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Who Knows 'hoo

Blue ZoneBlue Zone Posts: 414 Officer
Brad’s thread inadvertently brought up food for thought on the question of high-speed trolling for me and I think some others as well. As a disclaimer, I rarely practice HS trolling in fact I’m not a huge fan of ‘hoo fishing at all as it doesn’t involve “the hunt” so much as tuna and dolphin. But at times, it’s the only game in town.

Half the time I fish wahoo along the North side of the Great Bahama Bank between the Isaasics and Stirrup, the other half along the South side barrier reefs of Grand Bahama, both in the direction West to East to catch more of the optimum tide. Peak tide can vary significantly from West to East depending on bottom structure, upwellings, prevailing winds and currents. In this context, it seems to me if you fish an area from point A to point B it seems you run a possible risk of “out-running” the prime tide at 15 or so knots. Yes, at high speed you are covering more ground in the same amount of time on the water, but are you actually presenting the spread to more fish? The fish do feed in a relatively small depth band so do the ‘hoo tend to move either parallel to reefs or laterally? If more so laterally, I would think slow speed would present the spread to more potential “clients”.

Be good to have some insight and observations from Compleat, Testy and the other pros out there; thanks in advance for sharing a couple of trade secrets...

Replies

  • Lucky7Team2Lucky7Team2 Posts: 6,794 Officer
    Not a Wahoo expert but did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Hoo's run in wolf packs on bait concentrations. High speed allows you to find the areas faster. Get a hit and mark MOB, as you may be 1/2 mile from strike zone by the time you get him in. Go back rinse and repeat. When bite stops move on and find the next group. So I've heard :)
  • Flyers UpFlyers Up Posts: 655 Officer
    We all have opinions on what works I like proper moon phase and outgoing tide. Then there is the tackle I like wire but have used braid and mono with equal success. Lures I use islanders with squid skirts (VARIOUS COLORS) and as much weight as I can get away with. Speed 15 to 18 knots and I like a zig zag pattern from 150 to 600. Last year off grand we found schools of tinkers in 400 ft and the largest Hoo we caught was 75 lbs and had a monster cut a 40 plus pounder in half at boat side. High speed trolling is not for everyone but you should try it sometime.
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    I think you're asking the wrong person in me. I generally suck on wahoo. That being said, your theory holds a lot of water. I won't use wahoo as the example but I will use blue marlin/ billfish in general. As we know I have a strong record whacking pointy ones at Chub. I'll get the guys looking at the string of flags muttering "bs" til they see the vids, pics or hear it from the guests up at the bar. Mind you these guys often have game with marlin themselves in select places.
    Often I get asked what I'm doing different. I show them the spread which in itself for me is pretty specific. Then I go on to explain how I branch off from billfish basics to run the count up. Blue marlin basics calls for long straight legs at a speed of 6.2-8.5 knots typically. At Chub the water gets a certain "look" when things are right. By that I mean how its rolling along the edge up on or off the banks . When it gets right " there he is!". All too often guys will see where I am, come in and bow up. Then most make the same mistake by catching their fish and continuing along that edge. I say mistake because where they scored, things were right. The good water only moves at 1to perhaps 3 knots. At 7 or so, they are out of it in no time.
    I do pretty much go straight legs but once I found that water they are short legs. Repeatedly hammering that good edge and moving slowly what ever direction it is along with it...
    So, that theory of yours is pretty spot on. That unseen water edge is where those concentrations of bait will hold. I know it holds for hoos as well as sometimes they are near the concentrations of billfish I work as evidenced by too many snipped leaders to count and it happening again and again if I don't steer around where they are wrecking me...
  • SlipkidSlipkid Posts: 241 Officer
    Wow. Another lesson. Thanks...
    2003 Viking 45C
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    Slip at Bimini you saw the "rectangle". Two short straight legs and two long ones. Remember when we got that fish for your family , that too was straight line. It was an angle off one "range" aimed at another that allowed us to shallow up where she was waiting.
  • Interesting seminar with Capt Ronnie this Tuesday hit all the high points of the wahoo thing.

    Best bet, find them HS troll, then slow it down and work the area!
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    There's a game plan that works right there... I wonder how many stick to it. Like I said above, all too often you'll see someone pop a fish then just keep going....
  • Lucky7Team2Lucky7Team2 Posts: 6,794 Officer
    Interesting seminar with Capt Ronnie this Tuesday hit all the high points of the wahoo thing.

    Best bet, find them HS troll, then slow it down and work the area!

    See post 2 :rolleyes
  • CompleatCompleat Posts: 2,777 Captain
    I can't speak for him directly but I think he was adding the "slow down" part to the conversation... In our case with billfish, I mash the MOB but also the low idle button to drop to 400 rpm and a crawl once that fish is heading for the horizon. Lines cleared real quick then just position pit at the fish. In the case of sail or most whites we pretty much "dead" boat. If its a blue that usually involves going backward. I'm not one of those guys who likes swamping the pit but will back as hard as the situation calls for. This limited motion gives us an edge when it comes to staying in the hot spot.
    Now wahoo you should keep moving forward. That high impact hook up often leaves a pretty good hole that if you slack up can cost you a fish. Indeed you're going to move some distance before you get the fish in. I "think" Ron is talking about "working" the area at a slower speed rather than just going back high speeding through the same spot.
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