Battling barracuda along the artificial reef
Barracuda are an overlooked sportfishing species. They are plentiful around artificial reefs, easy to catch and loads of fun on light tackle. For years, I avoided barracuda, but I have begun to see the error in my ways.
Recently, flat calm conditions allowed me to take my Pathfinder to the Y73 artificial reef. The plan was to catch a few vermilion snapper for dinner. However, the barracuda had a different plan.
Catching vermillion snapper is a simple affair. Position your boat over the reef, drop down small pieces of cut squid on a 3/0 circle hook and you are likely to hook a vermillion Snapper. The challenge is to bring the snapper to the boat before it is eaten by a barracuda or shark.
On my recent trip, the barracuda were out in force and they were hungry. Most of the snapper that I hooked never made it to the boat. It was frustrating. Rather than continue feeding the barracuda, I decided to catch them.
So, I rigged a 20-pound class spinning outfit with a 6/0 circle hook on a short trace of a 27-pound wire leader. Then, baited up with a menhaden that I caught before leaving the harbor. As soon as the menhaden hit the water, it was attacked by a barracuda. The strike was vicious. Upon feeling the hook, the barracuda began jumping, sometimes 10 feet out of the water. Then, it made a long sizzling run away from the boat. I thought to myself, these things are fun to catch!
After taking a quick picture and releasing the barracuda, I had new admiration for this overlooked sportfishing species. For the next hour or so, the barracuda action was nonstop. When the bite slowed down, my attention returned to vermillion snapper. The barracuda still ate a few, but I landed enough for dinner.
In the dog days of summer, we often see long periods of flat, calm ocean conditions. If you have an ocean capable boat, give the deeper artificial reefs a try. You will have loads of fun with barracuda and catch enough vermillion snapper for dinner.
Contact Captain Greg Peralta by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-224-0099.