WAHOO I Acanthocybium solanderi (Cuvier, :831); SCOMBRIDAE FAMILY ; also called oahu fish, Pacific kingfish

Found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas. Pelagic and seasonally migratory, the wahoo tends to be a loner or to Travel in small groups of 2 to 6 fish. There are, however, indications of seasonal concentrations off the Pacific coasts of Panama, C; .sf:. Rica and Baja California in the summer, off Grand Cayman (Atlantic) in the winter and spring, and off the western Bahamas and Bermuda in the spring and fall.

The upper jaw of the wahoo is movable and the teeth (45 64 on the upper jaw and 32 50 on the lower jaw) are large, strong and laterally compressed. The gill structure differs from that of other members of the tuna and mackerel family (Scombridae), most closely resembling the gill structure of the marlins. Additionally, the wahoo has no gill taken. The well defined lateral line dips noticeably near the middle of the first dorsal fm, further forward than on the similar looking tanguigue (Scomberomorus commerson), and is wavy back to the tail. The wahoo's first dorsal fm is long with 23 27 spines. The second dorsal fin with 13 15 rays and the anal fin with 12 14 rays are very small. The back is a brilliant, deep, blue sometimes described as metallic or electric blue. Blight blue vertical bands, or "tiger stripes," flow down the sides onto the silver and sometimes join into pairs on the belly. These beautiful stripes ate not, however, always prominent in large specimens and occasionally may be missing entirely.

The wahoo feeds on squid and pelagic fishes, including small mackerel and tuna, flying fish, puffers, and generally whatever appears desirable since few fish can escape. It is often found around wrecks and reefs where smaller fish are abundant, but it may also be found far out at sea.

It is reputed to be one of the fastest fish in the sea, attaining speeds of 50 mph (80 km) and more. The first scorching run of a hooked wahoo may peel off several hundred yards of fine in seconds, and the heat generated by the friction has been known to bum out the drag on some reels. Occasionally this fish jumps on the strike and often shakes its head violently when hooked in an effort to free itself. Fishing methods include trolling with whole, rigged Spanish mackerel, mullet, ballyhoo, squid or other small baits as well as with strip baits or artificial lures. Live bait fishing and kite fishing are productive, but the wahoo is a relatively scarce species and is usually taken incidentally while fishing for other oceanic species. The wahoo has commercial importance in some countries. The flesh is finely grained and sweet and is considered excellent eating.