Wahoo are one of the most exciting fish to catch. During the first run after a bite wahoo peel line off the reel as if it were a giant shark. Wahoo are found in warm water from New Jersey to the Caribbean in water as shallow as 50 feet deep. Wahoo are generally scattered about and not in large schools. These fish are often found in the same waters as tuna, mahi-mahi, and sailfish and bite on similar baits. This can be problematic because wahoo have sharp teeth and typically require a steel leader to be caught. They primarily eat fish and squid. High speed trolling for wahoo is a popular fishing method used to catch wahoo.
High Speed trolling can be utilized when traveling to and from fishing spots. Capable of reaching speeds of 60 mph wahoo can easily hit lures traveling at 18 mph. When traveling in typical 2-4 foot waves, 18 mph is an average transit speed so being able to fish for wahoo during these times makes good use of what would otherwise be wasted fishing time. Trolling this fast is not a trivial task however and heavy lures and big game reels with quality drag are required.
Wahoo Junkies Best Wahoo Lure Poll Results
Wahoo can be caught with trolling skirts, deep diving plugs, vertical jigs, and high speed trolling lures. To get an idea of what anglers thought was the best wahoo lure a poll was started on the Facebook group Wahoo Junkies. The results are shown above and the details of the lures are provided below ranked in order of popularity based on the poll. The two main styles of wahoo fishing are high speed trolling and regular speed trolling. Depending on which method is being used will determine which lures and baits will be used.
- Here Are the Best Wahoo Fishing Lures
- 1. Bullet Head Ilander Style Trolling Skirt
- 2. Nomad Design DTX Minnow
- 3. Yo Zuri Bonita
- 4. Sea Witch on a Planer
- 5. Bost Wahoo Witch Trolling Lure
- 6. Blue Water Candy Ballyhoo Bait Sea Witch Rig
- 7. Mister Big Jet High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 8. EatMy Tackle Jet High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 9. Black Bart High-Speed Wahoo Lures
- 10. MagBay Sincero Anodized High-Speed Lure
- 11. Iridescent High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 12. Chin Weighted Mullet Rig
- 13. MOAB High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 14. Rapala X-Rap Magnum Lure
- 15. Wahoo Eliminator
- 16. Bost San Sal Wahoo Lure
- 17. Bost Wahoo Wonder High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 18. Wahoo Wacker
- 19. Bahama Big Eye Wahoo Lure
- 20. Bost The Bullet Wahoo Trolling lure
- 21. Nomad Madmacs Sinking High-Speed Lure
- 22. MagBay MagTrak High-Speed Wahoo Lure
- 23. MagBay Desperado Black Mamba
- 24. Yo-Zuri Vibe High-Speed Lure
- 25. Sea Striker Size 4 Planer for Drone Spoon
- 26. Hawaiian Lures Kona Wahoo Lure
- 27. Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Deep Drop Jig
- 28. Jetted Bullet Head Lures High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 29. Hoodini Wahoo High-Speed Trolling lure
- 30. MagBay Plomero High-Speed Trolling Lure
- 31. MagBay El Plomerito
- High-Speed Daisy Chain Plomerito Lure
- Anodized Plomerito Tournament High-Speed Wahoo Lures
- 32. Ballyhood Wahoo Express
- 33. Williamson Wahoo Catcher
- 34. Blue Water Candy Jag-A-Hoo
Here Are the Best Wahoo Fishing Lures
1. Bullet Head Ilander Style Trolling Skirt
Price Around: $27
The Iland Ilander is an 8.25-inch lure that weighs 4-ounces. Color options are blue-white, black-purple, and blue-pink. This is the flash version with a mylar and hair skirt.
This was rated the number one style wahoo lure which is likely because this is a versatile lure. It can be rigged with ballyhoo and run a planer or downrigger. Ballyhoo can be added using rigging wire and multi-strand cable or with single strand wire and ballyhoo springs.
This lure can also be run at high speeds with an inline trolling weight. At high speeds, the Ilander is often placed over a long rubber skirt and double hook rig. A 14-ounce version if this lure configuration that comes rigged is the Tormentor Wahoo Wrecker.
2. Nomad Design DTX Minnow
Price: Around $32
If you are going to be targeting wahoo trolling at under 14 knots then this is a must-have lure. This lure can dive up to 50 feet deep. The sinking version is what you want for wahoo.
The 165 version is 6.5 inches, comes with 7/0 single hooks and weighs 3.75 ounces. Trolling speed for the 165 is 3-12 knots and the max diving depth is 34 feet.
The 200 is 8 inches, comes with 11/0 single hooks and weighs 5.5 ounces. Trolling speed for the 200 is 3-12 knots and the max diving depth is 40 feet.
A relatively new 220 version is 9-inches, with 13/0 hooks and weighs 7.5 ounces. Trolling speed for the 220 is 4-14 knots and the max diving depth is 50 feet.
How to Rig A Nomad DTX Minnow
This lure should be rigged with wire or cable. The deep-diving lip of this lure is nice because you do not need to run the lure on a planer, downrigger, or heavyweight. My experience with lip plugs is that they work great for a few fish but then become difficult to run properly because the lure gets bent or the rigging gets bent and the rig stops running straight. The DTX minnow is the strongest lure out of all lip diving plugs and has an autotune feature and Hydrospeed Belly that allows the lure to run true at high rates of speed. Running multi-strand wire is a good way to prevent the rigging wire from getting bent.
In the video below Damon Olsen, the owner and creator Nomad lures explains the best way to rig the DTX Minnow. Different options are number 15 240-pound single strand wire, 49 strand 175-pound cable, or with 200-pound fluorocarbon.
3. Yo Zuri Bonita
Price: Around $26
Yo Zuri Bonita’s come it two sizes. The 6-3/4 inch lure weighs 6-3/8 ounces and the 8-1/4 inch lure weighs 10-7/8 ounces. This lure is rigged with two single hooks on stainless steel ball-bearing swivels.
The Yo Zuri Bonita was one of the first high speed trolling lures. It can be trolled from 6 to 17 mph. A single strand wire or multi-strand cable should be used as a leader.
This lure can be pulled with or without an inline trolling weight. It can also be placed on a planer or downrigger. The dark colors like black, red or purple work particularly well on wahoo. This lure also catches big tuna as well when a steel leader is not being used. This lure can take some abuse and still runs straight even after catching lots of fish. Nomad and MagBay now have similar high speed trolling lures.
Braid Cable Trolling Harness for Wahoo Lures
Price: Around $14
When trolling wahoo lures at high speeds it can be difficult to get them to troll straight with single strand wire. After catching a big fish the wire can get bent and need to be rigged again. A multi-strand cable is flexible and less likely to bend, kink, and not run straight. If a multi-strand wire is crimped without chafe gear the back and forth motion can slowly break the wire and wear through the cable. Adding a clip like the one on this rig prevents that. Also, it makes it easier to change and store the lure.
Stainless Steel Chafing Spring Kit
Price: Around $14
This chafing gear spring kit comes with 250 springs. There are 50 springs in size 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 mm and come with a clear plastic storage container.
Chafing springs help prevent wear at the line connections when rigging multi-strand cable, fluorocarbon or monofilament. Using coated polyester braid chafe tubing or plastic thimbles are the other ways to prevent lines from wearing through.
4. Sea Witch on a Planer
This sea witch is 1.5 ounces and has a black-purple nylon skirt. Other color options include black-red, blue-white, and pink-white.
sea witch lures should be rigged with wire or cable and then rigged with a ballyhoo or strip bait. The lure needs to be used on a planer, downrigger, or with an inline weight. Fishing with a sea witch is typically done at a speed of less than 12 knots. This is a good way to target wahoo while also fishing for tuna and mahi-mahi.
High-Speed Trolling Planer
A planer is used much like a downrigger on a boat. It is let out using a yo-yo hand spool and is then tied to the back cleat on the boat. The line is then sent down on a double snap swivel with a rubber band. This makes is so you can troll fast and get the lure below the surface. When retrieving the planer the boat should be slowed down and the line should be kept away from the propellers. It comes rigged with 35 feet of line at runs at about a 45-degree angle. This makes the max depth around 25 feet. This is a good depth for wahoo but a long line can be added to set lines deeper.
Yo-Zuri Bonita style lures, sea witches, and other bullet head skirt baits can be ran with a planer. If there is a downrigger on the boat these same methods can be used just make sure you have strong adjustable downrigger release clips.
5. Bost Wahoo Witch Trolling Lure
Price Range: $30-$60
The Bost #39 wahoo witch weighs about 7 ounces. Color options include blue-white, green-black, pink-blue, pink-white, purple-black, and red-black.
The lure can come unrigged or rigged with 3 feet of 490-pound cable with two hooks. This is the best looking and heaviest sea witch style lure on the market. Perfect for high-speed wahoo trolling. The hooks that come with the rigged version are not intended to be used with ballyhoo.
6. Blue Water Candy Ballyhoo Bait Sea Witch Rig
Price: Around $17
This sea witch rig comes ready for ballyhoo. The wire is #9 105 pound test. A chin weight which is around 3/8 ounce is secured near the hook with rigging wire. The skirt color is rent and black and has a 1/2 ounce lead head.
A ballyhoo spring makes adding ballyhoo to this rig quick and easy. To rig ballyhoo, the hook is placed in near the gill and out the underside of the bait like normal. The weight should be tucked into the chin of the fish and the pin should be placed up through the mouth into the soft top lip. Next, the spring threads onto the pin until the bait is secure. Finally, the excess pin exposed should be cut with a wire cutter and the skirt placed overtop the bait. This rig should be trolled on a planner or downrigger at 7-10 knots.
7. Mister Big Jet High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price Around: $68
Billy Baits Mister Big lures are 16 inches long and have a 16-ounce head. This lure comes unrigged. Color options for the skirts are red-black, green-black, blue-white, and white-blue.
The head of the lure is a jet that makes large bubble trails under the water. This lure is intended to be used for high speed trolling and works well with a 16-24 ounce inline trolling weight.
8. EatMy Tackle Jet High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price Range: $60-$85
This EatMy Tackle jet high speed trolling lure is 24 ounces and 14-inches in length. It has 5 jets drilled trough the 3-inch head. The chrome-plated brass head comes attached with double skirts in colors of red-black or purple-black. This lure comes unrigged or rigged with a 400-pound stainless cable using an 11/0 double offset hookset. This lure is very similar to Billy Baits Mister Big lure. However, the Mister Big lure does not come rigged and is 16 ounces. When high speed trolling 30-80 class conventional reels are needed.
With a 24-ounce head weight, this lure can be run really far back without needing an inline trolling weight. The jets create a great smoke trail to help get the attention of wahoo. This is one of the easiest lures to use while high-speed trolling. If the reel is spooled with 60-100 monofilament a shock leader is not even needed. For recreation fishermen, this is the easy way to fish for wahoo. Just stagger two 24 ounce lures way behind the boat and troll 14-18 knots and you should have success if there are wahoo in the area.
In the photo is a wahoo that just landed in the boat. It still has nice looking zebra stripes. These stripes go away quickly so get photos shortly after landing the fish.
9. Black Bart High-Speed Wahoo Lures
Price Around: $390
This Black Bart High-Speed Wahoo trolling kit comes with all the terminal tackle needed to make a great looking wahoo spread. It includes two Rum Cay Candy lures, two San Sal Candy lures, four 24 ounce trolling weights, and four 20 foot shock leaders that are 300-pound strength. A lure bag is also included to help keep the gear organized.
At first glance, this kit looks expensive but each wahoo setup is about $100 which is about what a good rig costs. When you factor in all the other expenses required for a successful fishing trip the lures are not a place to cheap out. These are quality rigs that many wahoo anglers recommend. These lures work with 30-50 class fishing tackle. Black Bart also has a package with 32 ounce trolling leads that work with 50-80 class tackle.
10. MagBay Sincero Anodized High-Speed Lure
Price: Around $70
This MagBay Sincero wahoo lure is 11 inches in length and weighs 16 ounces. A size 10/0 hook comes rigged on a 280-pound stainless steel cable. Color options include black chrome, blue anodized, blue iridescent, green anodized, pink chrome, purple anodized, purple chrome, purple iridescent, red anodized, and teal anodized. MagBay Sincero lures come in weights from 8 to 34 ounces.
As water flows through the head it wobbles back and forth creating a loud rattle noise. It also creates nice bubble trails. Many people in South Florida have great success with cowbell style wahoo lures like this one.
Inline trolling leads are not typically used with this style lure but instead, these are placed really far back. A 16 ounce Sincero works well at speeds up to about 14 knots and then a heavier lure is a better option.
11. Iridescent High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price: Around $85
This 34-ounce Sincero Sr is 16 inches in length. Three mylar skirts are used in addition to a rubber skirt to provide a large profile. This comes fully rigged on 480-pound multistrand cable and has a single 11/0 hook placed on a short 900-pound cable. The iridescent head with black mylar makes this look like a small tuna or Bonito.
Being 34 ounces this lure can be trolled up to 18 knots and does not need an inline trolling weight. This is very similar to the 32-ounce cowbell style lure that has been used for years. The head of the lure rattles and creates bubble trails that get the attention of wahoo.
12. Chin Weighted Mullet Rig
Price Range: $8-$14
Trolling with chin weighted mullet is a unique way to troll for wahoo. Mullet can be trolled with or without a skirt, on a planer, downrigger, inline weight, or at the surface. Typical troll speeds are 5-8 knots when using mullet. This can be an effective way to catch wahoo if the fish are concentrated in a particular area.
The rig above is a wire ballyhoo rig that can be used with almost any bullet head shape skirt lure to catch wahoo. The #9 single-strand wire used has a 105-pound test. Hook size options are 7/0 and 8/0. It comes with a ballyhoo bait spring and a chin weight around 3/8 ounce.
The ballyhoo can be secured with a bait spring, rubberband, or rigging wire. A chin weight acts as a keel weight so the ballyhoo runs upright. Ballyhoo is the most popular bait to run for wahoo and mullet is the second most popular bait.
13. MOAB High-Speed Trolling Lure
The wahoo MOAB or Mother of All Baits is a 2.5-pound wahoo lure that is 17 inches in length. These can be found on eBay for about $70 each unrigged. Color options are white-red, white-black, brown-red, and brown-black. The heavyweight of this lure makes it so it can be used without an inline trilling weight.
14. Rapala X-Rap Magnum Lure
Price: Around $22
This Rapala X-Rap Magnum 30 is 6.25 inches and weighs 2-1/2 ounces. The running depth is 15-30 feet at speeds up to 13 knots. There is also a magnum 40 which is 7-inches in length and weighs 3-3/8 ounce. It is designed to run up to 40 feet deep at speeds up to 13 knots.
The actual running depth will vary based on fishing line thickness speed and amount to line let out. Hot pink, bonito, dorado, and silver are good color choices. These lures also works well to catch mahi-mahi, tuna, barracuda, and king mackerel.
15. Wahoo Eliminator
Price: Around $75
The Wahoo Eliminator is 13 inches long with a 24-ounce head, 400-pound cable, and two offset 10/0 hooks.
A skirted squid bait with a heavy lead head it the easiest way to get started fishing for wahoo. Attach the rig to a hefty pole and a 30-80 class reel and you are ready to go wahoo fishing. A 50 class reel is a great size! Troll speeds of 12 to 18 mph are typically used with the lure 400 to 600 feet behind the boat.
Ideally, the lure is really far back and under the water where it can be most visible to fish. If the lure surfaces occasionally that is fine as long as it is under the water most of the time. When fishing for wahoo in transit one or two poles can be quickly set out. If targeting wahoo for the day as many as six lines can be used. If the reel is spooled with a braided line using a shock leader is a good idea and will discuss below.
In the photo, my brother and I are high speed trolling for wahoo. We are actually running about 30 miles offshore. Early in the morning is a great time to troll for wahoo so we just set out a line during transit. It does not always catch fish but when it does it is a nice bonus fish for the day.
16. Bost San Sal Wahoo Lure
Price: Around $330
The pack includes four pre-rigged setups. This comes with two Bost San Sal #36 which are 8 ounces and 13 inches long two and two Bost The Bullet #80 lures which are 8 ounces and also 13 inches long.
Two of the trolling weights are 24 ounces and two of the trolling weights are 32 ounces. These are rigged with 10/0 double hooks on a 490-pound steel cable. This pack includes everything you need to make great looking wahoo lure spread. Hopefully, your boat and fishing reels can troll this great gear.
In the photo, my dad is gaffing a wahoo. Some fishermen are picking and try and near the gills of the fish to not hit the meat. If the fish is not tired out yet that is more easily said then done.
17. Bost Wahoo Wonder High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price: Around $79
This Wahoo Wonder is 15 inches in total length and weighs 12 ounces. The lure has a hex-dart shaped nose and is designed for high speed trolling between 6 and 18 knots. A lead weight within the head is painted mirror-purple and encases with an aerospace resin. The head has large eyes and the skirt is purple and black.
These lures are hand made in the USA. A 490-pound multi-strand cable is used for the leader which also has could 11/0 stainless steel hooks. This lure can be trolled up to about 16 knots without adding an inline weight. Adding an inline weight is good for fast speeds or for a line that is run short.
18. Wahoo Wacker
Price: Around $22
The C and H Wahoo Wacker is 11 1/2 inches long and has a 6-ounce head weight. Color options include black-purple, blue-pink, and green-yellow. This lure does not come rigged but the suggested rigging is a 6 foot 275 pound 49 strand cable with a size 8/0 offset hook rig.
Inline trolling weights should be used when high-speed trolling with any lure less than and 16 ounces. Lures greater than 16 ounces can be run far back and will stay submerged most of the time. The lure should be underwater more of the time then it is above the water.
To get the rigs below the surface heavy-weights are used with lures close to the boat and lighter weights are used with lures further back. Up to a 48-ounce weight are used with short lines under around 200 feet back and 16-ounce weights are used on far lures set out 400 feet or more. Even the large weights won’t set the lures really deep but will get them under the water enough for wahoo to see while traveling at high speeds.
Inline Trolling Weight High-Speed Setup
Price: Around $30
Inline trolling weight options are 16, 24, 32, 48, and 64 ounces. This is rigged on a 36 inch 480-pound thru-cable made from stainless steel. Chafe gear is used on both sides of the wire crimps. The snap swivel is a Billfisher 320-pound ball bearing snap swivel.
When wahoo fishing the inline weight should be rigged with wire on both sides because wahoo and barracuda sometimes bite the weight. This can happen when fighting a nice fish and wreck the excitement really quickly.
Wahoo Shock Leader
Price: Around $60
This leader pack includes four 20-foot 400-pound mono-shock leaders. These shock leaders are a good idea when trolling for wahoo with braided line. This line is placed between the inline trolling lead and the lure. This helps the setup have some stretch when the wahoo first bites. If you are running without the added weight and are using a braided line it is still a good idea to add a shock leader line before the lure.
In the photo is my dad and brother with a nice wahoo that was caught in the Florida Keys.
19. Bahama Big Eye Wahoo Lure
Price: Around $75
This is a 15-inch wahoo lure and weighs 8 ounces. The large eye is encased in the urethane head. Color options include red-black, red-eye, turquoise, blue-pink, blue-white, lime-green, orange-black, pink, and purple.
The lure is rigged with 480-pound cable and double non-offset hooks. This lure was used to catch the largest weighed in wahoo ever caught in the Bahamas. It weighed 162 pounds. The IGFA world record for wahoo is 184 pounds and was caught in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
20. Bost The Bullet Wahoo Trolling lure
Price Range: $30-$54
This small Boost The Bullet #81 is 10 inches in length and weighs 5 ounces. This lure can come unrigged, rigged with 10 feet of 300-pound mono, or cable rigged with 490-pound cable with double 9/0 stainless steel hooks.
Bost The Bullet lures come on in three versions. The #79 is a 13-ounce lure, the #80 is 8 ounces and finally this lure the #81 is 5 ounces. This lure size makes it effective on tuna, mahi-mahi, and wahoo at normal troll speeds. When high speed trolling and inline weight should be used to target wahoo.
21. Nomad Madmacs Sinking High-Speed Lure
Price Range: $30-$55
The Nomad Madmacs is a sinking high speed trolling lure. Three size options are available. The Madmacs 160 is 6 inches in length, weighs 9 ounces, and dives 4-12 feet deep. Madmacs 200 is 8 inches in length, weighs 11.5 ounces, and dives 4-15 deep. Finally, the Madmacs 240 is 10 inches in length, weighs 13.5 ounces, and dives 4-15 feet deep. All of these can be trolled at 5-20 mph.
Color options include black-pink mackerel, hot pink mackerel, orange mackerel, phantom, sardine, silver-green mackerel, and Spanish mackerel. A stainless steel plate runs through the lure for extra strength. The autotune system helps create vibrating action at both low and high speeds. It also allows the lure to track straight at extremely high speeds for a lure beneath the surface.
22. MagBay MagTrak High-Speed Wahoo Lure
Price: Around $90
This MagTrak is 10 inches long and weighs about 12.5 ounces. Color options include black-red, dorado, glow, purple marlin, pink lady, and gold sardine. Size 10/0 stainless steel hooks are used.
The HookMag technology sets the front hook in the stinger position until a fish strikes. This helps the lure to run straight at speeds up to 20 knots. The lure can be run short or long. It can also be run on trolling weights or planers to set the lure even deeper.
23. MagBay Desperado Black Mamba
Price: Around $28
The MagBay Desperado is 7.5 inches in length and weighs 7 ounces. This one color pattern is called the black mamba. Other color options include Cabo blue, purple-black, and orange black.
This is basically knock off of the Yo Zuri Bonita. It can be fished the same way at speeds up to 15 knots. The lure is made with through wire connections and swivels connecting each hook.
24. Yo-Zuri Vibe High-Speed Lure
Price: Around $13
The Yo-Zuri high-speed vibe is 5-1/4 inches long and weighs 2-7/8 ounces. These lures have patented color change technology. Color options include bonita, bunker, chrome sardine, dorado, holographic black, blue, pink, mackerel, and orange black. The treble hooks are 3 extra strong and connected with through wire connection in the body of the lure.
This is a fast sinking lure that can be trolled up to 15 knots. The lure can also be cast and retrieved or vertically jigged in open water. This lure can also be fished like a blade bait used for bass fishing. In that case, the lure fluttering up and down in the water column can encourage strikes.
25. Sea Striker Size 4 Planer for Drone Spoon
Price: Around $24
The size 4 Sea Strike planer has a 4-ounce front weight and will run 15-30 feet deep. Unlike the size 8 planer that is tied off to the boat, this is an inline planer that is connected directly to the fishing pole. Bullet-head skirt baits, sea witches, and drone spoons are typically run 50-100 feet behind the planer.
The line from the fishing pole is connected to the front ring with a snap swivel and the leader is connected to the back of the planer with a quality ball bearing snap swivel.
Huntington Down Spoon for Planer Fishing
Price: Around $15
The Huntington drone spoon is 5-1/2 inches and weighs 1-1/8 ounces. It is rigged with a 10/0 Mustad J-hook. Color options include blue-silver, red-silver, silver-silver, and green-silver. Sizes of drone spoons range from 1-1/14 inches up to 8-1/8 inches.
Leaders are made with 50-100 feet of monofilament and then a short wire, cable, or fluorocarbon leader is added. For wahoo, I would recommend adding the wire or cable. Some people claim the fish rarely breaks of using 80-pound fluorocarbon but with wire, you know the fish will not cut the line. To stay organized the leaders are typically wrapped on yo-yo hand reels.
26. Hawaiian Lures Kona Wahoo Lure
Price: Around $30
The Hawaiian Kona is 8 inches in length and weighs 4.5 ounces. This is a slant style head and is keel weighted to keep the lure upright. Color options are black-purple, pink, white-pink, and blue. The same company also makes a bullet version for this lure that is 9-inches and weighs 6.5 ounces.
This is a lure that is typically used to catch mahi-mahi and marlin but is also effective at catching wahoo. It should be run at the surface at 6-10 knot troll speeds. The lure creates a good side to side motions and sprays water.
27. Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Deep Drop Jig
Shimano Butterfly flat-fall jigs have sizes that range from 2-3/4 ounce to 11.5 ounces. Good color options include black anchovy, black silver, chartreuse silver, phantom squid, green silver, purple silver, white silver, and zebra glow.
A 4-ounce jig is good for water depths above 100 feet, a 6-ounce jig is good for 100-200 feet, and an 8-ounce jig is good for water deeper than 200 feet. These jigs are typically dropped with no resistance in a free fall for 60-90 seconds. The jigs are then retrieved with fast pulls upward and a brief pause while reeling down the slack. Make sure that a fast retrieve spinning reel is being used.
Jigging in areas that also hold tuna, kingfish, sailfish, and amberjack is a good idea because there will likely be more action. Jigging is often done in combination with chunking over wrecks and deep reefs when anchored up and when flying kites for fish near the surface.
Jig Assist Hooks with Wire Cable
Wire assist hooks are needed to protect against the teeth of wahoo when jigging. A short wire leader is also a good idea because fish almost always strike the jig head first and the line is tied near the eye which is where the hooks should be as well. A short 6 to 12-inch number 7 wire which is a 69-pound test is all that is needed.
Using wire assist hooks is important and needed when jigging for wahoo. Some people say that you get fewer bites when using wire assist hooks. However, normal hooks are attached with thick rope-like string that is also quite visible. I have had polyethylene assist hooks get cut off by fish many times. I always wished I had wire assist hooks when that happens. If a bigger fish eats your fish on the way up having wire and wire assist hooks will give you a good chance of catching it unless the jigging rod and reel can not handle it!
Most wahoo that I have seen caught were done so using trolling techniques with lures in the top 50 feet of water. Jigging for Wahoo is a lot more work but is a challenge that many serious wahoo anglers enjoy.
A good place to jig for wahoo is in depths up to 500 feet around structure such as wrecks, reefs, humps, or under sargassum weed and debris that is holding mahi-mahi. When fishing these areas always be checking the finder for fish in the to 100 to 500 feet of water. If a fish or a large amount of bait is marked it is worth jigging.
28. Jetted Bullet Head Lures High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price Range: $45-$170
These jet head lures are 24 ounces each and 14 inches in length. Color options are red-black or purple. These come unrigged or rigged with 400-pound multi-strand cable with 2 offsets 10/0 hooks.
The jet head is a 4-inch chrome-plated brass and has 5 jets intended for high speed trolling. The skirts can be easily changed by removing the single 5/8 bolt. It comes with double skirts made with premium vinyl.
29. Hoodini Wahoo High-Speed Trolling lure
Price: Around $75
This Hoodini lure is 15 inches in length and weighs 22 ounces. It comes rigged with 6 feet or 480-pound cable with a double hookset. Color options include a black-head with orange mylar, chrome head with purple rubber, and chrome head with black and red rubber.
The 5 jets within the head exit withing the skit to create a large profile and produce a smoke trail. This lure can be trolled with or without additional trolling weights at speeds from 13-20 knots.
30. MagBay Plomero High-Speed Trolling Lure
Price: Around $65
This MagBay Plomero is 16 inches in length and weighs 17 ounces. The skirt is purple and white and the head is an iridescent purple. This lure has a double skirt and comes fully rigged with double hooks size 10/0 – 11/0 on cable that is 280 pounds or stronger. This is a multiple trolling winning lures for wahoo and works great for high-speed trolling.
31. MagBay El Plomerito
Price: Around $60
MagBay El Plomeritos are 12 inches long and weigh 8-ounces. The lures are rigged with 6 feet of 480-pound steel cable. Colors include red and purple skirts with chrome heads.
These do work well for high-speed wahoo trolling. However, the lures head weight is only 7.5-ounces so when trolling at high speeds over 12 mph an inline trolling weight is a good idea.
High-Speed Daisy Chain Plomerito Lure
Price: Around $50
This is a 12-inch MagBay Plomerito that weighs 8-ounces. It is rigged on a 280-pound multi-strand stainless steel cable with three jet head teasers. Color options are red, purple or black skirts with chrome heads.
This can be trolled up to 12 knots without an inline trolling weight. It works well well places far back in the spread and is small enough to still catch large tuna and mahi-mahi. It comes with a velcro lure bag.
Anodized Plomerito Tournament High-Speed Wahoo Lures
Price: Around $200
The Anodized Plomerito tournament series set comes with 4 anodized Plomeritos rigged on 280-pound cable with 9.0 hooks. Each lure is 12 inches long and weighs 8-ounces. Colors include anodizes red-blue, purple and pink heads with red-black, blue-white, green-black, and pink-white skirts.
These can be stored in the 6 pocket pouch bag. Also included are 2 shock leaders with 250-pound test monofilament and 2 trolling weights that weigh 38 ounces each. This is enough weight to get the lure deep beneath the turbulence wake caused by the boat.
In the photo is a wahoo caught in the Florida Keys. This was several minutes after the catch and you see the wahoo lost its stripes.
32. Ballyhood Wahoo Express
Price: Around $55
The Ballyhood Wahoo Express is 10 inches in length and weighs 14 ounces. Mylar color options include red-black, green, blue thunder, and pink-silver. The lure is a high-speed trolling lure that can be trolled up to 14 knots without a trolling lead. This comes rigged on multi-strand cable with a single 9/0 hook and hammered nickel spinner blade.
This is a tournament winning lure and is very popular in South Florida. Its short length, heavyweight, and jet action make this a great lure for wahoo trolling.
33. Williamson Wahoo Catcher
Price: Around $9
This jet lure is 6 inches long and weighs 2.19 ounces. It is rigged with 5 feet of 90 lb coated wire and a size 8/0 hook. This skirted bait is available in a variety of colors.
The wahoo catcher also works well to catch mahi-mahi even with the wire leader. Productive trolling speeds for this lure are from 5 to 10 mph. This is a good lure to send far out when trolling for tuna and mahi-mahi but think wahoo might be in the area as well. Using it on a planer or downrigger with a strip bait is another good option.
34. Blue Water Candy Jag-A-Hoo
Price: Around $60
The Tacke Room Jag-A-Hoo is a 9-inch lure that weighs 8-ounces. Color options include red, purple, and orange. It comes rigged on 275-pound multi-strand cable with a 9/0 hook and spinner blade.
A 250-pound Hi-Catch smoke blue leader is also included with a 24-ounce inline trolling lead weight. The recommended trolling speed is 8-12 knots. This is a great value for a complete wahoo setup.
Other Wahoo Lures
Similar style lures are made by multiple companies so this is not a complete list of all wahoo lures. It is a good overview of wahoo lures to help anglers catch more fish. Other good lures include the Tormenter Wahoo Wrecker, Ballyhood cowbell, and C&H Express which is also called the American Express.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best wahoo fishing?
There is good wahoo fishing from the canyons of New Jersey all the way to the Florida Keys, Bahamans, and the Caribbean. Other popular spots include deepwater oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in the winter-time. In the Pacific ocean, wahoo are frequently caught in Hawaii, Central America and occasionally as far north as southern California.
What is the best time of year to catch wahoo?
Wahoo in the canyons off the East Coast can be caught from early spring and into the fall. In Florida and in the Caribbean the best time to catch wahoo is in the winter. In Central America, wahoo can be caught year-round but are nearshore in the summertime months of May-August and are in blue water during the winter months.
How do you rig a wahoo lure?
When high speed trolling for wahoo rigs are made with 500-pound multistrand cable with 8/0-11/0 single or double hook rigs. High speed trolling is from 12-20 mph. When trolling slower between 5-10 knots bullet-shaped nose skirt baits and sea witches can be rigged with ballyhoo. The ballyhoo can be secured with ballyhoo spring, rubber bands or rigging wire. Single strand wire or multi-strand cable can be used for leader material.
What does wahoo fish taste like?
Wahoo is in the mackerel family but tastes way better than any mackerel. It is an expensive highly desirable meat that is typically pried over $30 a pound. Wahoo should be cooked and not eaten as sashimi because of possible parasites. Some people risk it but why take the chance when it tastes so good cooked. When cooked wahoo the meat is white and firm similar to a quality tuna steak.
What speed should the boat go after hooking a wahoo at high speeds?
When high speed trolling for wahoo the boat is traveling about 18 mph. The drag is set so the lure resistance is just barley not pulling line off the reel. When a fish strikes the speed should be slowly backed off until the boat is at a slow troll speed but still moving forward. Keep the boat moving forward with a slight turn to keep the wahoo away from the motors. When using inline planers or trolling weights with shock lines the leaders will need to be pulled in by hand. It is nice to have two people for this process, one person to leader and the other can gaff the fish.
How fast does a wahoo swim?
Wahoo can swim up to 60 miles per hour. It is common to catch wahoo when trolling at speeds of 18 mph. Wahoo are good fighters when caught on medium to light tackle. If you hook a wahoo on a light tackle setup do increase the drag to the point that it might break the line. Wahoo make several hard fast runs but then get tired and can be reeled in much easier. Even with 50 class reels, the drag should set around 30 pounds.
Thanks for visiting Global Fishing Reports. I hope these suggestions help you catch more wahoo!
If you have any suggestions for top wahoo lures and baits, leave a comment below!
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and Alaska. Growing up in Pennsylvania Cody has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!