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Family Feud

March 02, 1995

May I kindly suggest that you check your fish facts before writing them in The Times? Ono (News Bites, Jan. 19) are no more a member of the tuna family than a Volkswagen is a member of the Cadillac family.

Charles Perry is correct in writing that ono (wahoo) have been known to take off in midair even when not hooked. And yes, their razor-sharp teeth can inflict injuries and perhaps even sever a man's hand.

In the mid-'70s, a 50-pound ono chasing a lure that an angler was lifting from the water decided it wanted the jig anyway. The fisherman was aboard the long-range boat Red Rooster, out of San Diego. At that moment, there were four other fishermen sitting down to what they assumed would be a quiet lunch of spaghetti in the vessel's galley.

The jig-chasing wahoo bounded over the handrail of the boat, barely missing some fishermen still outside on the deck, crashed through a plexiglass galley window and landed smack on the table in the middle of the spaghetti. Later during the trip, the wahoo was filleted and welcomed as a special guest at dinner.

--BOB SELVIN

Los Angeles Rod & Reel Club

Los Angeles

Charles Perry replies: Great story, and possibly a recipe idea. As to calling ono a member of the tuna family, though, I had my reasons. One, that's how people think of it; restaurant menus refer to it as a tuna, for instance. Two, though ono may not be a "true" tuna (family Scombridae, subfamily Scombrinae, tribe Thunnini), it's a first cousin (ditto, ditto, tribe Scomberomorini), which puts it into the family as far as I'm concerned.

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