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When’s the Wahoo?

Robalo13Robalo13 Jacksonville Posts: 63 Deckhand
When do the wahoo show up and about how far out?  Normally don’t winter fish but wanted to try it out.  I guess high speed trolling with heavy stuff only.  


  • shallowvshallowv Posts: 471 Deckhand
    Big ones off SC now
  • diverdandiverdan jacksonville flPosts: 27 Deckhand
    you can also pull diving plugs not high speed and maybe a cedar plug out the back, unless the bonito are too thick/a pain you may also get a tuna or mahi and of course kings cuda and jacks too but cheaper than high speeding and maybe easier if its a little rough. ive always wanted to slow troll live bonita but only got cudas and sharks
  • ric1ric1 Posts: 220 Deckhand
    How far out?
    Instead of giving your children everything you didn't have, teach them everything you didn't know. I promise their future will turn out better! :wink
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 9,674 Admiral
    edited November 2020 #5
    You don’t really need to high speed troll. It is often difficult during winter sea conditions.You can drag a nice size ballyhoo with a Islander at moderate /fast speed and still have great results. Wireline with a weight or a planer may increase your odds. I will admit I live a lot further south than you guys but that seems to work in my area.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • rolltestedrolltested Posts: 36 Deckhand
    edited November 2020 #6
    This is my first year too so I'm interested in knowing the distance offshore and favorable water temp as well. I've heard at least 40 miles out typically but not 100% sure. There are some pretty good videos on you tube if you search on North Florida Wahoo. I was able to see a sonar reading of 140' depth in one video. 
  • ChillyChilly Posts: 543 Officer
    find the bait.  some days we catch them in as close as 15 miles and some days we don't start fishing till the ledge. got a good b-liner spot or trigger spot?  troll the hell out it if marking bait.  try several passes from varying directions and angles before moving on. 

    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Jax BeachPosts: 1,744 Captain
    they are out there all year just not the numbers we like to see till winter.  we usually start looking in Dec but Jan - March have been good for us the last 10 years or so..  we don't start trolling till 120 -140ft.. 
  • SenorLizardfishSenorLizardfish JAXPosts: 7 Deckhand
    Used to fish for them out of Savannah in the winter. I'm not an expert by any means, but I've found that Yozuri bonita lures under a planer work pretty well, along with large ballyhoo on red/black or purple/black skirts work well.

    I wait to find clean water in at least 120 feet depth, then toss the baits in, and look for structure like live bottom.
  • dontezumadontezuma Posts: 302 Deckhand
    edited November 2020 #10
    Wahoo is my 2021 target species.  I caught my first one this year in a total fluke 17 miles out on a big lipped diver, and I have subsequently bought a bigger boat (not specifically for this purpose, but it's a happy byproduct).  I've got a pair of Black Friday shimanos on the way, and I'll have to pick up some rods (are bent-butt really worth it?) to pair with them.  

    I'd like a high-speed set of tackle for trolling while underway and then the more traditional ilanders and yozuris.  I have a pack of various cedar plugs.  Do they require trolling weights, or just run 'em far back enough and at a speed that keeps them mostly underwater?

    So much to learn... :smiley:  Maybe we can learn together!
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 1,041 Officer
    What’s the new boat ?
  • dontezumadontezuma Posts: 302 Deckhand
    The new boat is older than my old boat, but it's a 22' Dusky-style hull from 1988 with a 2' swim platform, a Yamaha 300, and an open transom, so it's great for diving (which was the primary purpose).  It's heavy, so it rides through chop like a 24-26' boat (which, with the swim platform, the manufacturer would have called it - LOL).  My old boat was a 2001 Cobia 194, which was a great boat for me, but it was pretty light, so it would beat you up in any sort of chop. 

    Give us a shout any time.  I go out of Mayport and Vilano, but a little more out of Vilano.  The Salty Dog has already had a number of adventures and is always up for more!
  • rolltestedrolltested Posts: 36 Deckhand
    I'm new to Wahoo this year too. I've been trying to figure out water depths and techniques. I have a single engine 24' and I'm not able to get 50 miles offshore. Hoping to have some closer spots that are somewhat consistent with fish. Everyone says find the bait. Let us know what you find out. 
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