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techniques for wahoo

Discussions pertaining to tackle and equipment including: features, proper use, maintenance, etc.

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techniques for wahoo

Postby geoff19789 » Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:56 am

Increase your wahoo catches 100%

I am lucky to live and fish professionally in Turks and Caicos islands where the wahoos are abundant and huge. Almost all the people that I talk too (and have fished with here in TCI)who fish within the continental U.S. always express an interest in catching more or some wahoo. The below paragraph explains a fishing technique that has worked 100% of the time (when followed) from Louisiana to Florida to New Jersey.

Here in Turks and Caicos 10,000 feet of water is less than two miles from the beach but for the most of you, you have a much longer run. You could be catching fish while speeding to the fishing grounds by setting two or more lures and trolling at speeds up to twenty knots. When you reach 100 feet of water or more stop and put out the spread described below. Set your cruising speed below 20 knots and get ready to catch some wahoo.

First, I have seen messages that discuss problems with setting enough drag on lighter tackle to stop line from feeding off the reel. We personally use Shimano Tiagra 80s and 50s but I understand that others wish to use lighter tackle. To be able to troll at these speeds with lighter tackle (30s and 50s) the solutions are easy:
1) Take a number of number 64 rubbers bands. Take a length of line from the rod trip between your thumb and middle finger and pull to your chest. Take the rubber band(s) in your left thumb. Take the line and place it in the area between your left thumb and forefinger. Take the rubber band(s) that are on your left thumb and stretch to your forefinger on your left hand. Putting the boat in gear and the line will try to go out but will be caught by the rubber band. Take opposite ends of the rubber band(s) and pinch between your thumb and forefinger. Put the reel in free spool and place opposite ends of the rubber band around your reel handle. When done properly the line will go from the tip of the rod to the reel handle and will be secured to the reel handle by a “doubled up” rubber band. Put the boat in gear and troll at 18 knots. If the rubber bands break simply add more.

2) Cheat like we do and spool your 30s and 50s with spider wire or equivalent and set the drags up. I like to use the spider wire with 100lbs breaking strength but has the line diameter of only 15lbs. Don’t worry about the lack of stretch in the new synthetic lines as we will be using shock leader(s) described below.

Enough on tackle, we will next talk about lures/rigging and trolling technique
Rule 1: If you think you are going to fast you probably aren’t
Rule 2: If using gasoline engines, fish the first of the two lures just outside the prop wash in clean water and the second just beyond. Diesel users should use their wash and fish just behind the “v” in their prop wash and the second lure just on the edge of the prop wash.
Rule 3: Always use quality small ball bearing swivels and only in black finish.
Rule 4: Buy good equipment and normally good equipment is more expensive. A good pair of crimpers is a must.
Rule 5: Over 60% of the wahoo that we catch each day are in 125-250 of water and we seldom, if ever, catch a wahoo in over 600 feet of water.
Rule 6: NEVER through the Yo Zuri in the water, slow the boat and feed the lure into the water followed by the shock leader and the trolling lead.

I start with an Orange/Black (they make other colors but not for my money) Yo Zuri Bonita in the 8 3/8 size. A new addition for me is to replace the single or double hooks (make sure to cut the swivel) with the dual 11/0 stainless steel hooks from Mustad. I don’t like the hooks that come on the lure period! They use stainless steel hardware with regular steel hooks. The result is a electrolysis problem beyond imagination not to mention they rust in the package. I use 480lb Malin stainless cable, 1/8” will do. Make sure to use stainless or copper crimps to avoid electrolysis. When you crimp, if you are new to the use of crimps, make sure the crimp is vertical in the crimpers not laying flat. Use a 18” of stainless cable.

Next, take 10-20 feet of 300 – 400lb quality mono leader and crimp good ball bearing swivels on each end. I use Sampo swivels but there are many good manufacturers on the market. This will be your shock leader.

Next, a 48 ounce trolling lead that has two wire loops on each end (most do but make sure to stay clear of trolling leads where the line goes straight through). Take your spool of Malin 480lb stainless cable and crimp a section on both ends of 8 inches. Make loops on the opposite ends from the lead.

Now you a ready to fish:

Take your quality ball bearing swivels connected to the mainline of your rod and reel and attach the 48 ounce trolling lead, next attach the shock leader to the trolling lead and then finally your Yo Zuri Bonita. The order is as follows starting at the boat:

1) Rod and reel
2) Ball bearing swivel of mainline
3) Trolling lead with 18” of stainless wire
4) Shock leader with a ball bearing swivel attached to either end
5) Yo Zuri Bonita with the new hooks

We prefer fishing as flat lines but the rubber band trick gives you a deadly short drop back.

You’ll miss some fish at these blazing speeds but make sure not to touch the throttle for a count of three or more when you have the fish on.

Now, time to and from the fishin’ hole will not be wasted and your about to catch a lot more wahoo. Don’t worry about checking your lures, they’ll never get any weed on them and if they break off the lead will be bouncing out of the water.

For more information including diagrams contact or come see it in action for yourself!

Captain Geoff Adams
Gwendolyn Fishing Charters
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
e-mail: sam@tciway.tc
649-946-5321
geoff19789
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 2:12 pm
Location: Turks and Caicos

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