Tag Archive: barracuda

Barracuda (cuda) is a saltwater predatory fish species that kayak anglers rarely catch

Trolling for Barracuda in the S4

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

One of my least favorite fishing techniques is trolling.

Putting a rod and reel in a rod holder and waiting for what seems like hours for a bite can be borderline boring. Then, dragging a fish against the movement of a slow moving boat as we do fishing for stripers or bluefish in the Chesapeake Bay diminishes the tug and pull of the fish. Imagine cranking in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Welcome to the successful outcome of a trolling expedition.

However, trolling from a Wavewalk S4 is a completely different experience. After good success with my kayak spinning rigs trolling custom fabricated lures in mangrove creeks and channels, I set off to find the perfect rig for trolling in the clear inshore waters of South Florida.

I finally settled on a Shimano TR200-G graphite reel loaded with 20 lb. test mono line on a 4′ kayak Ricky Rod made in Miami.

With this rig in hand and the outboard tiller in the other, a kayak trolling fisherman (or woman) can smoothly ease out line and control the action of the lure or rigged bait while steering the S4. Unlike leaving the rig in the holder, with the rod in hand, bites are easily felt and the hook set. Now, we are fishing and catching and really enjoying the battle.

In less than an hour, I caught 4 barracuda no more than a 1/2 mile from my house using this technique. All were released. But, I had to gently tow the last one back to the dock to safely release from the dive platform of my big boat. It was just too big and toothy to bring aboard.

My next project is to build a long distance de-hooker.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Larry offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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Fish of the week – barracuda

By Captain Larry Jarbo

Other than sharks, probably the most fearsome predatory fish that swims in the Atlantic Ocean is the Great Barracuda. These fish can grow over seven feet long and have razor sharp teeth capable of ripping human flesh to the bone.

Fortunately, these ferocious fish prefer to feed on smaller fish like mullet, ballyhoo, or grunts. Most barracuda attacks on people are cases of mistaken identity. The cuda mistook that silver Rolex watch on the swimmer’s wrist as a fleeing fish. Smart people don’t wear flashy objects or jewelry into the water.

Great Barracuda are found in the depths of the Gulf Stream, over shallow reefs, around shipwrecks, and throughout the back country creeks and bays. They are a good sport fish for kayak fishermen to target because they can be found in so many different environments. Though they may be found in schools in the ocean, Great Barracuda are predominately lone predators.

Both live and artificial baits can be used to catch barracuda. Large swimming plugs, surgical tube eels, and large plastic enhanced jigs will all catch these toothy denizens but I prefer live baiting them. In the deep, a short wire leader with a Goggle-Eyed Scad or Blue Runner swimming on a 3/0 – 5/0 hook is a good Barracuda bait. In shallow reef and back country waters, I use an empty twelve ounce Coca Cola plastic bottle for a homemade bobber to keep the bait (a pinfish or small grunt) out of the bottom.

Recently, the catch limits on Atlantic Barracuda in South Florida were wisely reduced to two fish per person per day or six cudas per boat. This is a most sensible way to protect the resource and the sport fishery that targets barracuda. Smaller barracudas (2 feet long or less) are good to eat seasoned and grilled but larger ones may carry Ciguatera poisoning due to toxins accumulating in their flesh from their own consumption of algae eating parrotfish.

The large cuda in the photo was caught on a kayak combo trip that included free mothership transport to the Gulf Stream. That day, we also caught a small shark, jacks, porgies, legal tilefish, and dozens of good eating grunts. Definitely, the four foot barracuda provided the fight and thrill of the day. After a battle on light line, the fish was too winded to be released. That predator provided dinner for the heron and pelicans at my dock, the head will become Stone Crab bait, and the fillets are fine shark bait for another adventure. Nothing goes to waste.

And, the picture will live on to encourage more people to experience the joy of fishing.

Fish and be happy…

barracuda-and-w500-fishing-kayak-Key-Largo-FL

4 ft long barracuda hanging from a white Wavewalk 500 kayak attached to the mothership.
 
Key Largo, FL, February 2016

 

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Fishing beyond plan B

By Captain Larry Jarboe

For at least the next couple weeks, I am closing up my business up north. I have a little fish camp that I retreat to that is well located for many types of fishing in the Chesapeake Watershed.

This morning, I renewed my Maryland fishing license, loaded up the W500 on the back of the Mother Truck, threw in my catfish rods and tackle, and made a thirty mile trip to Mallows Bay on the Potomac River.

Mallows Bay is the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. Dozens of archaic wooden steamships were scuttled there after WWI. The story which can be Googled is laced with governmental ineptitude and environmental calamity.

Upon arriving at the excellent public landing, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the 5 lbs. of fresh mullet that I bought over the weekend. Ineptitude still prevails at Mallows Bay.

Undaunted, I grabbed my Barnett compound bowfishing outfit to search for Northern Snakeheads to skewer. Those big Blue Cats at the edge of the channel would have to wait.

Plan B was not so good, either. The water was muddy and the Asian invasion has moved to deep water. So, a few pics would have to suffice.

On the way home, Plan C was formulated. A quick trip to the fish camp to trade the catfish rods for my lucky stik and off to my special spring fed pond to catch a few pickerel on a Texas rigged Zoom Fluke in the cooling evening. Freshwater barracuda trump a skunk.

Five Largemouth Bass releases later, as the sun set into darkness, a pickerel cut me off. No sense tying a new rig in the dark. Five bass is a pretty good day. And, I still have 5 lbs. of mullet in the fridge.

Wavewalk-500-on-the-potomac

 

largemouth-bass-on-the-potomac-1

 

largemouth-bass-on-the-potomac-2

 

Mallows-Bay

 

Mallows-Bay-2


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Fish Species Quiz, By Gary Rankel

Had a non-stop catching day at Ozello today with 7 pictured species landed including 2 barracuda (a real rarity around here). See if y’all can match their names (barracuda, pinfish, needlefish, ladyfish, seatrout, mangrove snapper, and sailcat) to the pictures below (which include both barracuda). I also got a nice redfish for my 8th species, but it was raining at the time so I left the camera in its dry bag. Anyone who gets all the species right will win a free trip on their Wavewalk.

Gary.


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“The Fall Bite Has Started” – Gary Reports From His Kayak, Ozello, Florida

I ran into a nice group of redfish cruising the Ozello, FL flats yesterday.  Caught 3 before spooking the rest.  I also caught my first barracuda – a monster 11 incher, already with an awesome set of choppers.
The fall bite has started.
Gary

Big redfish in Gary's fishing kayakOzello, FloridaSunset over the water, Ozello, FL