Yesterday I fished with Simon Becker, and we were joined by Kathryn. Our intention was to fish for barracuda and permit if an opportunity presented itself, and that’s pretty much how it worked out.
We started a half hour from Key West, and when Simon shut off the motor and I set about doing some rigging we spooked off a large barracuda from the glare. Sad as it was to miss a shot at a nice fish, we assumed that its presence meant we were in for things more interesting than we found. After half an hour of looking in the fog for barracuda that weren’t present we left for another area. There, we found more of the same: lots of clouds, tons of fun and no fish. We continued to look, and every so often we would see a fish to throw at but never had the opportunity to hook one. After lunch and still fishless, we moved to new water to find a shot at a permit.
The weather was cold, and the clouds thick, but we nonetheless set off on foot to find a tail. I found one first, and had a couple casts at it before it got too close for comfort and spooked out. Kat and Simon found a nice shot while wading at a barracuda, though it didn’t work out to their favor. On the way back to the boat, there was another tail near where I had seen the first one. Kat had a tough shot into the wind in the thigh-high water to a tail that was barely visible, and while two casts made it clearly to the zone neither sealed the deal. The fish flushed towards us and skittered away, and that was the end of our permit fishing.
The day was pretty much done at that point, though Simon generously brought us to another area for a last shot at a barracuda. I hooked a blacktip shark with the cuda fly, and while I was prepared to take the fight to the deck the hook eventually fell out. After that, on another blind cast, I hooked a decent barracuda. Even though it was by no stretch a monster, it was probably a solid 34 inch fish and one I would often kill for in the Cuda Bowl. Kat was nice enough to take a few pictures (as part of my ongoing effort to include more pictures in these reports) and we released the fish to fight another day.
After I caught the barracuda, Kat had a few shots at some larger targets over white sand. Between the wind and the current, none of the casts worked.
Next week I’m with John O’Hearn on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are to be joined by John Benvenuto and Dave Dalu each for a day and a report (with pictures!) will follow.