Wahoo
Wahoo
(Acanthocybium solandri)

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: The Wahoo is characterized by its very elongated, tuna-like body, blue-green on the top and silver on the sides, with a very short snout, a massive set of teeth, and a very elongated continuous dorsal fin. The Wahoo also has 24 to 30 distinguishing blue bars, some of which are double Y-shaped, on its sides. There are 8 to 9 finlets between the dorsal fin and the caudal fin and 9 finlets between the anal fin and the caudal fin.

The Wahoo, known for its horrific long runs, is not easily confused with other species, but smaller versions are similar in size and shape with the Gulf Sierra, Scomberomorus concolor (no extended dorsal, and spots on the sides not stripes), the Pacific Sierra, Scomberomorus sierra (no extended dorsal, and spots not stripes) and possibly the Black Snake Mackerel, Nealotus tripes (large eye, no stripes on the sides).

The Wahoo is one of the prized often discussed rarely caught feisty member of the Scombridae or Tuna, Bonito, and Mackerel Family found in Mexican waters. The Scombridae are well-known fishes that form the basis of valuable commercial and recreational fisheries throughout the world, with five to six million tons collected annually. All Scombridae are powerful swimmers and are known for long annual migrations.

They are characterized by having two dorsal fins that fold into grooves, a distinct finlet behind the anal and dorsal fins, pelvic fins with six rays located below the pectoral fins, two small keels on each side where the main body meets the tail section (and at times with a large keel in between), and some are even warm-blooded maintaining body temperatures several degrees warmer than the surrounding sea. At present there are 49 species of Scombridae known globally.

The Wahoo is an oceanic, pelagic schooling species.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters, it is found from Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, to Loreto on the east side of Baja, south of Mazatlan on mainland Mexico, and around all oceanic islands. The Wahoo is normally found in the first 50 feet of the water column.

It is reported to reach a length of over eight feet (which are rare, with five foot models more common). The world record, as of 2004, was caught in the Loreto area and weighed in at 158 pounds 8 ounces. This species is a brutal fish to catch and is hooked mostly on either rapidly (we are talkin’ 25 m.p.h. here, folks) trolled jigs or more slowly trolled live Chilhuils, both fortified with strong wire leaders. Wahoo are viewed by locals to be THE PRIZED game fish of lower Baja , providing great bragging rights and excellent table fare.

Length vs. weight chart by John Snow.

Wahoo Photo 1

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: A 115-pound wahoo caught during fishing by Dave Clark of St Louis at Rancho Leonero, East Cape, Baja California Sur., Mexico, right, on the panga El Guapo, with Capt. Santos Cosio Cota, June 2003. The fish hit a yellow-orange-black Marauder on 60-pound line, and required 15 minutes to land. Photo courtesy Roy Baldwin.

Wahoo Photo 2

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: Frank Harbin of Salinas, left, and Capt. Jesus with a fresh Gordo Banks wahoo. Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur., Mexico, said it was one of four fish that hit in a crazy quadruple hookup in April 2003. Two of the four were landed. Photo courtesy Eric Brictson.

Wahoo Photo 3

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International reported this enormous wahoo speared by California free diver Bruce Gaudino (shown) at the north end of Isla Cerralvo, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, on July 5, 2002. Roldan said the fish was unofficially weighed at 130 pounds and would be submitted for a spear fishing record. "If the record is certified, this would be the fourth world record set by divers using the Cortez Club here in La Paz," Roldan said. Gaudino's guide was Javier Olachea of Cortez Club.

Wahoo Photo 4

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: Photo courtesy Pisces Fleet, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Wahoo Photo 5

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: Photo courtesy Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Wahoo Photo 6

Wahoo, Acanthocybium solandri: Photo courtesy Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

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