I have been having a great time hookin-up trophy tuna, jacks, mackerel and barracuda in the Gulf waters off the southwest coast of Florida. On a recent trip I had a chance to fish with our good friend Mike Scarlett who is a “flats specialist” for sea trout, redfish and snook.
Mike had yet to hook a descent barracuda in the open Gulf so we decided to take advantage of “fishable” seas and headed out to 50′ water. The first challenge was to catch a dozen baifish as quickly as possible using a Sabiki rig. We did and caught a mix of cigar minnows and blue runners. Next, we free-lines the live baitfish on the surface with a light 18 lb. wire rig and in no-time we were hooking up. I challenged Mike to “hand-land” his cuda instead of “surgically” gaffing the fish in the lower jaw. Mike did so and both cudas were released unharmed!!