Wahoo Fly Fishing

Wahoo fish can be found throughout the world’s oceans, where the climate is tropical or subtropical with warm water temperatures. Their growth rate can be quite rapid, and Wahoo is one of the fastest fish in the sea. Bigger wahoo can be solitary fish, but they also move in groups formed from 2 or 3 fish to as many as 100 fish. Some anglers know these big groups of wahoo as “wolf packs.” Going fishing for these fish species is an incredible experience!

anglers with a wahoo caught at Poirve
Angler with a wahoo
Fisherman showing off his Wahoo catch

The Wahoo has an elongated body with a very broad tail and is covered with small, scarcely visible scales. The back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars. The mouth has razor-sharp teeth and creates somewhat of a scissor action. It can move both top and bottom jaws to either open wide when feeding or close to form a streamlined point for extraordinary speed. The wahoo’s speed is incredible – they can travel up to 76 km/h!

Key Facts About Wahoo

Wahoo-Average-Length

Wahoo Average Length

1.2 m

Wahoo-Weight

Wahoo Average Weight

8 – 18 kg

Wahoo-Diet-Fly-Fishing

Wahoo Diet

Predator

Wahoo-Speed

Wahoo Top Speed

76 km/h

Fly-Fishing-Wahoo-Average-Age

Wahoo Time To Growth

3 years

Fly-Fishing-Wahoo-School

Wahoo Solitary/School

Both

anglers with a wahoo caught at Poirve

The Search for Wahoo

With the way that Alphonse Island is formed, it acts almost like a vast bowl that fills and empties with the rise and fall of the tides. When the lagoon is full during the high tide, all the murky-green flats water gets trapped inside, resulting in the water on the outside of the Atoll near the drop-off being crystal clear and blue, which is what wahoo love. The three best destinations to target a wahoo on fly with Alphonse Fishing Company would be Alphonse Atoll, St. François Atoll and Poivre Atoll. These three atolls are teeming with these tropical fish and excellent guides, giving the angler an even better chance of success.

Best Wahoo Flies

Alphlexo Crab Fly

The Alphlexo Crab Fly is a very realistic crab-like pattern. It also has a relatively solid and rigid profile/structure to further fascinate the triggerfish once it has been pounced on. A general rule of thumb is to use olive or tan colours when fishing darker bottoms and white or lighter colours when fishing over sandy bottoms.

Spawning Shrimp Fly

The spawning shrimp fly has been around for ages for a reason – it works! It can be tied in various colours and weights. A Spawning Shrimp tied with lightweight bead chain eyes is ideal for super shallow tailing triggers. This also makes for a more delicate presentation when targeting these skittish fish.

Kraken Crab Fly

The Kraken crab fly doesn’t imitate a specific creature but rather an array of different crustaceans found in and around turtle grass, coral patches, and white sand. Common colours are olive, dark brown, tan, and white. The rule of thumb is to fish a dark fly over a dark bottom and lighter colours over lighter bottoms.

Best Wahoo Rod Set Up

The best fly fishing rod for wahoo will take you a lot closer to landing the catch. Wahoos are great fighters when hooked on the fly; they make very fast, long runs across the surface of the water and will normally remain on the surface for most of the fight. The fishing rods we use for targeting wahoos are either a 10-weight or a 12-weight rod, but the preferred rod would be a 12-weight due to the fact that you never know the size of the wahoo that will eat your fly. Although wahoos fights typically close to the surface, the bigger fish will sound (go down deep), so a bit of a stalemate will ensue. This is where the 12-weight rod becomes very effective, with a strong backbone for pulling power and a lengthened fighting grip for leverage. This is enough to turn the fish’s head and bring him up from the depths. Due to the fact that Alphonse Fishing Company targets wahoo on the fly on a regular basis, we have a wide range of 10, 11, and 12-weight rods on offer.

Head of a wahoo

Best Tides For Wahoo

Wahoo are sight feeders who rely on clean water when hunting their prey. When targeting wahoo around Alphonse Island, it is best to fish as close to high tide as possible. We suggest the last 3 hours of the pushing tide or the first 2 hours of the dropping tide. These fish aren’t really affected by wind and swells directions, but when hunting for them, we hug the main edge of the drop-off where the pushing tide hits the wall and creates an upwelling. Current lines are a good indicator of this. Wahoo aren’t afraid of strong currents and will often hold in the current, waiting for baitfish.

Fisherman with a wahoo
A wahoo that was caught by this fisherman
Fisherman caught a wahoo near the Amirante Islands
A large wahoo landed by fishermen

Making The Catch

Targeting these fish on the fly is done with hookless lures (teasers) trolled behind the boat at between 6 and 8 knots. When a wahoo or pack of wahoo raises up into the spread, make your cast immediately as they don’t often hang around. They normally hit the lures and leave, but if you can get the fly out there in time, you are going to be in for the time of your life.

Time to "pop the fly"

Once the fly is in the water, the teasers are removed, and it’s time to “pop the fly”. This is a long strip in order to get the popping head to form a bubble trail and attract the attention of the wahoo. They will often take the fly as it is popped. Wahoos can be very aggressive on the eat and sometimes go airborne. Once hooked, the first run is usually the longest and fastest of them all. The fish will settle after. It happens very quickly, which is why targeting wahoo on the fly is so exciting.

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