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Bimini Wahoo....am I doing something wrong?

Old 02-27-2021, 06:53 AM
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Default Bimini Wahoo....am I doing something wrong?

For weeks we've been planning to cross to Bimini to spend this weekend for my birthday--with a focus on catching wahoo. We crossed on Thursday and it was FLAT. Fished Thursday til sundown, most of Friday til sundown, and again this morning with lines in the water before sunlight. HST @ 12-15 kts with three lines. One back at about 200' then 150 and 100. Weights from 1 to 3lb. Shock leader between weights and lures. Usual wahoo lures. Pink/white, black/purple, purple/red. No bites HST, so we slow down to 7-10kts. Fishing just off the island in 120' to 300'.

It seems like we're doing all the right things, putting in the long hours, and even have the full moon. So far all we've caught is 3 kingfish (one BIG one) when HST, 3 barracudas and a bonita when we slow down. (I tried posting pics but the site won't allow me because I haven't posted enough)

I'm hoping to get things dialed in to watch my son put a gaff in a wahoo before we run back Tuesday and would really appreciate any feedback or advice.

Thank you!


Last edited by MartinMay; 02-27-2021 at 07:07 AM. Reason: added details
Old 02-27-2021, 07:29 AM
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I am not an expert by any means but we usually troll around 12 knots. Your depths you are fishing sounds on the money.

It's not easy to get them. It's either on or off.
Old 02-27-2021, 07:30 AM
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Bite has been slow there for the last few weeks. Fish on the correct tide. You are also fishing against the full moon. Speed should be up some too.
Old 02-27-2021, 08:15 AM
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The Wahoo bite off Freeport has pretty well ended. The Tournament at West End 2 weeks ago had few fish and the mini tournament at GHC was worse. The Wahoo season in the Northern Bahamas started early this year and it seems to be ending early also.
I don't think you are doing anything wrong. The Fish are just not biting.
Old 02-27-2021, 08:28 AM
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If youíre catching Barracudas your to shallow. Outgoing tide is best there and 300-650Ē
Old 02-27-2021, 08:52 AM
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No expert on the location but a couple of general tips

Run your darkest lures in the shortest positions where they provide the best contrast to the dark underside of the wash, run light colored lures farther back.

If you’re marking fish on the sounder but not getting bit run 1/2 mile up-current, flip a U, and go back over them headed down-current.

Focus your energy on times when the water is moving, skip the slack tide periods (high/low).

Full moon is boom or bust, it’s better a few days before/after.

Never, never, ever drive straight! This is probably the most important. You want your lures crossing the wash, changing direction speed and depth all the time.

I hope your arms fall off 😉.
Old 02-27-2021, 09:57 AM
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Yeap if you are catching cudas shallow remember your turns are 100-300 yards behind .
If you aren’t fishing tides you are also just hoping to Stumble on fish. If water isn’t clean move on .
don’t be afraid to troll plus at 5-6 k it’s they are deadly on wahoo there.
If you get a short strike stay around the area for a bit.
If no bites change up spread every 30-60 minutes.
we have hammered them and there are days where you run to orange and they are shut down.
wahoo also tend to migrate south or north.bite can be on in isaacs but off south.
We have never ever not hooked up hoos if we leave dock before sun up and have spread in water as sun begins to rise.
if you do the typical googans move by leaving dock after sun rises you are already behind.

My boys there now he has but putting on a clinic running boat by himself using yozuris.
pay attention to bottom machine. Sometimes u find a ledge lit up like a tree.

We habe hit 20 fish in few hours and other days struggle for a bite.
Old 02-27-2021, 10:27 AM
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Took me 20 hours of trolling to get my first Wahoo in Bahamas and thatís with tons of advice from some of the best on here on catching them. (Ironworker-lone Ono and a few more). Lots of learning from mistakes.

A slow day of fishing in the Bahamas is better then sitting in my house when itís -40 out
Old 02-27-2021, 10:46 AM
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it takes a while to get it dialed in. Donít get to discouraged.

Only one has given the biggest change I would make. Speed up. Over there (and here now) I run 15-20 mph. Usually closer to 20. And many have said what I noticed this year. They were holding the 350-500 ledge.

if you arenít fishing a moving tide you are just wasting gas most times. Best best is outgoing tides pushing the bait off the bank and towards the ledge where the wahoo wait for food.

Good luck and if nothing else enjoy the view.

Edit. Just saw you wrote knots. Yes keep the speed up there but also put your baits further back. If only running three lines you have plenty of room for error. Usually our first hits until we fully find them are a shotgun cowbell at least 300 back
Old 02-27-2021, 12:14 PM
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Change it up, I always have a cowbell in the spread (maybe because I make/sell them lol). Hiring a guide isnít bad, when you look at the cost of HST worth it IMO.
Old 02-27-2021, 12:23 PM
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Love reading all the “experts” on here. I fish mostly big boats so I usually fish a 4 or 5 rod spread. Your spread is reasonable but mix it up. If it’s not working try fishing one waaaay back but don’t think they don’t bite up close. I like to fish one really short < 50’ back and some of my biggest fish hit that one. Some days it’s the only rod that gets bit. Some days it’s only the shotgun.

Are other boats catching when you’re not? That’s a really important question before you make too many changes to your program. If no one on the dock is cleaning fish at the end of the day, don’t get too frustrated.

Your speeds are reasonable. Going faster allows you to cover more ground but doesn’t make fish bite better. If you’re getting cuda bites speed up until they stop. I’ve caught wahoo in 70’ of water and I’ve caught cudas in 1000’. There’s just a lot more cudas in shallow. They’re less likely to pester you if you speed up, but if the cudas aren’t bad I find the wahoo bites I get at 12 kts are more positive and likely to stick than those at 20 kts.

As for fishing tides... First let me say that if someone says you can’t catch fish on a slack tide they don’t know what they’re talking about. SOME days that is true. But some of my best wahoo days have been non-stop action ONLY on the slack tide. The “changing” tide (a short period of slack) is often the best time. I used to think the first hour of ebb was best and I have a log book showing many successful trips which coincide with that. But if you do this long enough you will find that fish don’t read the rule books. Secondly, tide charts are not as accurate as some would have you believe - especially in the Bahamas. Atmospheric conditions and moon phases cause variations which I have never found a chart that accounted for. Fish through the change of tide.

Fishing first/last light is one thing that definitely helps but it sounds like you’re already doing that. Keep it up. If nothing else, first one on the grounds before the crowd overhead spooks them is sometimes the only one who catches.

Lastly, you said you use a shock leader, good.... How long is it? How heavy is the leader material? How big are the swivels you are using? Wahoo have very good eyesight. When I started wahoo fishing back in the 90’s all my leaders were 400# test and 20-25’ long with 300# test swivels and short wire leaders to the lure. The faster you troll and more lead you use, the heavier the shock cord will need to be but in recent years I have toned down my shock cords. I now use Spro swivels to reduce the size (250#) and 200-250# test leader that’s 40’ long. When my numbers were trailing off I started that change and it has helped, although now there is a hell of a lot more people doing it so the overall numbers are lower. The exception to this would be if you are fishing the outer islands. If you do that, keep the heavier shock cords. Wouldn’t want to see you lose that 100 pounder..

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Old 02-27-2021, 02:35 PM
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Great thread. Subbed
Old 02-27-2021, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptTommy70 View Post
Love reading all the ďexpertsĒ on here. I fish mostly big boats so I usually fish a 4 or 5 rod spread. Your spread is reasonable but mix it up. If itís not working try fishing one waaaay back but donít think they donít bite up close. I like to fish one really short < 50í back and some of my biggest fish hit that one. Some days itís the only rod that gets bit. Some days itís only the shotgun.

Are other boats catching when youíre not? Thatís a really important question before you make too many changes to your program. If no one on the dock is cleaning fish at the end of the day, donít get too frustrated.

Your speeds are reasonable. Going faster allows you to cover more ground but doesnít make fish bite better. If youíre getting cuda bites speed up until they stop. Iíve caught wahoo in 70í of water and Iíve caught cudas in 1000í. Thereís just a lot more cudas in shallow. Theyíre less likely to pester you if you speed up, but if the cudas arenít bad I find the wahoo bites I get at 12 kts are more positive and likely to stick than those at 20 kts.

As for fishing tides... First let me say that if someone says you canít catch fish on a slack tide they donít know what theyíre talking about. SOME days that is true. But some of my best wahoo days have been non-stop action ONLY on the slack tide. The ďchangingĒ tide (a short period of slack) is often the best time. I used to think the first hour of ebb was best and I have a log book showing many successful trips which coincide with that. But if you do this long enough you will find that fish donít read the rule books. Secondly, tide charts are not as accurate as some would have you believe - especially in the Bahamas. Atmospheric conditions and moon phases cause variations which I have never found a chart that accounted for. Fish through the change of tide.

Fishing first/last light is one thing that definitely helps but it sounds like youíre already doing that. Keep it up. If nothing else, first one on the grounds before the crowd overhead spooks them is sometimes the only one who catches.

Lastly, you said you use a shock leader, good.... How long is it? How heavy is the leader material? How big are the swivels you are using? Wahoo have very good eyesight. When I started wahoo fishing back in the 90ís all my leaders were 400# test and 20-25í long with 300# test swivels and short wire leaders to the lure. The faster you troll and more lead you use, the heavier the shock cord will need to be but in recent years I have toned down my shock cords. I now use Spro swivels to reduce the size (250#) and 200-250# test leader thatís 40í long. When my numbers were trailing off I started that change and it has helped, although now there is a hell of a lot more people doing it so the overall numbers are lower. The exception to this would be if you are fishing the outer islands. If you do that, keep the heavier shock cords. Wouldnít want to see you lose that 100 pounder..
wow. can't buy that information. thank you for sharing. good stuff.
Old 02-27-2021, 05:15 PM
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Curious WTF you mean by so called experts? Cause your name says “ captain “ now your an expert?some of the so called experts “ stack 15-20 wahoos on dock . Maybe I should change name to captain then .
You post summarized most of wha everyone else has posted.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wangotango321 View Post
Curious WTF you mean by so called experts? Cause your name says ď captain ď now your an expert?some of the so called experts ď stack 15-20 wahoos on dock . Maybe I should change name to captain then .
You post summarized most of wha everyone else has posted.
ďStacking 15-20 wahoos on the dockĒ doesnít impress me. Sorry. I usually stop at 3 or 4 unless I have a big group. But I would recommend no more than my crew can eat in a week which is rarely more than 10-20 pounds of meat per person (meaning they will feed their families that much)and usually a lot less than that. Freezing wahoo is wasting it. If your average wahoo is in the thirty pound range thatís 15 pounds of meat per fish (if youíre good) so basically I keep 1 fish per crew man with maybe an extra one or two to provide bonuses for my mechanics and other service people).

Iíve been doing this (wahoo fishing) for over 25 years and professional offshore fishing for over 40 and people pay me a lot of money so I would say I am at least qualified.

If there is one thing I know is a fact about fishing - Any time ANY fisherman speaks in absolutes theyíre not worth listening to.

I donít pretend to know everything. After 40-plus years I still learn new stuff nearly every day. You catch fish by being there, putting strong tackle into the fight and BEING FLEXIBLE. Start with a plan and try different things. Donít throw away your plans if there isnít fish being caught around you.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:17 PM
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I just reread it all. No one spoke in ďabsolutesĒ. Just offering advice. Best part is you gave the most common practices that give the most common results as the rest of us did. I think thatís important to keep in mind for someone starting out. When you offer the ďI caught one this way and that wayĒ you are correct but those are not the best chances. Itís like the catches of dolphins, sails, and kings from the piers. Yes it has been done but itís not the preferred practice for best chances. Of course you can catch a wahoo on a slack ride in 70 feet but itís not the most common way.

as everyone has said there is a lot of good info here but when starting out if you go all over the place you tend to not perfect one system. For example my favorite is a WWB BUT I also fish a short now after I got the WWB and mid spread dialed in. Trust me I prefer they hit the short so I can get a quad hit but this year they seemed to prefer the WWB bell in single and double strikes.

also congrats on being in the business for X many years and being able to make money doing a passion type job. Being sincere. Just might not want to be a crab ass when having a different opinion lol

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Old 02-27-2021, 07:42 PM
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Without hijacking the thread. I will add one last remark.

My main point to the OP is that he is on the right track. He is not NOT catching fish because heís going too slow or too shallow or not fishing lines at the right length or fishing slack tide. All those details can be dialed in to each and every fishermanís own experiences and tastes. As I said, fishermen read rule books, fish donít.

Speeding up is something worth trying if heís not getting bites but I rarely go 15 knots or up and usually concentrate around 11-13kts or 9-10 with baits and I catch very well.
Fishing a WWB is worth trying, as is a short short, but if the fish arenít there that day it wonít matter.
Lighter shock leaders are worth trying - but if theyíre biting well you can use 500# leader and 400#cable at the lure and theyíll eat it.

Final last comment. LETíS CONSERVE OUR WAHOO! Killing more wahoo than you can possibly eat just to give it all away hurts ALL OF US in the long run.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Surreel Life View Post
I just reread it all. No one spoke in “absolutes”. Just offering advice.
Sorry to disagree but I did include one “absolute”. Never, never, ever drive straight. I’ve been doing my own brand of HST for over 30 years and the common denominator of people struggling to put fish on the boat is getting complacent and driving straight. I have helped hundreds of people up their HST game over the years and know through feedback that keeping the spread dynamic is easy and productive. Trolling is a magic act, you need to bring the illusion to life.

I do agree with the captain on over-harvesting the resource. I do not fish for frozen fish. BUT, not all of us are lucky enough to be able to go on a regular basis so I do not see any reason for a person who goes out five times and takes two fish each time to be condescending towards someone who can only go out once and takes 10 fish.

My true goal is to harvest in the shortest possible time and distance. Many of my trips are less than an hour dock-to-dock, take one fish, or maybe two. To that end I chose the when and where carefully and I too have the catch records to prove my most productive times are not on slack tide.

Last edited by Lone Ono; 02-27-2021 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:40 AM
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Fish the drop off just off the islands and speed up a little. Make sure you are fishing the tide, I have had luck in both but prefer and incoming and I avoid slack tide.
Old 02-28-2021, 04:51 AM
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The goal in Bimini is to find the fish, out in front of Bimini is not very productive. Try fishing the corner up by Issac’s or south of Cat towards Orange.
Till I find them lures, when I do baits.
‘Some days you can catch 10,other days might be lucky to get one.
my preferred method is a bait combo.

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