Predator versus Tracy

Predator versus Tracy

Tracy&James | Thursday, 26 April 2018

Tracy caught her first barracuda at long last this week, after many years of trying. When I say ‘first barracuda’ I mean a ‘proper’ sized one; she has caught many cudas before (probably hundreds), usually by mistake on a bonefish fly but occasionally targeted by casting a clouser on a toothy critters leader into a likely looking spot. However this was her first adult fish that was patrolling the flat alone.

I’ve written before about how I think barracuda are a very challenging target. Above about 4 or 5 pounds they lose all their naivety that sees them snapping instantly at any fly they see, and they turn into disdainful creatures that will follow a fly many times but hardly ever take it. Tracy has been learning the technique that I described in the cuda FP and on the day in question managed to get 3 takes from different fish resulting in one landed. The one she caught took the fly after at least 30 casts – the first cast offers the best chance, but if the fish follows and refuses then the process of ‘annoying’ it begins, during which they either get bored and swim off or, hopefully, strike at the fly.

I’ve also been getting in on the predators with a nice lemon shark landed.  This fish had me running down the beach in order to get into the ideal position to take the shot.  I think this is the difference between mine and Tracy’s predator fishing – I think I’m more likely to think about repositioning myself (even if that means some physical exertion in the heat of the day) rather than just taking the shot from where the fish is spotted.  Often, by the time the bonefish outfit has been reeled up, swapped with the predator outfit, the heavier line stripped from the reel etc., the fish is no longer in the best position.  My experience is that once the fish has passed the perpendicular line to the caster, travelling left to right (or vice versa), then the angle of the retrieve will always be pulling the fly slightly into the fish and they don’t like that at all – seeing a big shark spook on a small fly is quite funny though.  Obviously in this situation you could use a curve cast to ensure the fly swims away from the target but I don’t like to as any bow in the line is a big hindrance to a good strip strike, hence my preference is to get out and run.

Attached are some pictures from the last week, hopefully you’ll agree that they look idyllic.  However I’ve also included some pictures where we’ve turned the camera around to look up onto the beach.  This is done to highlight the plastic pollution, this is a major worldwide problem that can only get worse in the coming decades.  I’ve also written about this subject in a previous FP so I won’t repeat myself here other than to say there is not a beach that we go to that hasn’t got a massive amount of plastic waste sitting just above the high water mark.

We’re switching our attention back to bonefish this weekend.  Whatever you’re targeting I hope you have a good one.


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