If you Google today’s animal, you will probably come up with a lot of recipes, including a popular one for Wahoo Fish Tacos. Yes, it appears the Wahoo not only has a fun name but is famous among fishermen…..and food enthusiasts. This large fish can be found worldwide in tropical and sub-tropical oceans and has different names in different areas. For example, this fish is known as the “Ono” in Hawaii, while our friends in Central America typically refer to them as “Peto”. No matter what you call them the Wahoo is impressive for several reasons so let’s find out a little more, shall we?
Athlete of the Sea
Besides their apparently tasty meat, the Wahoo is famous in the fishing circles for their large size, incredible speed and tenacious attitude. This member of the mackerel family is capable of reaching an astounding weight of 81.6 kg (180 lbs ) and can reach swimming speeds up to 80 km/hr (50 mph). You add those two characteristics together and you have one heck of a fishing experience. When you add in the incredibly sharp teeth of the Wahoo, you create the ultimate fish for avid fishermen (or fisherwomen).
The Wahoo Steroid Scandal
As a biologist, I am impressed with the character traits mentioned above, however, I am more impressed with how quickly these fish can pack on weight. In one study, a 5 kg (11 lb) Wahoo was captured. Only one year later, this tagged fish managed to grow to an amazing 15 kg (33 lbs). Now this may not seem that impressive but for a fish that is competing for resources with countless other animals….this is biologically incredible. If this particular fish played baseball, I guarantee they would be randomly tested for steroids.
A Gracious Host
For the most part the Wahoo prefers to live alone or in loose groups of two or three fish. Although, if the conditions are right (i.e. there is plenty of food), they have been known to form schools consisting of a 100+ individuals. I have a feeling that these schools would be a fishermen’s dream. So what type of food do they feed on? Typically, this fish prefers tasty squid, however, they will pretty much eat any fish they can get their mouths on. It also appears that the Wahoo is known to provide a nice, comfy home for a trematode parasite. Many specimens captured have this parasite living inside their stomachs, however, it doesn’t seem to harm the fish, I hope they are at least charging a decent amount for rent.