In my last fishing report I mentioned reeling fast to land the fish, the ENTIRE fish. One reason is the Greater Barracuda as seen here in this picture.
Barracuda are fairly prominent in our area, although recently laws have been passed to limit the size and number that can be taken. They like rock piles, reef areas and wrecks for their habitat. It offers them protection from larger predators as well as providing a great place to catch smaller fish that find the same attributes of protection of structures.
Barracudas are known for their speed and agility to chase down fish. They prefer fish that have been injured or struggling… say on the end of a fishing line?
A heart-breaking story from a few years ago… We were fishing for bait at the sea buoy on very light tackle. One customer hooked a large Blackfin Tuna on the 8 lbs. test line and a battle began. He fought this fish for over 30 minutes. We were getting close… The Tuna was doing his spin, they swim sideways when tired, in small circles. We could see the fish down 30’, then 20’ and then…
Mr. Barracuda comes along and bites off his tail! Now, without the fish able to swim, he is just dead weight at the end of the line. Our angler can barely gain line but is doing a great job with what he has. Another strike has the Cuda eat the mid-section… Still a good chunk of meat there but getting smaller.
It was that last bite, the one right behind the head that broke our hearts. We boated the head that remained and could see the Barracuda just lazing around below the boat, probably too full to swim much as we estimated the Tuna between 25 and 30 lbs.
Many times this story has been repeated by fishermen all over the world. But this is the one I remember like it was yesterday.