahoos are either solitary or travel in loose-knit groups of two/three fish. And their streamlined body and fast speeds allow them to feed on other small fish and squid.

Fun facts about large wahoo

Quite a few fishes possess the strength and speed of a big wahoo fish, and the world record wahoo was 184 pounds. It was captured by Sara Hayward in 2005 near Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. In addition, a group of anglers participating in the South Carolina Wahoo Series Tournament also caught a fish nearly 7 feet long in early 2022. That wahoo weighed less than 120 pounds, and the boat's captain called it "the fish of a lifetime."

a wahoo under the water

Wahoo meat is grayish-white in color and has a dense texture that makes many gourmets fall in love. The cool thing about big wahoos is that it's possible to get a specific type of worm in their stomach: Hirudinella ventricosa, a giant stomach worm, commonly found in the stomachs of large wahoo fish. However, this worm does not affect the meat that humans eat.

Due to their shape, (big) wahoos are able to swim faster than some fish in the ocean, and this also makes them a prime predator for squid and other small fish. The actual Wahoo has a long, pointed nose with a silvery body and barely visible scales, but its body is lit up with blue stripes that we can easily see.


Fishing season

Big wahoo loves warm and temperate waters. This means they often live throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. That makes experiencing the fast-paced thrills these beasts offer up a year-round affair.

There isn't a consistent fishing season; however, the best time of the year to target wahoos would be in the Winter, October through February and again in the Summer months of August and September. During the summer months such as July, August,... high-speed trolling baits and lures are the most effective method for targeting the Wahoo that hangs along the ledges.

Fishing location

As mentioned, this fish can be found in an impressive variety of waters. From the coastlines of Florida to the islands of the Caribbean, there are plenty of locations/destinations where you can hook these streamlined speedsters. So, here are some popular destinations for fishing this big fish:


  • Mexico: Cancún, Cabo San Lucas
  • USA: Oahu - Hawaii, Venice - Louisiana, Miami - Florida
  • Australia: Queensland, Western Australia
  • Around the Caribbean Islands: Roatan, Barbados, Aruba, Bahamas
big wahoo fishing bahamas
big wahoo fishing mexico


One of the big wahoo fishing times is in the summer (August, September,...). Under hot weather conditions, you need to equip yourself with a long-sleeved shirt to work. When you go for big wahoo fishing in the sea, the harmful rays from the sun also cause problems with the immune system. This lead to appear freckles, and wrinkles or causes skin darkening.

Many people love to choose patterns that are consistent with what they do. For example, people who go for big wahoo fishing often wear long sleeve shirts with wahoo pictures on them. The combination of big wahoo fishing style and UV protection with UPF 30+ is the perfect choice for those who want a shirt that both protects the body and shows off an impressive style. Also if the weather is cool (not too hot), you can also pick funny fishing shirts with some interesting quotes on it for your big wahoo trip. 

a man is fishing


Even in regions where you find large wahoos, you can still bet that the first fish you catch will be the smaller one. Larger wahoo fish will appear after you make many passes in the effective area. Big wahoos tend to stay deeper in the water column and go up as you pass a few times. A few important rules of big fish that you want to really pay attention to are where to go, how to steer to cross the border, and how to deal with big fish.

Wahoos are voracious eaters and will take advantage of every opportunity to forage and eat their young. As one of the fastest fish in the ocean, the Big wahoo strikes with a vengeance, which makes wahoo trolling (or wahoo fishing) a lot more interesting. So, wahoo lures must be made to withstand their ferocious strikes. Dead baits will work best when trolled from about 6 to 9 knots. If you choose live bait over artificial bait for big wahoo, use the ones that offer great opportunities: blue runner, herring only, cigar minnow, ballyhoo or pinfish.

Also, the lures need to be colorful enough to attract their attention. Besides, lures must not break, chip, or crack, which makes them a great option for high-speed wahoo trolling. You can easily get a wide collection to choose from wahoo lures to twitch flashers, shock leaders, and trolling leads. Many expert fishermen prefer to use live baits for big wahoo fishing than other baits. Nevertheless, it can also help to have a handful of plastic worms each time you set off on a fishing trip.


colorful wahoo fishing lures

Lure Colors

When it comes to choosing wahoo lure colors, many fishermen get overwhelmed as there are so many different colors to choose from and it can be difficult to know which one is right for the situation. The colors that best attract big wahoo fish are blue and white, black and purple, black and red, orange and black. Usually black and purple are a very good choice (recommended by many wahoo anglers) because these colors resemble the color of squid - one of their favorite foods.

When a big wahoo bites the bait, don't reach for the throttle and clutch and don't go back to neutral. Because a large wahoo fish has such a strong swinging power, the best way to do it is to keep the boat geared to keep the line taut so it doesn't have a chance to shake the hook.


A first aid kit is always good to have, particularly when you are going far for your fishing trip, or on an overnight one. If you are using your own boat, then it’s really good to have this stored aboard and updated usually. While fishing is fun, you’ll never know what dangers you’ll come across. In addition, the big wahoo belongs to a fairly big fish, so when fishing you may encounter some unwanted injuries due to its sharp scales as well as its sharp teeth and speed.

Besides, we also have to face minor problems when going for big wahoo fishing such as sunburn to injuries with sharp hooks. Therefore, it’s always good to have a first aid kit on hand. The basics that your first aid kit should have are the following: antiseptic, sterile gauze, over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, waterproof bandages,...

Have you ever been big wahoo fishing? Where did you go and did you wear long-sleeve wahoo fishing shirts? If you want to see more wahoo fishing costume products, let's visit our Wahoo Fishing Shirts Collections. Protection Status