I'm still in 7th grade, and don't get to go often because I got a Latin teacher to deal with, and I live up in the North, but I have read countless articles and spoken to many captains about one of my favorite types of fishing: Trolling for Wahoo.
First of all, don't use mono as a leader! Mono will be as affective against a wahoo's teeth, as it will be against the scissors u use to cut that line to a length with, because their teeth work exactly like scissors. Use single strand wire, or cable. Depending on where your fishing, and what you expect, use a different type of leader. If your fishing off the reef for a charter, and are expecting 20-65 lb wahoo, you can use single strand wire as light as 100lb, which actually is very popular in many types of Florida. However, if your high speed trolling 10+ knots off h Bahamas, and are expecting 65 to 150 lb wahoo, lots of fishermen will use 480lb+ cable wire, to a prerigged 9/0 double hookset. However, when your fishing in that 1st scenario I described,trolling at a regular speed, rig a ballyhoo with 105 lb leader, and put a skirt over it.
Now, when your choosing that skirt, you want a bullet shaped lure that will shoot through the water in a straight line, and stay submerged unlike the bubblers that pop and dive and make bubbles that the mahi and billfish like. Also, base the size of your skirt on the bonita that you catch around you, because that is their main course meal: bonita. If they dont get that large around where you fish, just don't get that 13-16 inch heavy bullet head wahoo lure like what you use in the Bahamas. A 8-9 inch ilander on a ballyhoo is very popular. For the colors, wahoo like dark colors: black, red, black, purple, etc. However, this is usually what you fish when the weather is normal, sunlight is shining, and this is not too cloudy. When it is real cloudy though, and not much sun is shining, you want to throw some lighter colors in your spread too, so the wahoo can see the lure better.
Now, on to the next part of the rig. Generally, there are two types of saltwater wahoo trolling rigs. As I stated earlier, a popular rig, is just take a ballyhoo, rig it with an 8/0 hook and 105 lb leader, stick an 8 ounce weight at the top, and you're good! However, many people go much heavier when wahoo trolling. If you are going to use that heavier and longer skirt and that 9/0 double hookset rig with a 600lb cable leader, what you want on that leader is a 15-40 foot shock chord of mono, usually 250 or 400 lb line with swivels of equal strength crimped onto both sides. Then, attached to that is a 16 to 48 ounce heavy bullet weight with cable leaders on both sides, because often times, that wahoo will see that weight flying through the water, and attack it as if it were a bonita. If its mono or braid, you have just lost a whole rig, which can end up getting pretty expensive.
Now, to the rod. When your fishing that lighter tackle, you want a trolling rod, that is relatively flexible, rated with a 50-80 lb line rating. Some captains will fish 30-50 lb lighter tackle, but the most commonly used is this 50-80 lb trolling rod. Now, when our fishing that heavier tackle, you might want a bit stiffer, and heavier trolling rod. A common line rating is a 50-130 or 80-130 lb. Now, onto the but of your rod. if your want to fight the fish straight out of the rod holder, you want the bent but, which also helps in keeping the lure submerged because it is closer to the water. If you want to fight him by hand, you want a straight but, but will have to let the lines out a bit further to keep the lure fully submerged.
The most commonly used reel for wahoo is a two speed reel sizes 50w to 80w. You can get away with a 30 w, but you usually want a larger reel. The advantage of a two speed reel, is that when a wahoo strikes, it has used most of his energy in the initial run to eat the lure, and that run after it takes the lure. You want to have your reel in strike setting, with a looser drag, so it won't spit the lure out, or cut you off because these are fast and extremely strong fish, that if the drag is too tight, you have lost a fish and a rig. With wahoo, you just have to let them run when they want to run. Once the wahoo slows down its run and is hooked, you can switch the reel into full setting, and slowly crank the fish back to gaff him. Two popular reels are he shimano tiagra, and penn international, although I don't own one myself because they are expensive and a 7th grader only has that much money.
When you are spooling your reel,her you have a few options. The most often used, is 80 lb mono line, and depending on how much line capacity your reel has, either braid or mono following. However, many fishermen still et away with 50 or 65 lb mono. Another options, is braid. With braid however, you want to go a lot heavier such as 150 lb line, because it does not provide the stretch that mono line does. Another option, is wire line. Many tournament fishermen will use wire line as the whole spool. Keep in mind, that you want a good 500+ yards of line on your reel because a wahoo can easily take out 300 yards of line on its initial run.
Where and when:
The best wahoo fishing in Florida and most other places takes place in winter and early spring: December to march. However, do not be surprised if you run into one in September or in April or May. When you are wahoo fishing, wahoo like to hang out at the edge of reefs, where it gets deep, into deeper waters. However, wahoo are clever fish, especially the older ones. So don't think that if you are not getting bites he is not there. They will sit in an area all day, and watch your boat pass by with lures all day, until he feels convinced, and rushes at what he thinks is a bonita. So be patient!
That was my last piece of advice for you when wahoo fishing, if you do end up going, good luck, and if you need any rod, reel, lure, rig recommendations. Comment the price range and how heavy tackle you want to fish below, and i will give you some options!