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Wahoo

Fishing in Aruba

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Wahoo
(Acanthocybium Solandri)

Best known to the sports fishermen for its speed and high-quality flesh, Wahoo can be found worldwide in the tropical and subtropical oceans, including Atlantic, Indian and the Pacific Oceans; however, the bulk of the global harvest of Wahoo comes from the Caribbean and South Pacific. The fish is delicate to dense, white to grey in color, and is highly regarded by many gourmets. It is a premium priced commercial fish with a taste similar to mackerel. Known to be one amongst the fastest fish in the sea, the growth of a Wahoo can be quite rapid. A Wahoo can swim up to the speed of 60 mph (96.5606 km/h).

A highly prized game fish, Wahoo has a great demand in the market as a commercial fish, because of its taste similar to that of Mackerel. In the areas of its range, such as Hawaii, Bermuda and many other parts of the Caribbean, the demand for Wahoo is met by artisanal commercial fishermen, 50 percent of who take the fish by trolling, while the others catch the fish on longline gear. The fish is caught by live bait around deep-water oil and gas platforms during the winter months. The swift-moving, powerful, predacious food and game fish, Wahoo belongs to the Scombridae family of Mackerels and Tunas and is quite closely related to the Tunas.

The Wahoo
Habitat and Behavior

The Wahoo tend to be solitary and found in the loose-knit groups of two or three fish; however, under suitable conditions, they can also be seen in schools of 100 or more. Most Wahoo has a trematode parasite, a giant stomach worm living in their stomachs that does not appear to harm the fish. The Wahoo prey on squid, and other fish including Butterfish, Porcupinefish, Mackerel, and Round herring. Migrating during the summers to temperate waters, Wahoo is a highly productive fish as it is known to release 45 million eggs per year, whilst compensating the eggs from the previous years that may not have survived.  The distribution of Wahoo takes place throughout the subtropical Pacific Ocean. There are a number of predators that share their lifestyle feed on young Wahoo.

Wahoo is fast growing fish and has a short life span of up to nine years, on an average. The Wahoo reach sexual maturity when they are about a year old, the male is about 2.8 feet in length, while the female being about 3.3 feet long. Wahoo is known to spawn throughout the year, often having multiple spawning events in a year; their spawning, however, extends over long periods and varies between different regions. The eggs and larvae of a Wahoo are pelagic, with females releasing millions of eggs into the water column per year. The streamlined body and fast swimming speed of a Wahoo make it easier for the fish to feed on other fish and squid, while their sharp teeth allow them to render larger prey into bite-sized pieces, while ultimately eating the fish larger than itself.

The Wahoo -
Physical Description

  • Size: – On average, a Wahoo may grow up to 8 to 30 pounds in weight and 2.5m in height. However, at its largest, the fish may even grow to more than 100 pounds in weight and 1.8m in height. However, specimens have been recorded at up to 2.5m (8 ft 2 in) in length, weighing up to 83 kg (183 lb).
  • Appearance: – The body of a Wahoo is elongated, and covered with small, scarcely visible scales. The back of the fish’s body is iridescent bluish green in color on the upper third of their bodies, while fading to silver on the lower two-thirds and the sides of its body with a pattern of about 25 to 30 cobalt irregular, vertical blue bars, extending alongside their bodies. As the fish dies, the colors face rapidly. The mouth of a Wahoo is large, with triangular, serrated teeth being razor-sharp, and a long snout about the size of the rest of its head. Both the upper and lower jaws have a sharper appearance than those of King or Spanish Mackerel. The fish’s body ends in a slender crescent-shaped tail base and has a row of small finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins.The fish may be distinguished from the related Atlantic King Mackerel and the Indo-Pacific narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel by a fold of skin that covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. The teeth of the Wahoo and King Mackerel are similar in appearance, however, the ones of the former are shorter and more closely set together. Wahoo has a very firm texture and is an excellent fish for grilling.

The Wahoo
Other Names

The Hawaiian lore, or according to the Hawaiian mythology, the name, ‘Wahoo’ comes from the European explorers’ misspelling of the term, ‘Oahu’ on the early maps; since the fish was abundant around the island. The fish’s alternate name, Ono has been derived from the Hawaiian word, ‘Ono’, meaning ‘good to eat’. Wahoo also has a few other names listed below –

  • Scientific Name – Acanthocybium
    Solandri
  • Hawaiian Name – Ono
  • French Name: Thazard bâtard
  • Spanish Name: Peto, Sierra Canalera
  • German Name: Peto
  • Italian Name: Waho, Maccarello Striato
  • Japanese Name: Kamasu-sawara

Aruba Fishing Seasons and
Availability of Wahoo

The fishing season of Wahoo in Aruba varies slightly throughout the year, however, for a guaranteed catch, it is advisable to fish during the peak season as in the months of January, February, March, April, September, October, November, and December. Furthermore, in the months of May, June, July, and August, the fish is available in the Aruba waters in a limited quantity.

WhenJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
AvailabilityExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodGoodGoodGoodExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellent

  • Your Chances of landing the Wahoo is excellent from January to April and September to December.
  • Wahoo in Aruba enters its low season from May to August.
  • There is no closed season for Wahoo fishing in Aruba.

The Wahoo
How to make the Catch?

A successful and effective Wahoo catch can be made possible only with proper planning and using the appropriate tools. Considering the use of planers or downriggers below the surface, putting baits into their target zones, all work ideally to make the catch successful. It is advised that you use the right color combinations to attract the fish such as red and black, purple and black that gravitate the fish while avoiding the use of colors like blue, pink, and white. High speed trolling is an effective way to catch Wahoo. Slow trolling with dead baits or lures, live bait, dropping Jiggs or trolling beneath floating debris, kite fishing and even chunking are few tips to catch a big Wahoo.

The Wahoo in Hawaii is all line-caught. Longline boats harvest most of the Wahoo caught in Hawaii, while there are also a few caught by trollers using lures and baits.

The Wahoo
Eating for Humans

Wahoo consists of extra lean protein, Vitamins, Niacin, low amount of Sodium and about 375mg Omega three fatty acids- all constituting healthy meat for humans. However, the Hawaiian Wahoo is considered outstanding, being rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus and Selenium, along with Niacin, extra lean protein and lower amounts of Saturated fat. The Wahoo from Hawaii also provides about 375mg of Omega 3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounces, serving of fresh fish.

The Wahoo
Nutrition

  • Calories: 167
  • Fat Calories: 15
  • Total Fat: 9.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 64 mg
  • Sodium: 78 mg
  • Protein: 19.3 g
  • Omega 3: N/A

The Wahoo
Cooking

Although considered to be versatile fish, Wahoo benefits from cooking methods suitable for species with low-fat content, in order to ensure that the meat does not dry out when cooking. The Wahoo cooks and tastes like an ultra-light, lean tuna. The firm flesh tastes its best when grilled or broiled, especially if marinated first in order to tenderize it, enhancing the mild flavor.

The Wahoo -
Unknown Facts

  • The maximum recorded weight of Wahoo is 15 to 25 Ib (9 to 18 kg) with the fork length of 82.5 inches (210 cms).
  • Wahoo is a prized game fish due to its fighting qualities, speed, and excellent flavor.
  • The swimming speed of Wahoo has been recorded at 48 mph / 77 kph which is attained in short bursts to quickly catch the prey.
  • The average lifespan of a Wahoo is less than two
  • Ono is the Hawaiian name of Wahoo, meaning ‘good to eat’.
  • The Wahoo is a close relative of the King Mackerel.
  • The Wahoo has an all-tackle record of 83.46 kg (184 lb), caught by Sara Hayward on July 29, 2005, in Cabo Lucas, Mexico.

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FAQ

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Find the Answer Here

Is Wahoo good fish to eat?

Yes. Because of the presence of extra lean protein, Vitamins, Niacin, low amount of Sodium and about 375mg Omega three fatty acids, Wahoo is considered a healthy fish to be consumed by humans.

Does Wahoo have scales?

Yes. The body of a Wahoo has a pattern of about 25 to 30 cobalt irregular, vertical blue bars, extending alongside their bodies.

Is Wahoo fish high in mercury?

Wahoo may grow to more than 100 pounds in weight and 1.8m in height.

Does Wahoo have scales?

In comparison with other fish, the mercury levels of a Wahoo are only half as high i.e. 0.4 ppm/Hg, leaving it in the moderate-to-high-level category in terms of presence of mercury.

Where do Wahoo fish live?

Wahoo can be found worldwide in the tropical and subtropical oceans, including Atlantic, Indian and the Pacific Oceans but the bulk of the global harvest is from the Caribbean and South Pacific.

Can you eat Wahoo while pregnant?

Since Wahoo has moderate levels of mercury, it can be consumed by pregnant women and/or children. However, it must be consumed only in minimum quantity.

How fast can a Wahoo swim?

A Wahoo can swim as fast as 48 mph / 77 kph while catching its prey.

How long does Wahoo live?

The average lifespan of a Wahoo is less than two years.

What does the Wahoo fish eat?

Wahoo feeds majorly on Squid, Butterfish, Porcupinefish, Mackerel, Round herring, and other small fish.

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