What do we look for in the ultimate sport fish? Some of my requirements in order of relevance would be. Good eat, Good Jumps, Multi directional runs, Speed, potential size, and availability. Barracuda have it all.
The time between when you’re, not so close to him thrown flie hits the water and when they are all over your offering is sometimes staggering. Then its on, I have seen cuda slice fly line thru the water more than any fish I have caught. Sometimes your line appears to be going out infront of you and then the fish takes a 3ft leap in 12″ of water at your 3 O ‘clock
They are all good but I get excited about ones in the 3ft class. In my experience I haven’t seen much bigger than that on shallow flats. Don’t get me wrong they are always fun but I am mostly talking about sight fished cuda on the flats. Trolling or blind casting in deeper water appeals to me very little. If I am fishing in deeper water or killing a bit of time between tides trolling, I would just as soon throw a popper on a spinning rod. When I am on the flats I am mostly looking for permit. I will generally not bother much with smaller cuda because they are mostly just a pain in the ass and wreck gear, and steal flies
I have found that if you see an uneducated cuda (one that is in an area where they don’t get the shit knocked out of them) before they see you. You have a very good chance of getting that fish to eat. Now hooking and landing them is a different story. Last season in 2 weeks in cuba I hooked 5-6 larger cuda on the flats while walking and only landed one. Most of those came off on the first greyhounding leap. They have a crazy hard, boney mouth. I feel that these fish were never really properly hooked and when they jumped they simply fell off.. For my cuda flies I use a 2/0 Gamakatsu stinger hook. The B10s Its quite strong for its heft of wire, sharp, and sticky nasty good. If these don’t hook em up I don’t really know what would.
A good way to rig for them is using a quick shooter rig. This is a barracuda fly tied to a piece of tie-able wire. I like the RIO 30lb stuff. You wanna make em 9-12′ inches in length. Tie one end of the wire to the fly. Tie an over hand not in the end. Tie another overhand knot around the line itself to form a slip knot. When a cuda is encountered on the flats, put your bonefish/permit fly in the loop and tighten up on the cuda fly now it will appear that a small fish is chasing a smaller one. You are now prepared for the cuda with wire……………..If he doesnt eat both, Which will often happen.
Let me know if this description sucks. Maybe I will do a vid.