The fall wahoo fishing off Atlantic Beach has gotten off to an early start, according to Capt. Mike Webb of Pelagic Sportfishing, who isn’t sure what has caused this good fortune be said the cooler-than-usual summer probably fits into the mix.

“There are still lots of dolphin around, too,” Webb said. “The water is in the 80s just about everywhere, so we usually begin the day a little shallower than we will in a month or so when the water has cooled some. Sometimes we get into a good dolphin bite inshore and catch a few before heading farther out. Sometimes the wahoo are feeding shallow too.”

Webb (252-904-3361) said because of the presence of a decent number of blackfin tuna, plus a very occasional yellowfin, he typically starts trolling with a mixed spread good for anything.

“We begin with a multi-line spread that includes long and short outrigger lines on each side, at least one bridge line, a planer line and a flat line off the transom,” Webb said. “Each line has a medium ballyhoo, with some fished (without a lure or skirt) and some are rigged into lures and skirts. When we are chasing wahoo, all the baits are rigged on wire leaders.

“Most mornings we have been starting at the break, just offshore of the 90-foot drop and trolling our way towards deeper water,” Webb said. “Typically, there is a little early action right there at the break, but it slows into the morning. As we fish, I look for rips, weed lines, grass patties, temperature breaks, color changes – anything that tends to concentrate bait – and fish along one of them toward deeper water.” 

Webb said one mistake many fishermen make is to run over the fish in their rush to get offshore. He said to pay attention, and when you see those unmistakable signs to stop and give it a try. Usually you catch a few and sometimes you hit the jackpot. Webb said wahoo caught in 120 feet of water fight just as hard and taste just as good as their cousins at 300 feet.