Wachapreague VA – On June 23, 2012, Susan Nelson, of Whiteford, MD boated a 122 pound, 1 ounce wahoo while fishing with Capt. Keith Neal aboard the Wachapreague-based charter vessel, Teaser. The huge fish measured 80.25 inches in length with a whopping 33″ girth. The Teaser was a participant in the MSSA tournament and hooked the large fish while trolling for tuna off the Lumpy Bottom on a Joe Shute Lure and ballyhoo combination. Nelson landed the fish using a custom rod with a Shimano Tiagra reel loaded with 80# Mamoi Hi-Catch Diamond line, The lure/ballyhoo combination was rigged on a 130 mono leader with a Mustad hook. The fish was positively identified by VSFT State Record Committee member Bill Hall, in accordance with VSFT State Record procedures. Hall also completed the State Record Application.
According To Capt. Neal, the wahoo hit the bait as it was fished from the longrigger and made a blistering run. The fish came up to the surface four times but did not jump causing the crew to think that it was foul hooked a blue marlin. The fifth time that the fish surfaced during the 45-minute fight, the crew saw the telltale stripes and initially thought striped marlin but knew that they were not native to the Atlantic Ocean, then they realized that it was monster wahoo hooked on a monofilament leader.
“We knew we had one shot at gaffing it with the mono leader,” Capt. Neal commented. “The fish came along side and the mate hit it with the gaff, but the gaff’s rubber handle pulled off. We put a second gaff in it and pulled it on board. I knew it was big and first estimated it around 90-pounds. When I pulled out the tape measurer and it stretched the tape to 80-inches, I knew we had a much bigger fish and called my wife as soon as we got close enough to shore to get a cell signal. When she looked up the existing state record, I knew we had a shot at beating it.”
The fish was weighed in on scales certified in April of 2012 at the Wachapreague Marina.