The midnight lump is just one of THOUSANDS of such formations in the gulf. It is just a salt dome on the bottom which is a very common item especially in that part of the gulf, hence the number of oil and nat gas operations in the gulf of mexico. If you want to get the real scoop on where the fish live n the gulf check out rodnreel.com and take a look at mike lane's series on life around the platforms in the area. It is called towers of life.
I remember reading (or hearing) that there is a lot of research that still has to be completed on this species. I don't know if scientist know enough about them yet to determine if the lump is the sole breeding ground for Wahoo.
It could be the case but I sure as heck don't know.
The lump is not the spawning ground for the entire gulf. The lump is about 1 square mile in size. Not nearly big enough for something like this. There are other areas like this throughout the Gulf as well. Wahoo generally spawn in May-October in our area but it is possible they spawn year round in areas that stay warm all year. During May-October it is rare to catch a wahoo on the lump unless a good rip line passes thru it. This puts wahoo on the lump during a supposedly non spawning time. But, there is still not much proof of where Wahoo actually spawn. The main reason that fish pile up, especially wahoo, is for the food. We've got a huge mullet migration offshore that the wahoo and tuna feed off of and a big menhadden population this time of the year. This is why I believe they are here.
The life span of a wahoo is about 5-6 yrs. old. It is very hard to manage or study fish that live for a short period. Just like mahi mahi they only live about 4 years so they are hard to manage. However, NMFS has set limits on dolphin and wahoo in the Atlantic, so I would have to guess the EEZ (gulf of mexico) isn't that far behind. Wahoo have been tagged before, I think in the pacific somewhere and when the tagged fish was caught and reported, I think it traveled close to 2000 miles in 5 or 6 months. So when you have a fish that moves or possibly migrates this distance, it is very hard to keep track of or manage this fish. There is still a lot of info. that is unknown about hoos but as time goes you will see more studies on them.
The lump may be a hot spot for the wahoo spawn in the northern gulf, but we are talking about a fish that can swim as fast as we average in a car, add some current at it's tail and it can cover some serious water. I think wahoo from here could be caught anywhere through out the caribbean down to south america, perhaps off africa then over to North Carolina. The old timer might be right but unless he was mating with some hottie wahoo, how would he know? Scientist don't know very much about most of the pelagics mating routines.
BFTM- dead on about the amount of water that seems to be covered by these fish. Looks like they need a lot more study to know anything relevant to the discussion. BTW- this old timer has mated with some hotties in his day! However, he got greedy one time, swallowed the hook, and is still flopping on the deck wondering what happened!!!!
Thanks for the replies guys. I had my doubts about it being the only place, but still there's no data on where they spawn. Maybe its just where they happen to be when the time comes. I believe there's got to be more to it.