Wahoo or Ono, which means “delicious” in Hawaiian, is a pelagic fish found in all the world’s tropical and subtropical waters including the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Also known as the Pacific kingfish, it is closely related to the king mackerel and is a highly prized recreational fish because of its speed and quality.
Wahoo are iridescent bluish green on the upper third of their bodies fading to silver on the lower two-thirds. They have 25 to 30 colbalt blue vertical bars extending alongside their bodies. Wahoo have large mouths with triangular serrate teeth with a long snout about the size of the rest of its head. Wahoo has a very firm texture and is excellent for grilling.
Wahoo are fast growing and have a short life span, up to nine years. Males reach sexual maturity at about 2.8 feet in length while females reach sexual maturity at 3.3 feet, or about a year old. Wahoo spawn year round, often having multiple spawning events in one year. Spawning extends over long periods and varies between different regions. Their eggs and larvae are pelagic, with female releasing millions of eggs into the water column per year. Adult Wahoo are either solitary or travel in loose-knit groups of two or three fish. Their streamline body and fast speeds allows them to feed on other fish and squid. It is thought that the sharp serrate teeth of Wahoo allow them to render large prey into bite-sized pieces, allowing it to eat fish larger then themselves.
This fishery uses a longline to catch a variety of pelagic fish on the high seas such as tuna and swordfish. A deep-set longline is used to primarily target tuna and a shallow-set longline is used to target swordfish or mixed species including bigeye, Albacore and yellowfin tuna. Baited hooks are attached to a line that floats in the ocean using buoys and flagpoles.
This fishery uses a variety of artisanal hook-and-line methods to catch coastal pelagic fish such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahi mahi, wahoo (ono) and others. A pole and line with live bait scattered into the water is used to catch feeding skipjack tuna. Trolling with lures and lines, and handlines with lures, lines and bait bags are used to target larger fish such as bigeye tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi and wahoo.