Chincoteague Island is one of the best places in Virginia to fish for wahoo. Wahoo are among the fastest and most beautiful pelagic fish. They easily attain speeds exceeding 50 mph and are known for their stealth. The fish are long and slender, with vertical blue stripes. They have blue eyes and a wide opening mouth equipped with razor sharp teeth.
Chincoteague offshore fishing boats begin catching wahoo in mid-summer along the 20 fathom line, fishing at places such as the Parking Lot, 20 fathom finger and Lumpy Bottom. Other good areas to target are many of the lumps and ridges in 30-50 fathoms.
Wahoo are also caught in deepwater areas such as the Washington or Norfolk Canyons. These structures have amazing features which produce conditions that attract several types of fish and other ocean life. West of the canyon walls are shallower but still productive areas. Near the canyon walls, the bottom becomes steeper and rockier. Wahoo and other fish congregate along the dropoffs, waiting to ambush baitfish.
Wahoo use their combination of speed and sharp teeth when hunting. They have been known to charge through a school of fish, with their mouth wide open. Their teeth need only to touch baitfish to slice them cleanly in half. After the initial charge, wahoo may turn and cruise back in lower in the water column, catching any injured or dead fish that sink.
Wahoo are very difficult to catch. Their teeth cut monofilament line effortlessly. When targeting wahoo specifically, many anglers switch to wire in order to avoid being cut off by the fish. Sometimes wire leaders work, but since wahoo have keen eyesight, they sometimes detect the wire leader material and refuse to bite. A switch back to mono might get bites, but then the angler is back to losing rigs and missing fish again!
While wahoo are known for their speed, beauty and difficulty to catch, perhaps their most famous attribute is their table quality. Wahoo are among the most delicious of fish. Their meat is mild and white with a distinctive texture and flavor. Wahoo are delicious grilled, blackened, smoked or broiled.