Great tips for catching more Wahoo off the Virginia Beach Coast
By Don Malkowski
Fuel prices are growing over $4.00 a gallon, so optimizing your day offshore is going to be key this fishing season. We will all need to do more research and planning for our fishing trips. We’ll be waiting for the perfect weather windows, pristine water conditions on the fishing grounds, as well as pulling the throttles back just a touch. And if we’re cruising the bluewater at ‘chugging’ speeds, why not have some baits behind the boat?
Here’s a simple rig that is primarily used while targeting wahoo at high speeds. Just remember this…the same fish that a wahoo craves, are the same entrées that tuna, mahi and marlin have on their menus.
Here’s what you’ll need.
–A Lure. This can be an Islander, a G&H Custom Lures bullet head, a small chugger style like a Get Reel Lure T.C.B., or any jet head.
–Two squid skirts about 12-13 inches long
–10/0-11/0 J-Hook. The one pictured is a Mustad 7731 11/0
–Egg sinkers. (1) 4oz and (7-9) ½ oz.
–5-6 feet of 49 strand stainless steel cable 480 lb test
–Short piece of Heat -Shrink (not pictured)
–Crimp sleeves size 1.9
–Crimpers and Cable Cutters
First step is to crimp the hook to one end of the cable. I usually put a simple knot in the wire before crimping. To make the knot, run the tag end through the eye of the hook, around the loop in the cable twice, and then through the eye of the hook again. Cinch the knot down tight as you can towards the hook eye then crimp. This adds a little extra security at the hook.
Next cover the cable knot and hook eye with a piece of heat-shrink cut long enough to cover the tag end of the crimp and part of the hook shank. This adds stiffness to the rig so the hook acts like a gaff when the fish strikes, penetrating the fish’s mouth. It also helps prevent cuts from frayed strands on the end of the cable.
Now lay one of the squid skirt alongside the hook and cable so that the curve of the hook is just beyond the tail of the skirt. You can now determine how many ½ oz sinkers you’ll need to keep proper spacing on the hook.
Once you’ve determined the number of sinkers, you can start threading them on the cable. After the 4 oz egg sinker goes onto the rig, you can layer up the two squid skirts as you desire. Normally, it’s dark over light colors. The 4 oz egg should slide up into the head of the squid skirts.
Now add the lure, crimp a simple loop in the end of the cable and the rig is ready to catch!
To complete the entire set up you’ll want to make up a 10 to 12 foot section of mono (300-400 pound) with a heavy duty snap swivel on one end and a heavy duty barrel swivel on the other. The snap end will be attached to the loop on the cable, while the barrel swivel will be connected to a trolling weight. The trolling weight will help keep the rig sub-surface as you’re trolling at speeds from 12 to 20 knots. The mono helps as a shock absorber when the fish hits.
This rig is for med-heavy to heavy tackle. You’ll need trolling rods with at least 50 pound glass reels spooled with 60 to 80 pound line at slower end of the spectrum. Remember you don’t want to have so much drag set on the reels preventing the line from creeping off that when the fish hits, there’s no longer drag to keep the line in one piece. The more speed, the more drag. Run these rigs back deep, out of the wash at staggered distances. Two or three lines are sufficient.
So on your next excursion to the fishing grounds, make every minute count! Get out there and … Catch ‘em Up!
Make Everyday a Blue Marlin Day!