Trip Report First Tropical Trip of 2020

Jake

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Sick of the Washington Winter, my wife and I headed for warmer climes. I had bonefish on my mind, but they were all in deeper water, so we hunted barracuda (and apparently one lost baby grouper).

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Great fun on the fly, but you’ve got to strip at an absolutely ridiculous speed. Also, apparently, sometimes 8 and 12’ lemon sharks will eat said barracuda.

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But, if you’re “lucky”, the greedy bastards will get hooked themselves. They’ll destroy your rod tip, and you’ll trip over shit and knock the GoPro into the live well when the tip breaks, but you can get them up to the boat on a 9wt.

All in all, a great day in extremely southern Florida.
 
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Jake

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Its weird to think that the deeper water is warmer than the shallow but thats what happens with cold fronts...... always good to be adaptive....... Cudas can be a blast
That’s a nice fish!

I was wholly unprepared for how bad they smell.
 

Jake

Active Member
WFF Supporter
For sure depends on the shark. I go after bonnetheads and sharpnose sharks with a 7wt, but I wouldn't want any part of an adult lemon or blacktip on a 9wt.
I can’t remember which lemon shark it was, but he smallest we saw was 9’, and one was “a little over 12’” according to the guide.
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
Grand Bahama Island about 12 yrs. ago.
I was standing waist deep on a sand bar about 30 ft. from the beach casting to a pod of boiling bait fish in hopes of catching a bar jack.
Something big swims between me and the beach, not a shark, but big, like three or four ft.
I strip in really fast to make a cast to big fish and just as I pull my fly from the water this cuda flies right out of the water at me.
All I can see is an open mouth, big teeth and eyes.
This cuda turns in mid flight and disappears. the tail soaks me with spray.
I moved up the sand bar to ankle deep water, and it was a good thing my wading shorts were already wet, cause ya know I wet myself.
Dang, I love the warm salty critters.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
Grand Bahama Island about 12 yrs. ago.
I was standing waist deep on a sand bar about 30 ft. from the beach casting to a pod of boiling bait fish in hopes of catching a bar jack.
Something big swims between me and the beach, not a shark, but big, like three or four ft.
I strip in really fast to make a cast to big fish and just as I pull my fly from the water this cuda flies right out of the water at me.
All I can see is an open mouth, big teeth and eyes.
This cuda turns in mid flight and disappears. the tail soaks me with spray.
I moved up the sand bar to ankle deep water, and it was a good thing my wading shorts were already wet, cause ya know I wet myself.
Dang, I love the warm salty critters.
I'd say that qualifies as a Nat Geo moment. Pretty much confirms an episode of River Monsters investigating an incident in the the Florida Keys. Apparently this gal was kayaking when something flew out of the water and slashed her pretty badly, putting her in the hospital. Barracuda was the concluded suspect.

Really cool fish though, and kinda surprised they aren't sought after more as flats quarry. They're big, fast, scary, awesome looking, and they eat flies. What's not to like? Saw a bunch of them in Belize, caught some little ones but the only big one I hooked was on a crazy charlie of all things. Although "hooked" might be too strong of a word, more like it lazily clipped the fly off the leader.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
That’s a nice fish!

I was wholly unprepared for how bad they smell.
Nasty smell, and yet they taste great. My son caught one in the Bahamas. The guide kept it even though I thought they weren't safe to eat due to ciguatera poisoning. He agreed cuda can make you very sick but assured me they were safe to eat from that area. Since he grew up there I trusted him and we took a fillet and he seemed stoked to take the other home to his family. The lady running the place we stayed made Bahamian barracuda fingers which were delicious. Not sure I'll roll those dice again though.
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
My son caught a big cuda off the beach in front of the condo they were stay in.
The Mexican police came along and told him not to fish in front of the condos again.
Guess why? Sharks
 

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