After several attempts at catching small Barracuda off a pier on the beautiful Isla Mujeres in the Gulf of Mexico it was clear that I could not compete with the locals who were using sardine live baits. I tried and failed to tempt the elongated scavengers, known for their large size and fearsome appearance with plastic lures, ‘why have fish fingers when you can have the freshest sashimi’ I thought!
I decided I needed some local knowledge and my girlfriend Charlotte and I hired a boat to spend the morning fishing in a nearby bay. After an hour of trolling a needle fish deadbait the rod sprung in to life and I was in to my first Barracuda of the trip! The powerful rod and the 60 pound line soon had the fish under control and the 7 pound fish was lifted aboard ready for photos before being put in the hold.
A similar sized fish followed shortly but now I was hungry for a monster... My prayers were answered within an hour when my rod bent over aggressively and I was clearly into a much larger fish. I set the hook before the fish went on an unstoppable run that saw 100 ft of line melt off the reel in seconds! The fish could be seen breaking the surface in the distance as she acrobatically tried to lose the hook. It was a good ten minutes before I got her under control and as she neared the boat we could see she was a monster. Her power was incredible and she dived deep under the boat forcing my rod tip under the water and me hanging on for dear life! To add to the excitement she jumped several feet out of the water just meters from the boat shortly before the captain expertly brought the still very lively fish aboard using a gaff.