By Tom ‘Buzz’ Bzura, West Palm Beach Fishing Club, Contributing Writer
Wahoo are one of the most coveted species offshore of Palm Beach County. Covering a lot of ground with stout tackle and deep baits usually does the trick. When the moon is full, anglers get on the water in hopes of capitalizing on a productive lunar bite. Each summer the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s (WPBFC) Full Moon Wahoo Series provides a stage for teams to compete around the full moons of June, July and August.
The single heaviest wahoo weighed in the 3-leg series came to the scale during the first full moon fishing day. WPBFC members Mark and Evan McLean of team Reelality Bites kicked off the series right with a 43 lb. wahoo. The impressive fish took top honors on the June moon and was good enough to keep them in the top position overall in the series even through the July moon. The top fish weighed in the second leg was just 26.6 lbs., caught by WPBFC member Guy Bartels and the Yellowfin Builders crew.
The storm force winds of Hurricane Isaias pushed the last leg of the series back from its originally scheduled date, 2 days before the full moon. Participants were pleased to compete a few days after the moon with calm seas, versus the previous week’s hazardous conditions. On this day the Overall Series Champion would be decided by just one-tenth of a pound.
WPBFC members Paul, Will and Bill Sabayrac, Connor Barry and David Kairalla of team Sunscene’s Goin’ Ampa logged a 20.1 lb. wahoo during the final leg of the series, adding to their 23 lb. wahoo caught in July. They were the only team to catch 2 wahoo in the series. The second fish brought their aggregate total to 43.1 lbs., nudging their way atop the series leaderboard by just .1 of a pound! Here’s the kicker, the Sunscene’s Goin’ Ampa crew leadered their winning wahoo through the back tuna door and did not gaff the fish. Little did they know that would be all the difference in preserving the fish’s weight till it hit the scale. “That was the best gaff shot I ever missed”, said Connor Barry while at Sailfish Marina. Their two fish aggregate shows that consistency really is key in securing the title of Overall Series Champions.
Club members Mike Tucker and Steve Bishop of team Mix It Up/Maschmeyer Concrete barely missed the winning mark, giving everyone a run for their money, weighing in a 42 lb. wahoo during the final leg of the series to take top daily for August and finish 3rd overall. The last wahoo of the series hit the scale at an even 27 lbs. well after 8:30 pm, caught by WPBFC members Max and Jennifer Lichtig of team Ebbtide while fishing the afternoon bite.
A total of 72 teams fished throughout the series with 50+ on the water each moon. 11 wahoo were caught in total, by 10 different teams. Thank you to all the WPBFC members who participated! It’s an exciting time to be a part of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club and get involved in some of the many angling tournaments/contests happening now.