Wahoo Warfare

Don’t Be Caught Dead Without These

Capt. Mike Genoun November 8, 2015

High speed trolling in hopes of tempting an apex predator is a science, and don’t think otherwise. The artful tactic of presenting an appealing spread of lures at blistering speeds requires serious commitment, a determined mindset to fool one of the ocean’s most clever adversaries, and a quad of big game outfits capable of withstanding tremendous force. While universally accepted gear includes 50- and 80-wide class bent butts, wahoo wackos from West End to San Salvador will tell you it’s the lure that actually persuades the fish to commit. Do yourself a favor and pull a few of these favorites for a real shot at triple-digit glory.

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Ballyhood Banchee Supreme

Before you pack the fishbox with ice and point the bow toward the horizon, remember that wahoo slam high speed lures with the ferocity of a roaring freight train. These savage predators race in for the kill at full speed with the intent of severing large prey on the first strike so they can circle back to consume the remaining half. They hit hard and fight for their lives even harder! The best advice we can give you is not to waste your time with mediocre rigging or inferior tackle, because the weakest link will be exploited.

Tips for Success
1. Rig heaviest trolling leads on lines/lures fished in shortest positions closest to the transom, and lightest trolling leads on shotgun lines/lures fished farthest back.
2. With 14- to 16-knots the magic range, don’t be afraid to vary trolling speeds between 12- and 20-knots until you get dialed in.
3. A number of experienced ’hoo hunters are turning to ultra-thin braid rather than monofilament in order to achieve greater depth penetration.
4. When a reel starts screaming, avoid the impulse to pull back the throttles. If you are in a turn, immediately straighten out your course, which will help remove any belly in the line. Only after the angler is settled in and prepared to crank do you slow down, but never shift into neutral. You must keep the boat moving forward at no less than 5 knots to prevent the fish’s violent headshakes from throwing the large hook(s).
5. It isn’t always necessary to retrieve the remaining lines when fighting a wahoo, but if in doubt, clear the spread and focus on landing your fish.
6. If any component in your arsenal doesn’t look or feel right, it isn’t right! Wahoo can be anywhere along the edge in 100- to 400-feet along the island chain, but beware of pesky barracuda and kingfish on the shallower side.
7. A falling tide prior to or just after the full moon sets the stage for an epic bite.

Rig It Right
Thanks in part to the incredible stresses associated with high speed trolling, any weak link in your arsenal and you can expect to get schooled until you get your act together. Proper drag settings, fresh line free of chafes, and perfect terminal connections are essential to achieve any respectable level of success. Remember that anyone can catch one…slide ten in the fishbox and then talk to me.

Those who have learned the lesson of tackle failure the hard way now do it right by doubling the last 6 feet of running line with a Bimini twist before tying on a 250 lb. ball bearing snap swivel. This is where the 24 to 48 oz. trolling lead is attached (rely only on cable rigged trolling leads or risk losing expensive gear). Include a 30 foot long 250 lb. mono shock leader between the trolling lead and the lure, and you’re ready for serious wahoo warfare.

 

Ballyhood Banchee Supreme

Website: ballyhood.com
MSRP: $99.00 (rigged)

Shocking at first sight, the Banchee Supreme is the big brother to Ballyhood’s 32 oz. Banchee Cowbell. This three-pound chunk of chrome plated brass is designed to give anglers an opportunity to fish at almost any speed.

Standout Features
-Massive rattle and vibration
-Water pours through it, not around it
-Pull to 25 knots with no trolling lead

Specs
-Length: 11.0 in.
-Weight: 48.0 oz.
-Rigging: Quadruple Mylar tooth-proof skirt, 9 ft. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, single 9/0 stainless steel rig, double crimped connections

 

Red Eye Bullet 3SB

Website: redeyetrollinglures.com
MSRP: $82.95 (rigged)

The Red Eye Bullet is one of the most hydrodynamic, squid-like wahoo lures ever manufactured and tends to run weedless even in the most challenging fishing conditions.

Standout Features
-Aircraft quality stainless steel (also available in lightweight aluminum)
-Three-dimensional prismatic eyes
-Hand tied skirts for easy replacement

Specs
-Length: 14.0 in.
-Weight: 23.0 oz.
-Rigging: 5 ft. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 10/0 stainless steel offset stiff rig with chafe tube

 

Canyon Gear Wahoo

Website: canyongear.com
MSRP: $69.00 (rigged)

When it comes to tempting monster wahoo, Canyon Gear believes in the notion that bigger is better. Expect the Large Wahoo Bullet to produce up and down the entire island archipelago.

Standout Features
-Big profile
-Fully customizable
-Impeccable rigging

Specs
-Length: 14.0 in.
-Weight: 16.0 oz.
-Rigging: 3 ft. multi-strand 600 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 10/0 stainless steel inline stiff rig with hook lock and chafe tube

 

Lure’M In Wahoo Bullet

Website: luremin.com
MSRP: $66.98 (rigged)

I apologize in advance to those who have been trying to keep this lure a secret, but I have to let the cat out of the bag. This versatile lure is completely balanced and ideally suited for a variety of trolling speeds with or without the addition of a trolling lead.

Standout Features
-Computer designed rifle bullet shape for reduced drag
-Chameleon-like color changing head insert
-Troll to 17 knots

Specs
-Length: 14.0 in.
-Weight: 9.25 oz.
-Rigging: 4 ft. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, Tandem 10/0 stainless steel inline stiff rig with anti-chafe tube

 

Marlin Star Triple Threat Bullet

Website: marlinstar.com
MSRP: $64.99 (rigged)

Light and fast, the fully customizable Triple Threat Bullet keeps the traditional characteristics of a straight tracking bullet with the added benefit of a three-skirt step design.

Standout Features
-Best in long corner and shotgun position
-Reflective Mylar wings
-Black chrome hook

Specs
-Length: 13.0 in.
-Weight: 7.0 oz.
-Rigging: 7 ft. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, single 10/0 stainless steel stiff rig with hook lock and chafe tube

 

C&H Lures Mr. Big

Website: candhlures.com
MSRP: $89.00 (rigged)

Mr. Big was designed for trolling to 20 knots. The one-pound head is machine drilled with eight vent holes, leaving a huge smoke trail in its wake…a wahoo’s worst nightmare.

Standout Features
-Internal sound/rattle chamber
-360-degree turbulence ring at base of lure head
-Rigging leaves room for improvement

Specs
-Length: 16.0 in.
-Weight: 16.0 oz.
-Rigging: 6 ft. multi-strand 275 lb. cable, tandem 10/0 inline rig

 

Yo-Zuri Sashimi Bonita

Website: yo-zuri.com
MSRP: $43.99

The next evolution in the proven Yo-Zuri Bonita features a Power Body constructed of a proprietary material that is virtually indestructible. From coast to coast, this bonito-like bait is a killer wahoo whacker!

Standout Features
-Patented wave motion vibration and color changing technology
-Built-in external sound chamber
-Wire-thru construction

Specs
-Length: 8.75 in.
-Weight: 10.0 oz.
-Rigging: No wire/cable, pre-rigged with two free-swinging stainless steel hooks on ball-bearing swivels

 

Fathom Torpedo Latern

Website: fathomoffshore.com
MSRP: $43.99 (rigged)

Introducing a cost effective wahoo lure with a proven design. No high-speed wahoo arsenal is complete without this lure!

Standout Features
-Anodized
-A full pound of wahoo destroying brass and lead
-Proven design and components

Specs
-Length: 12.0 in.
-Weight: 16.0 oz.
-Rigging: 9 in. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 8/0 stainless steel offset stiff rig with chafe tube

 

Black Bart Crooked Island Candy

Website: blackbartlures.com
MSRP: $96.95 (rigged)

From a legendary manufacturer comes a legendary lure designed to tempt triple-digit ‘hoo. Relatively short cable leader prevents bite offs once a fish has been hooked by keeping the lure from sliding up the line.

Standout Features
-Abalone head insert
-Impeccable rigging
-Proven track record
-For best results troll alongside San Sal Candy and/or Rum Cay Candy

Specs
-Length: 18.0 in.
-Weight: 16.0 oz.
-Rigging: 24 in. multi-strand 600 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 11/0 stainless steel inline stiff rig with hook lock and chafe tube

 

Bost Lures #36 San Sal

Website: bostlures.com
MSRP: $62.98 (rigged)

Don’t let the Bost San Sal’s light weight fool you…pull behind a trolling lead at 15-knots and watch your reel start screaming!

Standout Features
-Fire head insert
-Double skirted design
-Handmade in the USA from the finest materials

Specs
-Length: 13.0 in.
-Weight: 8.0 oz.
-Rigging: 30 in. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 10/0 stainless steel inline stiff rig with chafe tube

 

Tormenter Tackle Wahoo Wrecker

Website: tormentertackle.com
MSRP: $59.00

If there were a single high speed wahoo lure that has proven itself as a serious producer both locally and abroad, it would be the combination of a nylon fiber lure over a weighted squid skirt. Pull this and catch fish!

Standout Features
-A proven classic
-Countless color variations
-Strike triggering eyes
-Equally effective in any trolling position

Specs
-Length: 14.0 in.
-Weight: 21.0 oz.
-Rigging: 7 ft. multi-strand 480 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 10/0 stainless steel inline stiff rig with chafe tube

 

Bob Schneider Blue Streaker

Website: bobschneiderfishinglures.com
MSRP: $72.99 (rigged)

Simplicity is the name of the game with the Streaker. The philosophy behind Bob Schneider’s single hook design is the result of years of testing ensuring hooked fish stay connected.

Standout Features
-The most popular streaker-type wahoo lure in the industry
-Simple to rig and simple to fish

Specs
-Length: 13.5 in.
-Weight: 8.0 oz.
-Rigging: 40 in. multi-strand 400 lb. stainless steel cable, single 10/0 stainless steel rig

 

Bahama Lure Callisto 50

Website: bahamalure.com
MSRP: $73.95 (rigged)

Callisto is a classic bullet shaped lure created for the sole purpose of killing wahoo. Designed and tested in Bahamian waters, it has proven to be the locals’ favorite.

Standout Features
-Keel weighted
-Exceptional stability in rough seas
-Three-dimensional eyes
-Fully exposed hookset

Specs
-Length: 14.5 in.
-Weight: 11.5 oz.
-Rigging: 20 in. multi-strand 275 lb. stainless steel cable, tandem 10/0 stainless steel inline rig with hook lock

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