By BRENT GASKILL
© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 1, 2001
Barracuda was on the agenda last weekend for Aaron Wilson, who was visiting from Texas. His high school mascot is a barracuda, and the senior football player was looking for a trophy.
We used leftover stinger rigs from kingfish season and headed to a wreck to slow-troll live baits. The larger the bait the better, and Wilson was impressed when a 20-inch ladyfish from the well was secured to the hook as bait.
It only took a few laps around the wreck before a big 'cuda demolished the first bait. It made a shoulder flexing leap and the drag began to sing when the line went limp. The lead wire was bitten in two. Then the second rod got hit, the fish cut the bait in half and just missed the hooks. We jiggled some small bait, which were inhaled by small barracuda but neglected by larger fish.
Using an old trick, we placed two baits on the same stinger rig. One bait was nose-hooked on the lead hook, the other nose-hooked on the trailing treble hook. The double-bait rig was immediately slammed. This fish was hooked solidly and made an acrobatic jump; the fight was on. We landed the barracuda, took photos and measurements, and released it. Coming in at 51 inches and 28 pounds, we had our trophy. A fiberglass mount will be made to hang on the wall and commemorate the fighting barracuda.
- Capt. Brent Gaskill charters the Summer Vacation out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 343-1765 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.