Wahoo wonder on the Sea Winder

TINA HARBUCK
It took three guys to hold up the huge wahoo reeled in by Tate Evans of Lousiana. First mate Oz, Evans and Capt. Chris Couvillion hold up the fish that took 25 minutes to haul in.

Not only did Tate Evans land the biggest fish of the day, but he also got the biggest piece of pie.

The 16-year-old from Lousiana, reeled in an 88.2-pound wahoo Thursday morning while fishing aboard the Sea Winder with Capt. Chris Couvillion and first mate Oz.

“It was absolutely killing me,” Evans said when he was reeling down on the whopper of a wahoo.

“I was ready for the string to pop just any minute,” Evans said, noting it was pulled tight.

Fishing about 20 miles south of Destin, the wahoo was the first fish of the day for the crew aboard the Sea Winder.

“The reel just started going crazy,” Evans said. This was his first time to go deep sea fishing and by far the biggest fish he’d ever caught. As a matter of fact, prior to Thursday, the largest fish he had ever caught was about a 6-pound bass.

“We got it to the boat, then it started going again,” Evans said. “It was fun … an awesome experience.”

Capt. Couvillion said the wahoo made four long runs.

“On the first one he peeled off about 500 yards,” Couvillion said, noting he was using a Shimano TLD 50 loaded with 100 pound test. “We got him within about 30 yards of the boat and he peeled off another 150 yards, quickly, in a matter of seconds.”

At that point, Couvillion said he had to put the boat in reverse and start backing down on the fish, noting Evans only had about 100 yards of line left on the spool.

It took Evans about 25 minutes of tugging and reeling to get the wahoo to the boat.

“It was a tough one but we got it,” Evans said.

Captain said Oz broke the dehooker trying to get the hook out of the wahoo’s face.

Once back at the dock, Evans posed for photographs with the huge fish.

Although they plan to eat on the fish the next few days, Evans was looking forward to his piece of keylime pie.

“The deal was whoever caught the biggest fish, got the keylime pie,” he said.

One of the fellows in his party was quick to say, “He doesn’t get the whole pie, jut the biggest slice.”

 DID YOU KNOW?

The largest wahoo caught in the month-long Destin Fishing Rodeo last year was  a 54.6-pounder.