Bonefish are really fantastic. I love the stalking, I love the precision, I love the speed of the fish.
Sometimes, though, you want violence and big, pointy teeth.
Enter the Cuda.
While down at Andros South I got a tiny bit fixated on catching a barracuda. I went out every day after we got back from fishing in the hopes of finding and catching one. I largely succeeded on the first part of that (the finding) and utterly failed in the second (a few flies attacked, but nothing even hooked).
After a few days it was starting to get to me.
I kept after it and I kept mentioning to the guides that I was hoping to catch a cuda. I had the 10 wt. rigged with 45 lbs. wire leader and either a gurgler or needle fish fly ready for action. The opportunities just didn’t come or, one day when I had a good shot I put the fly right on the fish’s head and spooked it.
The last day Kyle Perkins and I were teamed up with guide Freddie. Freddie is the biggest guide at Andros South and has the smallest boat. He likes getting in the skinnier water. He also likes to sing and laugh and overall he was a fantastic guide to fish with both in terms of his knowledge of the water, but also his mentality that put a smile on your face even after you blew the cast.
That last day we ended up having some prop trouble deep into Deep Creek and when it was clear we weren’t going to get up on plane for the ride home, Freddie told me I might as well break out the cuda rod. This was very, very welcome news for me. It meant an extra HOUR of fishing. Awesome.
Now, there are probably people that say trolling isn’t really fly fishing and that this was cheating and that it doesn’t count. I… don’t… care.
I took all the fly line off so I had half a wrap of fly line left and we started the slow troll back to the dock. It wasn’t long before I got a first grab. Then I got a second. The third stayed on for four good jumps and a couple nice runs and then it came unbuttoned. The fifth strike didn’t stick and I missed the sixth.
“Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” goes the saying. I reeled up, saw that the tail end of the fly was destroyed and decided to cut the fly in half. It was a long, bright yellow superhair fly with no trailing hook. The fish were obviously biting the tail and nothing pointy. With half this fly left I threw it back out. About 10 minutes later I connected and the fish stayed on.
It jumped in anger. It made vicious runs. The rod throbbed from the power of the fish. This is not bonefishing, but this was pretty much distilled awesomeness.
The fish got invited home to meet Freddie’s wife. Androsians will eat a Cuda so long as it isn’t caught off a reef.
I got a cuda tooth pulled from the fish to give to my daughter, who at four years old has a passion for dangerous and deadly creatures (I love that girl something fierce).
Note to self… next time use more glue… lots and lots of glue.
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Tags: Andros South, Bahamas, barracuda, fly fishing, Freddie, trolling
Sounds like a blast!
Growing up in Miami barracuda were my go to fish…used to wade the flats and catch 20 or so on 4 lb test each afternoon….only fish I ever caught on my own flies…could go thru 6 flies in a day off Soldiers Key…pink bucktail muddler/gurgler type thing.
Try a big BlueMarlin sometime- no teeth but plenty of violence!
In Cozumel it seemed like we would catch a small cuda about every 5th or 6th cast. Small ones, 10 to 14 inches. Sometimes you would get this big strike and bam, the fly was gone. We weren’t using wire leaders. so the teeth won.
I had caught some of those little ones before… but never a big one like this. I rather liked it… but I think that came across.
Oh, the number of things I still have to try! Blue Marlin sound a bit like work though…
way to go. i knew you would do it. why wont they eat a cuda off of a reef?
Not all Cuda’s are safe to eat… Ciguatera… http://www.caribbeancompass.com/ciguafinish.html
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