Family members Richard, Seth and Ethan Hagerty from Pittsburg, hold up massive wahoo they reeled in last weekend.

This past week we struggled day by day to produce fish by applying almost every style of fishing we have in our arsenal. With a full week of full day eight-hour charters behind us I was happy to segue into the weekend and a half-day trip. After sleeping in for the first time in days, I arrived at the boat energized and ready to fish at 11 a.m.

There were two wahoo’s in the 30-pound range less than 20 feet off the back of the boat just seconds after we dropped anchor. Dan and I sprang into action, grabbing live bait rods I had at the ready. The live bait raced away from the boat as fast as it could.

Teaming with excitement I feed the live bait back. My line then went slack as I could see my live bait begin to race back towards the boat. I locked up the reel and started reeling in the slack as fast as I could when a blue streak no more than 30 feet off the back of the boat came racing across the water and engulfed my live bait faster than I could blink. Line was dumping off the reel so fast I thought it might catch fire. I knew at that moment that it could only be a wahoo, effortlessly stripping the line from the reel at an alarming rate.

Quickly I gave the rod to Seth and the fight was on. I stayed with our angler ensuring that he kept the line tight and the rod bent to keep the pressure on the fish. Wahoos are more like sprinters rather than marathon runners, so we turned the fish and starting gaining line back. I stung the wahoo just behind the head with the gaff and slung him in the boat.

Only seconds after a fish hit the deck, another was on a pole. It was another monster, 40-pound wahoo.

With my full attention on our fishermen, Capt. Dan fired out another live bait. After another furiously fast hard fight we had the second wahoo close to the boat. With an even bigger wahoo than our first just 20 feet from the boat, Capt. Dan hooked up another wahoo just feet off the transom. I stretched out as far as I could to make a deep shot as the fish circled 5 feet below the surface just off the back of the boat. The gaff shot was as good as I could have hoped, nailing the fish just behind the head again.

The fish hit the deck of the boat with a thunderous thump and cheers from everyone on board ensued. Capt. Dan scooped up the slob of a wahoo that was every bit of 50 pounds. Even with our large cooler the fish’s tail stuck out 6 inches.

We brined the fish with some saltwater, pulled anchor, and headed back to Key West. We landed five wahoo and our biggest amber jack of the year in just over two hours of fishing.

Garrett Frey is a first mate with Second Nature Charters out of Key West. Their website is and their number is 305-393-0566.


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