Barracuda Flats Fishing Setup

Thank you all in advance for your responses. I recently got back from Islamorada on my first Keys fishing trip and all I can say is "wow". It was windy, water a bit murky, and I didn't land a single 'cuda, but I am addicted. I hooked onto a monster and it shook my hook after its third run and jump.

Question: I am running a 7' Medium Power Fast Action rod with 15 pound braided line. I did not use a leader the first trip, and I suspect the darker color spooked some fish. What test clear floro should I use? 12 pound?

Thanks again and what a beautiful place. Gotta start finding my permanent home now!

Replies

  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 3,984 Moderator

    Yes, you should use a leader for all salt water fishing. For cudas, I suggest at least a 6' 20# mono or fluoro leader. You did not say what you were throwing. I like tube lures for cudas. Spoons and shallow lipped shiny plugs also work. If using either a spoon or plug, I would also add a 12" piece of wire, either twisted ( about 45#) or solid #5. Cudas are a fun fish to catch.

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 6,720 Admiral

    Glad you hooked and jumped one, i did the same with a 4'er and it's exhilarating. The little ones you catch in the backwaters are fun too, I was catching them on a paddletail with 12lb cajun and no leader.

    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 9 Greenhorn

    I was throwing a 'Cuda tube. Picked a green one up from BnM's. I went with a 12 pound flouro leader. Sunline FC sniper. Will this suffice or do you encourage a heavier test? Most sites I visited always had the leader at a smaller test weight then the main line.

    @Jack Hexter said:
    Yes, you should use a leader for all salt water fishing. For cudas, I suggest at least a 6' 20# mono or fluoro leader. You did not say what you were throwing. I like tube lures for cudas. Spoons and shallow lipped shiny plugs also work. If using either a spoon or plug, I would also add a 12" piece of wire, either twisted ( about 45#) or solid #5. Cudas are a fun fish to catch.

  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 2,719 Captain

    rig a ballyhoo, cast 2 em, hold on!

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  • phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 9 Greenhorn

    @piner_wahoo said:
    rig a ballyhoo, cast 2 em, hold on!

    Thanks, saw them in the tackle shop, but staff didn't recommend those lures. I am headed back end of Feb and will check them out.

  • phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 9 Greenhorn

    @Jack Hexter said:
    Yes, you should use a leader for all salt water fishing. For cudas, I suggest at least a 6' 20# mono or fluoro leader. You did not say what you were throwing. I like tube lures for cudas. Spoons and shallow lipped shiny plugs also work. If using either a spoon or plug, I would also add a 12" piece of wire, either twisted ( about 45#) or solid #5. Cudas are a fun fish to catch.

    I was throwing a 'Cuda tube. Picked a green one up from BnM's. I went with a 12 pound flouro leader. Sunline FC sniper. Will this suffice or do you encourage a heavier test? Most sites I visited always had the leader at a smaller test weight then the main line.

  • Skinny RunningSkinny Running Posts: 66 Greenhorn

    Need some wire leader from the flouro to the lure or expect to get cut off. I use 6"- 8". You can buy the wire you can tie if you like instead of regular wire.

  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 3,984 Moderator

    @phinfanfrommd said:

    I was throwing a 'Cuda tube. Picked a green one up from BnM's. I went with a 12 pound flouro leader. Sunline FC sniper. Will this suffice or do you encourage a heavier test? Most sites I visited always had the leader at a smaller test weight then the main line.

    Well if 12# is going to get bit off, so is 20#. The green tube is great for cudas (as well as cobia) If you can't sight cast to them, or even if you are sight casting, just throw it out on a flat and reel it back as fast as you can.

    I don't know where you are reading to use a leader lighter than the main line, but we generally use leader heavier, just depends what I'm fishing for. I use 15# braid on the flats. If I'm targeting trout, I will be using 15# leader, if redfish is my target, I'm using 15 or 20, if snook, I'm using 20-30 on the flats or beach, 40 around docks and mangroves.

    In Islamorada, I'd get out on the edge of the reef where it starts to drop off, especially around Alligator Light, in Hawks Channel, up around Hens and Chickens etc, that depth of water, you can troll it or drift and cast.

  • mcsnookmcsnook Posts: 154 Deckhand

    2 to 3 ft florucarbon leader 20# tied line to line to 15 Lb Braid. Iuse an Albright or uniknot, then a swiveled Johnson silver spoon and reel close to as fast as you can, I was in 2’ to 4’ of water, my last two trips down I’ve caught to many 20” to 35” cuda to count and 4 bones. The cuda on light tackle are a lot of fun, they like short very fast runs, and half of them give nice jumps, very underrated sport fish. Winter/spring the best, when it gets hot the cuda head for deeper water. Good luck

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