A day spent barracuda fishing in Islamorada is as good as it gets. Barracuda are considered the #1 sport fish of the Florida Keys and are the most popular fish to mount. And what's not to like? Fishing for barracuda is a full throttle fishing adventure!
Hard and fast fighters, barracuda are found around reefs, structures, on the flats, and practically everywhere in the Florida Keys. But there's no better place to catch them than near the Islamorada, the Sportfishing Capital of the World.
Built for speed
Barracuda are built for speed, not for endurance--they can reach speeds up to 40 mph in as little as double their body length. They hit hard, run hard, and jump hard. They'll give you everything they've got and give you the thrill of a lifetime.
Barracuda average between 5-6 ft. in length and typically weigh between 15 to 40 lbs. Greater Barracuda can weigh as much 80 lbs. or more. Their larger size makes them a substantial, prized wall mount.
Barracuda can be caught year round on live bait, artificial, and even fly. Popular bait includes live ballyhoo, pilchards, cigar minnows, shrimp, or mullet.
The key to catching barracuda is to avoid being seen. This includes you, your cast, and your boat. How do you do this? You cast long, keeping your distance. If you do this, you'll end up having a successful day fishing for barracuda.
Handle with care
Since barracuda have horrendously sharp teeth, you will want to use a thin wire leader. You don't want to use too heavy as they may not bite if they see the heavy wire leader. A heavy duty monofilament leader probably won't stand up to the challenge. Be sure to protect your fingers by wearing heavy gloves. Use long needlenose pliers to remove the hook.
Food value and a warning
The larger barracuda can be poisonous. Eating 'cudas more than about 3.5 feet long isn't advised because they can accumulate a naturally occurring toxin called "ciguatera."
Let a pro show you the ropes!
Even an experienced sport fisherman can benefit from hiring a charter fishing service by relying on the captain’s knowledge of where the best fishing can be found, but for novice fishermen, it's the only smart thing to do.
Not only do you NOT have to worry about getting a saltwater fishing license in Florida (charter boats carry a license for their passengers, so those anglers are covered while fishing on that vessel), an experienced captain can teach you the proper techniques and help you with your first sport fishing outing.