Monday, March 4, 2013

Key West Barracuda Fishing

I shot back down to Key West late last week to drop off my buddy Capt. Mike Bartlett's new skiff and escape the cold, nasty weather heading towards Pine Island at the same time.  Unfortunately, the weather followed me all the way to the Lower Keys and threw a monkey wrench into our tarpon fishing plans.  If it looks unpleasant in these pictures, that's because it was.  Not the end of the world though, since cold snaps down there mean great barracuda fishing on the flats. 

I absolutely love barracuda and they're my favorite species to catch on a spinning rod.  Getting them to eat is no more difficult than bombing a long green tube lure downwind and ripping it back as fast as possible.  No matter how fast you can reel, the cuda can swim faster.  You get to see the whole strike right under the surface and once they're hooked up the fight is beyond belief.  Big barracuda do everything you want a fish to do on the end of your line.  They run faster than bonefish, jump like tarpon, and pull almost as hard as a permit. 

On top of all that they look awesome in a photo.  Check out those teeth up there.  They can put a serious hurting on you if you're not paying attention unhooking them. 

So if you find yourself down in the Keys when a cold front blows through don't cancel your fishing plans.  Every guide knows a handful of good barracuda spots and they'll become one of your favorite things to catch, too.