Huge Wahoo Caught off South Carolina After Hour-Long Battle With Fishermen


A massive wahoo fish weighing almost 120 pounds has been caught by fishermen in South Carolina.

Images of the huge fish were posted to Facebook on the South Carolina Wahoo Series page. The post can be found here.

They showed five men from the crew of the ship Reel Labor standing side by side holding the fish. Outdoor Life reported the animal weighed in at 119.3 pounds and measured almost seven feet in length.

Reel Labor and their captain Mark Pate caught the fish about 70 miles off the coast of South Carolina.

“That fish showed us what a 120-pound wahoo can do,” Pate told Outdoor Life. “One that big is a whole different class of wahoo, and its run [was] impossible to believe unless you [witnessed] it.

“Its first run was 600 yards, and there was nothing to do but watch the reel scream and the line evaporate off the spool like it was tied to a Ford pickup in a drag race. The reel actually got hot from that run … It rocketed into a run like we’d never seen previously—and we’ve been chasing wahoo for a long time.”

Wahoo are popular with recreational fishermen. They live in the tropical and subtropical oceans across the world, plus the Mediterranean.

Outdoor Life said the Reel Labor crew included anglers Justin Dox, J.R. Spencer, Chris Mills, and Scott Farmer alongside Pate. The fishermen had to take turns on the line as they battled to reel the wahoo in. It took them an hour to get it close to the boat and struggled to get it out of the water.

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Eventually the crew managed to stick the fish with gaff hooks—sharp hooks attached to long poles—and hauled it up onto the deck.

Reel Labor’s catch was the largest in South Carolina Wahoo Series history so far, the competition said on their Facebook page. But it still came up short compared to the world record. The largest ever wahoo caught weighed 184 pounds according to the International Game Fish Association. It was caught by Sara Haywood off the coast of Mexico in 2005.

Pate and the crew voiced pride in their catch and are still competing in the series.

“It’s the fish of a lifetime … Three of our five-man crew will have a replica mount made of the fish, because none us expects to ever get another one like this,” Pate said.

The 2022 South Carolina Wahoo Series runs from February 11 to April 17.

“There is a lot of fishing left, less then 20 boats have fished one day out of the 162-boat field,” Marc Pincus who helps run the competition told Newsweek. “I believe it will be exciting down to the wire, fishing has been good and these teams can catch them.”

“When you get a bite, it’s extremely exciting! [Wahoo] burn the reel down as one of the fastest fish out there. On top of the excitement of catching them, they are a great eating fish. Right up there with Tuna, you can do sushi, on up to blackened and it is delicious. One of my favorites to eat and catch.”

This article has been updated to include quotes from Marc Pincus.

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Stock image of huge wahoo fish. The Reel Labor crew’s catch weighed in at just under 120 pounds. Chris world/Getty Images

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>