Barracuda Techniques by Dale Freschi

Dale “Bulldog” Freschi here again!

I have been posting about tropical fishing over the past several weeks and the various species that can be targeted with fly fishing gear and while there are numerous others I thought I would conclude with another one of my favourites, the Barracuda.

The Barracuda is a voracious predator with razor sharp teeth and can move at blistering speeds earning it the reputation of being the “Cheetah” of the saltwater flats. I think they feed on anything that inadvertently wanders into their territory but mainly on bait fish and even larger species like bonefish, etc. In Cuba, we preferred to use 8 or 9 weight rods and a reel with an excellent drag system that held a minimum of 200 yards of backing, and depending on the depth of the water we used floating or clear intermediate sink lines. A wire tippet section on your leader is a must as these fish with cut through regular tippet material like butter.

Barracuda are sometimes difficult to spot in the water as they blend in perfectly with the bottom of the flats where they will sit completely still waiting to ambush any unsuspecting prey, and when they attack they move at lightning fast speeds covering a significant distance in short order.

There are many anglers that have hooked up on a nice bonefish only to have it literally sheared in half during the fight by a Barracuda.

The fact that these fish are so aggressive makes them fun and exciting to target on fly gear, as they will smash large streamer flies or explode on a “popper” fly on the surface.

Once hooked these fish will peel off your fly line at amazing speeds, easily going deep into the backing and on occasion will even leap from the water in spectacular aerial displays.

Tip: We found that for the most part the faster you were able to move your fly, the more likely it would provoke a strike.

In fact the so called “roley poley” retrieve where you tuck your rod under your arm and use both hands to pull the line in as fast as possible was a definite assets in targeting these fish.

I hope you have enjoyed these last few weeks of tropical fishing posts during these colder winter months and found them to be of some benefit. Comment below your Barracuda or tropical experience to close this out!

As we move into February, our thoughts begin to turn to “ice off” and preparing for the spring fishing season so stay tuned for some future posts in this regard from Brian Chan.