High-Speed Trolling for Wahoo

The best wahoo lures and rigs catch more fish when using these high-speed wahoo setups.

Wahoo are among the fastest game fish in the seas. These torpedo-shaped brawlers can chase down the swiftest of any bait, easily striking lures traveling 18 knots or more. Many believe the high-speed fishing technique began when boats were heading to the fishing grounds in rough weather, when they could run only 12 to 18 knots. Intrepid fishermen put out heavy lures in their wahoo trolling spread with bullet-shaped heads behind trolling leads on heavy tackle.

High-speed wahoo fishing was born.

Since those early days, the technique has been refined quite a bit. Start building your high-speed wahoo trolling spread with heavy tackle: You'll need reels capable of holding drag under the considerable strain of heavy lures and weights moving through the water at high speeds.

There are several brands of lures that are specifically designed for high trolling speeds for wahoo, usually with heavy metal heads. Due to a wahoo’s propensity to strike wildly, the larger lures usually carry two hooks on heavy cable leader as a nod to the fish’s ability to easily slice through the heaviest monofilament with its scissor-like jaws and razor-sharp teeth. Use a length of shock leader between the lure and the leader to absorb some of the incredible energy of the bite — most pros use 30 to 50 feet of 300- to 400-pound-test monofilament between the lure and the trolling weight.

The weights themselves use a length of heavy cable to guard against bite-offs from roaming wahoo as well. Build the spread by using the heaviest lures and weights closest to the boat, then staggering the lures with lighter weights moving back.

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