I have to say, I LIKE fishing for cudas. They are mean, aggressive, pull really hard and are faster than is reasonable. They also have big, pointy teeth, smash flies and leap feat out of the water.
Oh, and they get huge.
What’s not to like?
In the end I went 0/3 on the big cudas. I had one accidental cuda to the side of the boat before it ate through 80 pound shock tippet. When we searched for them we used wire. Here’s a re-cap of the main failures.
1. In the Mangroves. I was just not going to be able to pull a 15-25 pound cuda out of the mangroves. Busted me off at the wire.
2. Teammate. I had a really nice cuda take a chartreuse super hair tarpon fly about 10 feet from the boat. Great species. Then, as it was hanging out and getting ready to make a blistering run ANOTHER cuda came by and BIT THE LEADER! I had no idea that happened, but evidently it does. Still amazing to me.
3. Rod error. I hooked up a nice Cuda on a very similar chartreuse fly and I had not checked to make sure the rod ferrells were tightly together and POP, the top 3/4’s of the rod left the bottom 1/4. No harm to the rod, but the cuda was broken off, again. We recovered the top 3/4 of the rod and got on our way.
Next time I’ll tie WAY more cuda flies and I’ll bring way more wire. I needed to be better equipped for the cudas and I wasn’t. Next time I will be!
The cudas down there were big, powerful and every bit the worthy gamefish, despite the biting in half of my bonefish.
Top predators are a sign of a healthy ecosystem and this is certainly that.
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