I strongly advise you to read this entire post. First the more boring part about fish and animals in general, then the stuff that hits home to the real High Speed Wahoo Fishing Fanatics and Tournament Marlin, Wahoo, Tuna and Mahi Anglers
Lets break this down shall we?
It is wise to look at what we know about Wahoo, or more specifically, Acanthocybium solandri, from a purely factual scientific basis about their habits. Admittedly we do not know that much but there are a few things we do know. Wahoo can swim at high speeds and are aggressive eaters, meaning they tend to eat at a high pace as opposed to sneaking up on their prey.
What we know about the animal kingdom in general is that as they get older, they tend to get stronger. Then at an older age,depending on the species, strength and speed begin to diminish. For most pelagic fish species such as Wahoo, not including bottom dwellers, this is often at or near to the end of their lives as the intense battle for food sets in. The stronger, wiser and faster will generally win.
Predators in Africa, for example, tend to look for the bigger stronger and faster prey as they themselves get bigger and stronger. The reason believed by many for this is an aspect of evolution. For a species to survive the bigger,stronger, and faster animals or fish go after the bigger stronger and faster prey leaving the smaller weaker and slower prey for the smaller and weaker predators as they might not be able to catch or “take down” the bigger and faster prey. So there is a balance that is instinctively ingrained in the minds of predators to go after prey that they can 1) actually capture and 2) save easy prey for the weaker of the pack.
This behavior is documented and witnessed throughout the animal Kingdom. Now, I cannot say this has ever been documents for Wahoo or even other fish species, but like the old saying goes “bigbait, big fish” it sure seems like it also applies to fish as well.
In the case of Wahoo, it is not only the size of the prey, but the speed. Instinctually it is possible the bigger wahoo are more likely to grab a fish at high velocity as their instincts is what allows the species to survive. I am big and fast, I get big and fast bait leaving the small and slow bait for the small and slow fish around me. Now, I highly doubt the Wahoo actually think this through, (that would be hilarious) but rather in their small fish brain, it is something instinctually engrained into their dna.
Now in the next paragraphs, let’s look at the truth of what we actually see in the real world while high speed fishing for Wahoo and even other fish such as marlin tuna and dolphin.
I might not be able to emphatically prove to you that trolling at higher speeds produces larger fish, but I can tell you if my life was on the line to catch a big Wahoo, and small wahoo count for nothing, I am going at least 13 knots and with a big lure. I say that with conviction.
From what I have seen over the many years of fishing this truly awe-inspiring species, is that at high speeds bigger fish per capita are put on deck. Trolling through the same grounds at 7 knots and 13 knots means that at the end of the day you have bigger fish on average. More fish, probably not, but bigger fish, yes!
To do this math simply take the weight of all the Wahoo combined and divide it by the number of Wahoo caught. I would say 7 or 8 times out of ten if there are at least 2 fish the high speed trolling method will come up with the larger number. I encourage you to give it a try.
In conclusion, when to utilize high speed trolling for Wahoo? The answer is simple, when you want bigger fish and might even be willing to trade for quantity. A charter boat with rookie clients? Maybe not. A Wahoo tournament, probably! I think you all get the point and I hope this sheds some light onto something we all tend to see but just can’t put our finger on.