Barracuda – overlooked as an Inshore and Offshore game fish!
The Barracuda is a salt water fish belonging to the genus Sphyraena in the family Sphyraenidae. It can be found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. It can be described as a ray-finned fish and is known for its large and fearsome appearance. It possesses a long body, fairly compressed and is covered with small, smooth scales. Some of the species can grow to a length of 1.8meters and 30 centimeters in width. This species is a nocturnal creature.
Barracudas can be found in warm, tropical regions. They can also be found in more temperate areas. They can be found near the surface of the water but have been seen in depths of 100 meters or around 90 feet.
A group of barracudas is termed as a battery. These species is voracious and opportunistic predators which rely on surprise and short bursts of speed in order to overtake their prey. Barracudas are usually solitary when they reach adulthood. However, young and half-grown fish frequently congregate. They prey primarily on fish, even those as large as themselves, and attack by tearing off small chunks.
Barracudas are known to be bold and inquisitive. They may even be dangerous to humans. They have been known to inhabit open waters and bay areas in the shadow and under floating objects. This fish is attracted to things that are silvery in color and have a high reflection similar to the fish they eat. This explains why some of the human attacks made by barracudas are on those wearing earrings, bracelets, or those wearing something shiny.
One of the most memorable challenges anglers all over are bound to take is to tackle the Silver King or the tarpon in the waters of Florida. The Megalops atlanticus is commonly known by the name Tarpon. Anglers flock from different parts of the world to fish in Florida because it is here that many great numbers of Tarpon migrate to.
Tarpons up Close
There is little known about the Tarpon because it has no food value compared to other fish. What is known about the Tarpon, however, is that these are prehistoric animals dating back as far as 100 million years.
Tarpons also possess a unique organ called the swim bladder which enables them to breathe from the atmosphere. Tarpons, in their early stages of life, typically stay in shallower waters. However, once they grow to about two feet, they move to larger bodies of water.
Tarpons are usually found in deep, man-made canals and holes far up the coastal rivers of Florida and in the upper reaches of large bays.
Never go out tarpon fishing unprepared and without any foreknowledge whatsoever. What are being caught are not little fishes but giant ones that can actually exhaust any novice fisherman. The key to successful tarpon fishing is to find northbound schools on the beach. This situation usually presents itself after the first full moon in June. Compared to southbound tarpons, northbound tarpons are hungry and are more likely to stop for bait.
After the right type of tarpon is found, proper presentation and good bait is all that is needed to make the catch. Anglers should distance themselves from their targeted tarpon from a 50-foot gap. With tarpon fishing, overcasting is always a good idea. Next is to land the bait in just the right depth. The bait should be thrown so that it would sink around 8-10 feet just barely above the tarpon’s head and line of sight.
Remember, tarpons are easy to spook fish. Once a tarpon is spooked, anglers risk losing not just one tarpon but the whole school of them. Lastly, when a tarpon hooks on to the bait, anglers should most definitely hold on.
For novice fishermen or anglers new to tarpon fishing, Florida offers many tarpon fishing charters. With their help, visitors will be guided on the right equipment, the right fishing technique, and as well as the right bait to use for successful tarpon fishing in Florida.