How To Safely De-hook Cuda Wade Fishing

phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 18 Greenhorn

Thank you to everyone in advance for their responses. I have a question about safely handling and de-hooking barracuda while wade fishing in and around Islamorada. My experience catching and releasing toothy species is limited. I have only fished for them once and hooked a monster, but he shook the hook. Had I landed him I would have used my Boga grip and hoped he was tired enough not to thrash to hard. Does anyone have any "best practices". What should I be aware of when the fish is closer to me (i.e. charge toward me, etc.)

LOL, you can tell I am the new guy who probably assumes those horror stories happen more often, but I want to respect this fish and make sure I safely release her back into the water to catch again.

Replies

  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,799 Captain

    Believe it or not, Cudas are fairly docile to land and have big gill plates. Carefully get your hand under a gill plate and stabilize the fish and remove the hook with a pair of needle nose or a hook remover. They aren't as bad as they look.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 18 Greenhorn

    @conchydong said:
    Believe it or not, Cudas are fairly docile to land and have big gill plates. Carefully get your hand under a gill plate and stabilize the fish and remove the hook with a pair of needle nose or a hook remover. They aren't as bad as they look.

    Thank you, conchy. Should I beware of any last minute efforts of the cuda to run? I.e. the get inside 10-20 yards of me and take off in my direction?

    LOL, I think the most danger I put myself in for my first trip was my all chrome pliers dangling from my hip pocket...

  • dcrdcr Posts: 290 Deckhand

    I have wade fished in the Keys with a small barracuda hanging out around my ankles. (new meaning to the term "ankle biter" I guess).
    In my limited experience they do a pretty good job of getting away before you have to touch them. Needle nose are pretty handy.

  • phinfanfrommdphinfanfrommd MarylandPosts: 18 Greenhorn

    @dcr said:
    I have wade fished in the Keys with a small barracuda hanging out around my ankles. (new meaning to the term "ankle biter" I guess).
    In my limited experience they do a pretty good job of getting away before you have to touch them. Needle nose are pretty handy.

    Thanks, appreciate the insight. I've heard some anglers talk about some larger cudas that roam the flats alone can be a little territorial at times. Are there any signs that I should be aware of? When does curiosity become "time to move"? Do these situations even exist?

  • fordmag84fordmag84 Bradenton, Fl Posts: 89 Greenhorn

    Don't be shiny.

  • dcrdcr Posts: 290 Deckhand
    edited February 18 #7

    @phinfanfrommd said:
    Thanks, appreciate the insight. I've heard some anglers talk about some larger cudas that roam the flats alone can be a little territorial at times. Are there any signs that I should be aware of? When does curiosity become "time to move"? Do these situations even exist?

    I'm not aware of any, but I'm not close to being an expert. I once saw a 2 footer in the water next to shore and once he saw me on the shore, he moved a few feet farther out. I assume if I got in the water he would have gone away. Now that I think about it I don't know why the one hanging around my ankles didn't just go after the pinfish on my line. He wasn't really big enough to go after my catch.

  • Baits OutBaits Out Posts: 12,281 AG

    In all my earlier years of free diving, never had a chance to spear a Cuda.

    They are too scary and kept well out of range. Thus would have no concerns
    about them being near when surf fishing.

    I’m only responsible for what I say -- not for what others think they understand.

    Be careful when you follow the masses. Sometimes the "m" is silent.

    America! Keep calm and return fire.

    :USA
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