Big wahoo are a big deal, and the 101-pounder caught by angler Derrick Dover while fishing with his dad Tony and brother Andrew Oct. 1 on the “Muscle Memories” boat is a record breaker.
They were entered in the popular Destin Fishing Rodeo, headquartered in the town of Destin in Florida’s Panhandle.
The anglers had first targeted grouper that morning. But slow bottom fishing made them start trolling, and it didn’t take long for them to hook and boat a 30-pound wahoo.
Derrick Dover told the Destin Log they were fishing 30 miles southwest of Destin. And after the first wahoo, they hooked another one that struck a Jag-A-Hoo Blue Water Candy lure.
“We were in the same area,” he told the Destin Log. “It took off and just kept going. I thought, ‘Oh this is a big one’.”
The wahoo screamed off a sizzling run lasting almost a minute before Derrick could turn the fish and start fighting it back toward their boat.
“Then I thought it got off because it started coming toward us, so I’m cranking and cranking,” he said.
But the fish wasn’t lost, it just rocketed toward their boat. Then it turned and zipped off on another scorching run.
Dover fought the fish through several runs, still not knowing how big the fish was, nor for sure that it even was a wahoo.
“He was down deep under the motor,” he said.
Then the anglers spotted the fish below the boat, and knew it was something special.
“He was huge, and nerves started to set in,” said Derrick who didn’t want to lose the prized wahoo. “After dad stuck the gaff in him, he was done.”
Back at the Rodeo weigh-in at Destin the fish officially scaled 101-pounds, breaking the previous Rodeo record of 98.2-pounds, set in 2010 by angler Omar Breiz.
The Florida record wahoo weighed 139.56-pounds, caught off Marathon in the Florida Keys in May, 1960 by angler George Von Hoffman.