Wahoo Fishing (Acanthocybium solandri)

All Tackle Record

Wahoo Fishing (Acanthocybium solandri)

Boasting a dangerously sharp set of teeth lined up in its beak-type jaw with a huge gape and speeds that rival a car driving down a highway, Wahoo is an ocean force to be reckoned with. These large aerodynamic fish make for efficient predators, with few creatures above them in the food chain.

They are pelagic and mostly solitary, sometimes swimming in small groups of 2-6. Even though they are appreciated as food, they are usually hooked while targeting other species, with rare organized commercial fisheries. Wahoo are sometimes referred to as "the favorite bycatch" in big game fishing.

The lady angler is shown imitating Wahoo's wide gape. Hoisted aboard Upper Keys Sportfishing in Islamorada, FL

How big

Wahoo can reach an amazing 100'', but the average adult will be between 40 and 65'' and 15-35lbs, with this weight increasing with distance from the equator and the correlating drops in water temperature. These fast growers live short lives of up to about 6 years and mature between the second and third year.

When & Where

The species is distributed throughout tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, including the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The western Atlantic waters see them year-round from the middle of Florida down to the Keys. Farther up north, they're seasonally present during spring and summer - 40-50 miles out in the Gulf Stream off St Augustine and Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast and about 20 miles off the Panhandle on the Gulf coast.

If you're going out of country, the Bahamas, Mexico and Aruba have excellent Wahoo fisheries.

We wish this happy angler many more trophy catches. Get yours with The One Baja out of Cabo San Lucas, MX

How to catch

Wahoo live around reefs and wrecks 120-600ft of depth, but can frequently be found in the open sea by trolling in 10-40ft deep water. They will eat just about anything. Live, dead or strip baitfish such as ballyhoo and mullet will work great. Fast trolling lures are also used, with spoons being the most effective. Vertical jigging has proven successful as well.

Once hooked, Wahoo will make a scorching fast initial run that can reel off hundreds of yards of line within seconds. They sometimes burst out of the water violently shaking their heads to try and release from the hook, just as billfish do.

Good to eat?

Mild, delicate and oily flesh, similar to Spanish Mackerel. Rare reported cases of ciguatera (fish poisoning).


  • Season - always open;
  • Size limit - none;
  • Bag limit (per angler per day) - 2 for Florida, Maryland and the Carolinas; other states have no bag regulations;
         Mexico allows up to 10 fish, up to 5 of which may be the same species;
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