A wahoo caught off the coast of Southern California could be the first true catch of the species in U.S. Pacific Coast waters.
Strange things are happening in the Pacific. Warmer water temperatures and unusual weather patterns - the result of an El Niño - are causing tropical fish to migrate farther north than they normally do. As a result, California fishermen have made some unusual catches this summer. Catches like the wahoo California angler Eric Kim landed last Saturday.
Kim's wahoo is believed to be the first genuine catch of the species in U.S. Pacific Coast waters, according to GrindTV. Wahoo are common in Mexico's Sea of Cortez and southern Baja peninsula, but they are rarely, if ever, found as far north as southern California.
Kim was trolling for tuna from the sport fishing vessel The Joker 10 miles off the coast of Orange County when he hooked the fish.
"I just thought it was a lone dorado or tuna, but then I felt the weight and thought this is actually a better fish," Kim told PFO Radio. "I got it to color and we couldn't believe it. It was a freaking wahoo."
Milton Love, a UC Santa Barbara scientist and Pacific Coast fish expert, told GrindTV that Kim's wahoo is thought to be the first true wahoo ever caught in U.S. Pacific Coastal waters.
"I have been waiting for an official U.S. record for years," Love said.
There was one wahoo caught in the Los Angeles harbor in the winter of 2010, but it's widely believed that fish was released from a ship in harbor, because wahoo just don't go that far north in the winter.
Kim's catch is certainly one of a kind, but it could also be a signal that more rare and unusual catches are on the way.
Read more about the recent rare catches in U.S. Pacific Coast waters:
- Strange Fish Catches off the Coast of San Diego Signal Big El Niño Is on the Way
- Three Rare Opah Landed Aboard Southern California Charter
Have you ever heard of wahoo being caught in California? If so, drop us a line in the comments section.