Photo: Greg Dini

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Irritation is the name of the Cudas' game

  Hooking a Cuda in the 40 + inch range has nothing to do with luck. Luck is nothing but the resin of hard work. Feeding a large cuda is no easy feat. Curious and hesitant by nature a Cuda senses the angler from the get go. For this reason spotting a floater that is slowly swimming along from afar could present the opportunity to ring the bell for supper. The angler that can shoot the entire fly line can negotiate a presentation like a stealth bomber. This time of year the trade winds are persistent, making these casts difficult. The past year and a half or so I have almost given up on the increasingly rapid two handed strip. If I do this method one might want to throw a massive mend in front of the boat in hopes of pulling this cruiser away from the skiff. More often then not a Cuda will chase the fly all the way up to the boat with no dice, but a peering eye. A lot of the times it is physically inhuman to strip fast enough to get a Cuda to bite. Lately I have taken the permit approach. Hit him on the head and let the marabou do the rest. Tick Tick Tick with a flick of the wrist and bam.
  When hunting Cudas on the flats one must study bonefish patterns. Especially on an outgoing tide. Channels is also the name of the game.  Channels in the 8-15 foot range encompassed by flats on either side and the occasional structure below. Having a nearby bonefish aggregate site (usually a deep hole or impression within a channel, a spawning hole or place to meet before the show. Sometimes I will drive through the middle of the channel before I poll it. Call me crazy but I do believe this helps stimulate the bite on given conditions. Hence the irritation being the name of the game.

Avery caught her first Bonefish. Half hour later ohhhh Baracuda! 
Aves with her double header! 

Well deserved rest after a day way out on the bank
On these particular conditions we had a full moon high tide working with the wind direction. Under these conditions we were able to push a few miles into this relatively shallow canal. A spot that you can only fish a couple times a year. Long story short the fish were hungry and far from wary.
The turtles are everywhere right now. Was thinking of producing a young turtle fly for big tiger sharks. Question is where to start? 
The "throwback Mullet" tied for our arriving tarpon around late march

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