Fishing for Wahoo (Ono) in Hawaii
Wahoo is our favorite fish to catch here at Big Fish Hawaii and a large part of catching this fish is having the right tackle to do so. Wahoo is a fun fish to catch because of the fast runs these fish make, the beautiful colors they have and of course their most delicious meat.
When fishing for Wahoo (Ono) the ideal depth to be trolling baits over is between 180-240 feet. Any shallower and you run the risk of getting a barracuda or sharked. You may also troll around some of the FAD (Fish Aggregating Device) buoys in hopes to hook up to a wahoo.
We usually run 4 lines with resin head high speed trolling lures at about 12 knots. We have been using the LiveWire Tackle lures and have been producing great fish from these baits. These lures are handmade in Florida and use Hawaiian Paua shell inside the resin head. We use the bullet head “Money Fish” lure or cup faced “Hollow Point Express” wahoo lure. A good spread has lures of all sizes in it to best mimic a school of bait. Using smaller lures in the back of the spread and the larger lures in the front to represent the healthier larger baits. You can use a single or double hook set for each lure. We also use weights to keep the lures down below the water surface.
Once hooked up to the Wahoo keep the boat trolling at a brisk pace. Ono will tire out after they make their fist several drag screaming runs. After they make the initial run, they swim almost straight in coming at the boat. The fish probably has 1 or 2 more burst left using their saved energy. This part of the fight is crucial to keep cranking the fish in and not let the line get slack. The captain should be maintain speeds to allow the fish to stay tight on the line. Once near the boat another angler should be ready with the gaff and land the fish inside the boat.
Putting the fish on ice immediately is ideal so that you can enjoy some fresh Wahoo sashimi later. Wahoo sashimi is best served as thin slices of the firm white meat with soy sauce, jalapeño, spicy mayo or sesame seeds. You can add any of your favorite flavors and make it your own! Enjoy