San Diego Wahoo
Jeff Zachary, a San Diego native, may have just broken the unofficial state record for wahoo. On October 14th Jeff left Mission Bay, San Diego, on a solo mission for redemption. He had fished the previous week looking for wahoo, but after several jigstrikes that didn’t stick he was 0 for 4. At 5 am he pointed his 26-foot Blackman Outer Banks towards the last place he had hooked up, near the 9-mile bank, and started trolling.
Running three lines, he hit his first round of ‘hoos at 8:30 am, near slack tide, for a double hookup. It took him 20 minutes to pull in his first “skinny” of 48-pounds., but he lost the second which came unbuttoned while he was busy reeling in the first.
A few minutes later he was back on the water looking for round two. He decided to troll back over the same path where he hooked the first two and try his luck once more.
Within ten minutes Jeff was bit again for another double!
After fighting the first fish for a couple of minutes Jeff realized something was very different about this one. This time the fish acted squirrelly and showed no sign of giving in. It took a lot of line whenever it wanted to. Jeff took his time and 45-minutes later he finally got the fish beside the boat.
“When I saw the fish at the boat, I knew I was in trouble.”, said Jeff.
The wahoo was giant and Jeff had no idea how he was going to get the fish into the boat by himself. With his grip strength spent from the 45-minute fight, he wasn’t sure if he could pull the fish over the rail by himself. He gaffed the fish and decided to bring it back to the swim step and lift it over the back that way. No dice. Then he saw a rope on his deck and thought about tying a tail wrap to haul it in, but the rope was too short. Finally he brought the fish over to the starboard side and did what no fisherman would do unless in dire straits. With the gaff in one hand, he wrapped his other hand around the cable leader and was able to lift the wahoo 1/3 of the way onto the gunnel, which allowed the fish to slide onto the deck of his boat.
Barely dodging the razor-sharp teeth, Jeff angled the wahoo’s head to slide between his legs and he was able to get a good look at his monster catch for the first time. The beast was almost as long as the boat! Spent, out of breath, and sapped of energy, he then remembered that he was stopped on a double hookup and the other fish was still on the line. He grabbed a water bottle, splashed some water over his head, took a deep breath, and went to work on the other fish, which turned out to be a 68-pound wahoo. Out of energy, he brought in the lines and called it a day.
It was time to see how big his monster catch really was.
Jeff recalled, “I had the day of the century. Fishing for wahoo in my own backyard is spectacular enough, but to be able to put three big wahoo in the boat is just incredible.”
Jeff was finally able to weigh his monster wahoo on an official IGFA scale at a whopping 93.3-pounds The fish had bled out so it could have easily been closer to a 95-pound fish. His incredible catch was caught on a Shimano Tiagra 50W with a dorado-colored marauder.
The unofficial all-tackle record for wahoo in the state of California is 84-pounds and Jeff has contacted the State and filled out all the paperwork in hopes that his fish will break that record.