Why is a Wahoo Called a Wahoo?

A Wahoo is a tropical species of game fish that is a member of the mackerel family like the tuna. For anglers, it is known not only for its speed and fighting power, but also for its high-quality, white, tasty meat. In fact, it is among the most highly regarded gourmet fish meat, of course, also demanding a hefty price tag. No wonder Hawaiians call this fish “Ono”, which means “delicious”. It is also called by other names in other countries like “Peto” in Central America and the Caribbean, and “Kamasu-sawara” in Japan.

“Wahoo” is quite a peculiar name to call a fish. There are no actual records to explain why a Wahoo is called as such. It is said, however, that the fish’s name originated from the first European explorers who came and mapped the islands of Hawaii. During their first exploration of the islands, they discovered a delectable local fish that thrived in abundance off the island of Oahu. The maps they produced during those times referred to Oahu as “Wahoo”, thus, the fish carried the same name until today.

Regardless of the peculiarity of its name, the Wahoo is among the most-prized game fishes. This fish is incredibly beautiful with iridescent, blue vertical stripes running along its body. It can also reach an amazing size, reaching up to 180 pounds and 8 feet in length! Most importantly, it is known for its unbelievable speed, considered as one of the ocean’s fastest swimmers, with records up to 60 miles an hour!