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Wahoo Fish

Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) is a scombrid fish found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. It is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh make it a prized and valued game fish. In Hawaii, the wahoo is known as ono. The species is sometimes called hoo in the United States. Wahoo is a fast swimmer, reaching speeds of about 50 km/h (31 mph). It can be distinguished from similar family members by the presence of only 10 to 14 dorsal spines and by two anal spines rather than one; also its lateral line has 29-33 scales. The wahoo's first dorsal fin is high and falcate (sickle-shaped). This fish typically ranges in size from 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 0.9 m) long and weighs up to 15 lb (6.8 kg), but it can grow as large as 7 ft (2.1 m) and weigh as much as 60 lb (27 kg). The wahoo's first dorsal fin is high and falcate (sickle-shaped) and its second dorsal fin and anal fins are also unusually high. It has 29-33 scales in the lateral line, 10 to 14 dorsals, two anal spines, 24 vertebrae, and a small filament on the upper jaw. The wahoo is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas and it prefers temperatures ranging from 61°F to 68°F (16-19°C). Wahoos prefer water no deeper than 100m, but they have been recorded at depths as great as 300 meters. Wahoo feed on other fish such as small tuna, mackerel, and squid. The wahoo is capable of swimming 50 km/h (31 mph) and it has been known to jump clear of the water in pursuit of prey. It is also a prized game fish because of its great speed and acrobatic ability. Its flesh is considered excellent eating, although it is comparatively lean. As a result of its high speed and compact body shape, it is difficult to keep a baited hook in the fish's mouth for any length of time. It is caught commercially using longlines or with rod and reel from boats, but trolling from a fast boat behind planers or spoons has also been productive. Its excellence as a game fish has created an expanding market for its flesh, so it is now fished commercially. Wahoos are primarily found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans but have also been caught off the coast of Florida, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, White Island in Aruba, South Africa, New Zealand, and Tasmania. Wahoo has been reported from as far south as the waters of New Zealand to the north, where they are a very popular target for anglers. They are also found in Bermuda and can be caught year-round off North Carolina during their spring spawning run up coastal rivers. They also range from North Carolina to Brazil and French Guiana with a large concentration in the Gulf of Mexico.

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