Fly fishing for wahoo
There’s been an unusual concentration of small wahoo in the Tongue Of The Ocean (TOTO) which gave us an opportunity to tweak up flyfishing skills for them.
Here is what worked:
Pull 3 dead baits (like ballyhoo) kind of far back – short shotgun and long rigger positions. Fish will attack from below and typically go airborne. Somebody needs to watch the spread and immediately dump in a marker float and about ˝ dozen fish halves. Not whole fish, and not more that ˝ doz pieces or so. Loop back to the marker float while taking out the teaser lines. (if after meat, run dead baits with hooks in them; if not, just clip baits onto snap swivels.) When approaching the marker float, task the boat out of gear, cast to (both?) side(s), and make the fly look like a barely-alive front half of a baitfish. For every ‘jumping jack’, there’s another 5 below the surface cruising and looking for bait cut in half. Strikes are hard, fast and the first run very fast. Keep the drag as loose as possible while preventing backlash. A 30 lb’er will take 100+ yds very fast when you sting it. After that it’s not much of a fight, but the first run is really spectacular. You can easily hook up 3 fly casters on a single pod of fish. We’ve been using Howe tube fly look-alikes, just ~8” of sharkwire bite tippet and 6/0 single hooks. A 12 wt is perfect, just make sure the reel doesn’t stick or overrun. Cork drags rule. Light and smooth drag is the key.
This is a surprisingly effective way to get lots of wahoo to the boat quickly. If the casters are on the ball, it’s just as effective as casting ballyhoo halves at them, and much more effective than trolling back over the marker float.