The wahoo is the biggest, baddest, toughest mackerel that swims in the ocean. These torpedo-like carnivores travel at speeds in excess of 60mph and can slice their way through any prey. They are aggressive, fierce, and relentless pelagic predators that will put your angling skills to the test.
Venice, LA offers world class wahoo fishing due to the abundance of deep water oil rigs and pumping stations – an oasis of structure that provides productive feeding grounds for wahoo of all sizes. Paradise Outfitters utilizes high speed trolling, vertical jigging, and live bait tactics to catch monster wahoo every year.
Wahoo fishing in Venice, LA is incredibly consistent as these fish are present year round and hang tight to the oil rigs. The wahoo fishing in Venice, LA is regularly compared to the wahoo fishing in exotic destinations like Cay Sal, Cuba, Panama, and Baja Mexico due to the abundance of fish and unrivaled opportunity to fish deep water structures.
If your goal is to catch the wahoo of a lifetime, booking a wahoo fishing charter with Paradise Outfitters is as close as you can get to guaranteed opportunity.
In Hawaii, the wahoo fish is known as “Ono”. The name “Ono” was coined when the fish was first discovered off of the coast of the Hawaiian island Oahu, which at the time was labeled on maps as “Wahoo”. Wahoo are long slender fish with a beautiful iridescent blue color to their scales – often resembling tiger stripes. Their color fades quickly upon death, but while in the water they are bright blue, iridescent purple, and grey. They can get up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 180 pounds.
Wahoo are the fastest species of mackerel in American waters, and they are one of the fastest swimming fish in the ocean. They can swim up to 50 miles per hour! They are also the largest type of mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico.
Wahoos are a quick and agile fish considered a big game trophy. Their migration behavior tends to be unpredictable, making them difficult to track in the open ocean, but they do hold to structure extremely well (like oil rigs or floating debris). They typically roam the ocean in small groups of 20 or less, but in some conditions they will swim in schools of 100 or more. They reproduce and grow extremely fast, making them a safe target for fishing without endangering the population.
Wahoo are known, first and foremost, for the dangerous rows of razor sharp teeth which line their mouths seamlessly – making it difficult to keep them on the line. While they do occasionally saw through strong wire leaders, for the most part they can be caught using steel or titanium wire.
Casting topwater lures to pelagic fish that are aggressively feeding on the surface is an unparalleled thrill in the world of sportfishing. Predatory fish that actively feed on surface baits are ferociously powerful and often attracted to the “injured” motion a lure can present when skipping across the surface. This fishing style requires long-distance casting and rapid retrieval of large lures – making use of heavy-duty spinning tackle which can withstand immense pressure. Many pelagic species caught at the surface can be extremely acrobatic once hooked. Watching a “fired up” fish charge a surface lure is an incredible experience that should not be missed.
The traditional style of creating a “chum line” of chunk baits is commonly used around oil rigs, pumping stations, and drillships to attract a variety of pelagic species. Essentially, this is essentially “handlining” for deep water species, which requires the angler to pull 3 to 4-foot segments of line off the reel at a time, allowing the rigged bait to float with the current. This technique requires some practice but is incredibly effective when fish are feeding in the top level of the water column. Once a fish strikes the bait, the angler must “lock-up” the drag smoothly and swiftly, in order to allow a circle hook to set. With patience and dedication, almost any angler can master this technique.
Tried and true, trolling for pelagic species requires deploying artificial or rigged dead baits and dragging them behind the boat at varying speeds. This can be a highly effective method for enticing large pelagic predators to bite and is usually employed during specific weather conditions or fishing around oil rigs or pumping stations. Occasionally, slow trolling live baits that are specially bridled can produce bites when tunas do not actively feed.
This is the preferred method for catching larger pelagic species. When fishing out of Venice, LA – mullet, pogies, threadfin herring, hardtails, and small tunas are exceptional live baits if properly rigged. There is no more effective technique to entice a large pelagic fish to feed than by presenting a frisky live bait at the surface. Catching live bait, depending on the time of year, can be a “must” before heading offshore. Live bait is typically caught by throwing a cast net or by using a sabiki rig. You will never find yourself in a situation where having live bait isn’t a decisive advantage when targeting pelagic species.
The most physically demanding of all fishing techniques, this requires the use of heavy lead jigs that are specifically designed to sink fast and reach fish several hundred feet down. The angler must rapidly retrieve the jig while creating a “fluttering” motion with the rod – this mimics the behavior of a baitfish fleeing to the surface. Vertical Jigging can be the most effective method for catching fish that are holding tight to structure, deep beneath the waves.
Wahoo hunt for food near structure. Pumping stations, shipwrecks, and floating oil rigs are considered the best places for high-speed wahoo trolling.
Wahoo love it cold – the winter months are the best time of year to catch a trophy wahoo.