Cudas thick as theives

Fully expected to have a normal day yesterday. My first drop was a dud and I drove forward to let the ball pull the anchor. The rope came tight and broke:willynilly I really can't complain too much, that's the first anchor I've lost in about 8 years. And I was lucky enough to pull someone else's anchor, chain and over 200 feet of double braided rope last year, but the spare was back at the campground. Well, I shook it off and tried drifting. Too much wind and current.
Plan C came into effect and I trolled a couple lures. No action at the reef, so I headed toward home, lures in tow. I got to an area of patch reefs and a big cuda nailed my bait. They were all over the patches. I put two in the box and released three more and felt good about having bait for an upcoming deep drop trip.
Today, my wife, four pound yorkie, Daisy and I set out in beautiful conditions, to try out the new anchor. Ten minutes at stop number one and a 25" mutton was in the box. The bottom was crappy, sharp, line wrecking stuff down there and several rigs were lost. I dropped a blue runner head and it got inhaled quickly. Fight was on! I gained 30 or 40 feet and then the fish was gone. Fully expecting to see a hook less leader, I was a bit dismayed to see it was still there. A quality fish got popped off, bummer.
I put another chunk of runner on and dropped. Less than a minute and I was hooked up and fighting hard, but it kind of quit halfway to the surface. I was relieved to see a beautiful red grouper go into the net. He spit out some chunks of recent food, including my blue runner head! He ate two of my baits within about 10 minutes and fought me twice, winning round one, losing round two.
Something really big inhaled a couple of my next hookups, so we moved and didn't get a good bite going again. Knowing Janice would enjoy trolling for cudas, I sped over to the patches and proceeded to get our limit in no time. They were thick and you could see as many as a dozen at a time over the rock piles.
All in all, a fun day and good eats for the fish fry!

Replies

  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    Cameron, welcome back to home away from home. Looking forward to fishing with you on the red-white and blue bus!
    One of the hardest working fisherman I’ve known, you win the Most improved angler award year after year, for real.
    Those cudas are good eating fish. Thanks for the report.
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Posts: 4,845 Captain
    :fishing:USA
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 518 Officer
    Hoogan wrote: »
    Cameron, welcome back to home away from home. Looking forward to fishing with you on the red-white and blue bus!
    One of the hardest working fisherman I’ve known, you win the Most improved angler award year after year, for real.
    Those cudas are good eating fish. Thanks for the report.

    Most improved because I have 7 months away to forget everything I know. LOL Gotta start all over again.
  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 1,948 Captain
    great eats - thanks for the report
    .
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  • Flight RiskFlight Risk Posts: 2,475 Captain
    Cameron - I'm in West Palm, been on the Yankee Capts but not fished the Keys other than the YC. Have enjoyed your posts and pics for the last couple years or so when you are in Snow Bird mode. I always check the 'Keys' section to see what's going on down there.
    Thanks for taking the time to post your trips with pics. I know it can be a hassle, but sure makes for good stuff here on the forum.

    I said I'd never go back on the YC, but may reconsider. When you are you going back on the Yankee to Pulley Ridge? :shrug

    Pura Vida!
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 518 Officer
    Cameron - I'm in West Palm, been on the Yankee Capts but not fished the Keys other than the YC. Have enjoyed your posts and pics for the last couple years or so when you are in Snow Bird mode. I always check the 'Keys' section to see what's going on down there.
    Thanks for taking the time to post your trips with pics. I know it can be a hassle, but sure makes for good stuff here on the forum

    I said I'd never go back on the YC, but may reconsider. When you are you going back on the Yankee to Pulley Ridge? :shrug

    Thanks! I find that I enjoy the trip twice if I write a report. My wife does the photo inserts, not my talent at all.I'm booked on almost all of the Pulley Ridge and light trips till April. The wind has to be right, so If a trip gets blown out, I shift the deposit to the next one. If the one on Monday, 27th doesn't go, I'll be on the light trip the next week. Halfway ledge drift trips look amazing. Give it another try!!
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,929 Moderator
    Thanks for taking the time to post your trips with pics. I know it can be a hassle, but sure makes for good stuff here on the forum.

    ^^this^^
    "You'll get your weather"
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,623 Captain
    very nice
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  • kolinskikolinski Posts: 50 Deckhand
    do you eat those cuda? how do you prepare them?
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 518 Officer
    kolinski wrote: »
    do you eat those cuda? how do you prepare them?

    I don't eat them, but I hear they are good. May be wise not to eat big ones, risk of illness. They make good deep drop bait....
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    kolinski wrote: »
    do you eat those cuda? how do you prepare them?

    Smaller fish, fresh caught only, skinned, fried like Grouper.
  • Ilive2fishIlive2fish Posts: 274 Deckhand
    I used to eat cudas all the time but stopped many years ago....a neighbor of mine in Key Largo always ate them, a couple of years ago he caught and ate a small one and came down with ciguatera poisoning....be careful.....
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Hey Cameron, Mind if I ask what baits work for you trolling the reefs?
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 518 Officer
    Hey Cameron, Mind if I ask what baits work for you trolling the reefs?


    This is the lure I troll with. I'll get two or three out if it's not too weedy. I really don't troll much, usually when the bottom action is slow, or if I'm with a friend that loves trolling. This one is all chewed up from catching 9 cudas last week, I've replaced the hooks and wire several times over the years. I bought 6 of them about 8 years ago, and still have 4. LOL. In shallow water, 20-30 feet deep, we have caught cuda, ceros, grouper and even a greedy lizard fish. In deeper water, 100- 300 feet, we've caught numerous kings, a wahoo 20 pounds, tuna up to 20 pounds. I troll fast enough that the action is good on the lure, but not bouncing out of the water.
    I think I might troll more....
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 65 Greenhorn
    Thanks. I'll be coming down in a month for the rest of the winter, I hope there's still something happening on the reef. I am really stoked!
  • dihrddihrd Posts: 99 Greenhorn
    My friend and I are on the Pulley Ridge trip Feb first... hope it goes.
  • cameron sleepcameron sleep Posts: 518 Officer
    dihrd wrote: »
    My friend and I are on the Pulley Ridge trip Feb first... hope it goes.

    :crossed
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