Ono is a scombrid fish found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas. It is best known to sports fishermen, as its speed and high-quality flesh make it a prize game fish. In any other place than Hawaii, the ono is known as wahoo. Many Hispanic areas of the Caribbean and Central America refer to this fish as peto.
The flesh of the ono is white to grey, delicate to dense, and highly regarded by many gourmet chefs. The taste has been said to be similar to mackerel. This has created some demand for the ono as a premium-priced commercial food fish. In many areas of its range, such as Hawaii, Bermuda and many parts of the Caribbean, local demand for ono is met by artisan commercial fishermen, who take them primarily by trolling, as well as by recreational sports fishermen who sell their catch.
Its body is elongated and covered with small, scarcely visible scales; the back is an iridescent blue, while the sides are silvery, with a pattern of irregular vertical blue bars and have razor sharp teeth. These colors fade rapidly at death. The mouth is large, and both the upper and lower jaws have a somewhat sharper appearance than those of king or Spanish mackerel.
Specimens have been recorded at up to 8′ 2″ in length, and weighing up to 183 lbs. Growth can be rapid. Ono can swim up to 60 mph. They are some of the fastest fish in the sea.
The ono may be distinguished from the related Atlantic king mackerel and from the Indo-Pacific narrow-barred Spanish mackerel by a fold of skin which covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. In contrast, the mandible of the king mackerel is always visible as is also the case for the smaller Spanish mackerel and Cero mackerel. The teeth of the ono are similar to those of king mackerel, but shorter and more closely set together.
The barracuda is sometimes confused with mackerel and ono, but is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the caudal keels and blade-like (forked) tail characteristic of the scombrids.
In most parts of its range, the ono is a highly prized sport fishing catch. It reaches a good size, is often available not too far from land, and is a very good fighter on light to medium tackle. It is known in sports fishing circles for the speed and strength of its first run. The aggressive habits and razor-sharp teeth of the ono can be of considerable annoyance when targeting larger gamefish, however, such as tuna or marlin.