If it weren’t for the overwhelming number of eager bonefish, South Andros might best be known as a world-class flats fishery for barracuda.
Barracuda are a blast to target with a fly and many of our guests find them to be an exciting change of pace in between shots at bonefish. They’re big, toothy, hit flies extremely hard, and have a tendency to rocket out of the water once hooked.. What’s not to like?
That being said, bringing ‘cuda to hand can be challenging on the fly, and proper rigging is critical to success. One of the most common questions we receive when rigging for barracuda is, “how long should my wire tippet be?”
Our answer? Twice the width of the fish’s mouth. That’s approximately 12 inches for big barracuda. Allow us to explain.
A barracuda’s teeth are razor sharp. Any length of monofilament that passes through their mouth will surely be cut. Therefore at the very minimum, the length of wire tippet must always be longer than the width of the fish’s mouth. This ensures that even when hooked on the opposite corner of the mouth, the wire tippet can still span the entire width of the mouth during the fight (see photo above).
Why twice the width of the fish’s mouth? Doubling this length offers a greater margin of error on fish hooked deep in the mouth, unexpectedly large fish, or shots at sharks (if you’re so inclined), without becoming too cumbersome to cast (common with a wire tippet that’s too long).
Give it a try!
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