to fish for Barracuda
Barracuda may be one of the most overlooked gamefish for flyfishing. Barracuda flies are tied with six to 10 inches of brightly colored synthetic material which can be braided, or just wrapped near the end, to look like a skinny needlefish. Similar flies use strands of fish-hair, another synthetic, where equal amounts of white, green and blue are overlaid and tied to a 1/0 or 2/0 hook.
Large flies over 12" are needed to attract larger specimens. Make your fly look wounded or disoriented. Jerky retrieves have been most effective. You can not retrieve the fly too fast. Use 12" of light piano wire for bite tippet. Cudas can easily bite through any monofilament. Average Barracuda caught on big flies are 30" to 50" long. Fly patterns that work well are Barracuda Eel, Cuda needlefish, mandys crab,Chartreuse or blue and white poppers.
A proven flyfishing technique is to cast in the vicinity of the Barracuda and immediately pick the fly back up off the water with a backcast. Repeat this cast and immediate backcast routine three or four times to thoroughly agitate the barracuda, then lay the fly down and strip quickly. A vicious strike will often follow. This technique is not restricted to sight casting only. There are many areas where blind casting on the flats or near channels will stir up some Barracuda action.
The best fishing however is from a boat positioned in deep water off the edge of a shallow reef or flat. Throw the fly into the shallow water and retrieve over the edge. Large Barracudas are usually in dispersed populations. Often a lot of water has to be fished.
There is no question that the surgical tube lure is the bane of barracuda. Although it functions as an illusion in the water, it triggers a 'cuda to strike faster than anything else. The tubing imitates a needleflsh and appears to be snaking its way through the water, though it is in fact spinning.
A type of fishing for Barracuda that has been around for a long time is fishing the surgical tube lure. Not everyone has the same view on how to work tube lures in the water. The surgical tube lure is can be worked just beneath the surface of the water, or danced on the surface, never letting it dip beneath. Both methods produce Barracuda with equal effectiveness.
It is easy to make your own, use tubes that are 15 to 18 inches in length with chartreuse, fluorescent red, natural, or black. Standard tubing has a three-eighths-inch O.D.
The tubing should be rigged with a belly hook and a 3/0 to 5/0 tail hook. Whether you use trebles or single hooks is a personal choice. You will need an egg sinker or slip sinker weighing between one-quarter and one-half ounce and stainless steel wire in # 6, 7, or 8. The tubing should always be kept coiled so that it retains its natural curvature, both before you make the rigs and after they are completed.
The belly hook must be above the center of the tubing. If you have a sixteen-inch tube the belly hook should be less than eight inches From the head. You'll miss fewer fish with that positioning. Wire each hook separately, cutting a hole in the tube for the belly hook and pushing both wires through the front end of the tube. Slip the sinker over both wires and secure it with a twisted loop. You may use a swivel or a split ring in front of the sinker as a connector.