A Barracuda Catch

by Ann Mones
(Vieques, Puerto Rico)

In 1987 on our 26' Oday we made a trip from Miami to Key West, Florida. We wanted to see the gulf side of the Keys so went to lighted marker that would eventually take us to the 7 mile bridge of the Florida Keys.

We spent the night at the marker and headed out the next morning for the 7 mile bridge. My husband had one lure for a trolling line and deployed it as we headed east. About 1 1/2 hours into the cruise we had a catch. It was quite exciting until we got the creature aboard and found out we had a barracuda.

We were standing on the cockpit seats while the barracuda was on the floor of the cockpit. My husband wanted to retrieve his only lure from the barracuda's jaw. He gave it a few tries but looking at those teeth said it was never going to happen.

Within about 10 minutes the decision was made to return our catch to his environment with the lure. We hope the hook eventually disappeared and let the barracuda continue on in his life.

We were so excited about even having a catch that we did not notice that we were turned around and were headed west back to where we had spent the night.

At that time we used paper charts, and I was the chart reader. I kept saying to my husband that the chart and eye sightings were not matching. When we reached the marker, we both burst into laughter and continued to tease one another as we redid our morning adventure.

We eventually did reach the 7 mile bridge but have continued to relive that adventure many times as novice sailors back then!

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Dec 02, 2013
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Barracuder
by: Ann Mones

The barracuda was at least 4 feet long that was why we were on the seats in the cockpit. I would never eat barracuda although we found the in the Bahamas that locals did eat barracudas over 5 lbs when we visited in the Abacos.

Dec 02, 2013
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Barracuda and Ciguatera Poisoning
by: Dick McClary

You don't say how large your barracuda was, but if it was a 'big-un' you were absolutely right to return it from whence it came.

Barracuda often carry the poisonous ciguatera toxin, and the larger the fish the more poisonous it will be. Eating an infected one will make you very poorly indeed!

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