Angler Shane Overby of Hurricane, W.Va. (from left), Capt. Stuart Lackey and mate Steven Lackey with Renegade's 104-pound, 8-ounce wahoo. Photo provided.
Capt. Stuart Lackey of the Renegade is having quite the year for big wahoo. On a July 2 charter trip on the boat owned by Dr. Quill Turk of Mount Pleasant, angler Shane Overby of Hurricane, W.Va., reeled in a 104-pound, 8-ounce wahoo.
South Carolina's state record wahoo weighed 130 pounds, 5 ounces and was caught in 1998 out of Murrells Inlet.
Earlier this year during the statewater South Carolina Wahoo Series, Lackey and the Renegade emerged with the top prize after weighing wahoos of 88.3 and 65.7 pounds, and capped that by winning the Hilton Head Wahoo Shootout with a 62.4-pound catch.
Lackey said he's caught a dozen wahoos in the 90-pound class during his years of fishing, but that was the first over 100 pounds. As soon as his son Steven, who was mating that day, gaffed the big wahoo and brought it into the boat, Lackey knew it was going to be a 100-pound fish. The fat wahoo measured 72 1/12 inches long. The Renegade crew also boated a 60-pound wahoo on the charter trip.
"The wahoos just showed back up about a week or so ago," Lackey said. "There aren't as many as there were back in April, but the day we caught the big one we caught five and lost three others. People don't know they are out there. I didn't see another boat on the ledge where I was fishing for them.
"You get big balls of bait because the sailfish are showing up and the wahoos are in there with them. A lot of people hook the wahoos but lose them because they are using light monofilament leaders sailfishing."
Lackey said he uses the same techniques during the hot summer months that he does in the spring and fall when wahoo are more plentiful.
"I was trolling 12 to 14 knots. The main thing there is to cover ground and try not to hook as many barracudas. When the water heats up like it is now, the barracudas show up, a bunch of them," Lackey said.
"I use the same lures I use the rest of the time. Darker colors seem to work better -- black, red, purple and black, blue and white. The big one we caught on a black and purple."
Lackey uses 6 to 8 feet of wire leader ahead of the lure with an egg sinker in front of double hook. Ahead of that he fishes a 20-foot length of 250-pound monofilament leader with a heavy trolling weight, 24 to 48 ounces, between the rig and the main line.
"This summer has been a good one. All through April and May we has some pretty good fishing. This year has been better than last," he said.
"In the fall, October, November and December, there's some really great fishing and nobody's going. I catch a lot of wahoos then. I caught 18 one day. There also are blackfin tunas and sailfish here in the fall."