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King Fish VideoHi Speed Only

The sun comes up over Southwest Florida and Mike is throwing out his casting net trying to score us some chum bait. We are heading 20-25 miles offshore to chase Bonito. Mike makes a few throws with the net and the live well is full of bait. We make our way offshore and the wind picks up and the ocean is producing 5-8 foot waves. As the sun gets higher in the sky the conditions worsen. Finally we arrive at our destination. A wreck off Bonito Springs about 25 miles offshore. The wind was ripping and the 30 foot Contender was getting tossed around by the sea. Walter decides to fish with conventional gear. He drops a live piece of bait down to the bottom. WHAM! His rod is double over and he pulls up a nice Bonito. Joe and I are riggin up our fly rods. It’s not long before Joe says, “I got one.” Joe manages to fight the seas and the fish and pulls in a nice King Fish. Joe puts his fly back in the water. “I got another one.” Just as he is bringing another King Fish to the boat, a big black shadow appears under the fish. The fish starts to run frantically back and forth and then we see a huge flash of Silver. The Barracuda leaves Joe with half a fish on his line. A Big Barracuda attacked the fish and tore it in half. I hooked into a couple while Joe landed 3 more. Every time I got one on my line, they were breaking me off instantly. Cutting right through my 40 pound flurocarbon leader. They were either Barracuda or King Fish. Either way, I was not gonna lose the next one. I asked Mike if he had any steel leader. He helped me splice a piece of steel leader onto my fluorcarbon leader. I was back in business. I casted my fly. Let it sink a bit and then BANG! My reel is singing. I am way out into my backing in no time. I start to battle the fish and then I feel the slack. “Damn it, he’s gone!” I start to strip my line in again and WHAM! The fish is on again. I battle the fish for a long time. He run out, in and down. Finally he starts to tire. We are all convinced that it is a Bonito, but we were wrong. We finally got a chance to see him and it was a 20-25 pound King Fish. I am excited. A nice big fish. Pretty too. I can’t wait to get a nice photo with this fish. Then I see the BIG shadow below the fish. “OH NO! A Barracuda is chasing him!” The fish tries to get away and I try to help the fish get away, but the Barracuda is on him like a radar guided missle. The Barracuda attacks and bites off the fishes tale just as we are bringing him to the boat. This is a fairly common occurence in tropical waters. What we fly fishermen consider to be a sizeable fish, other predators (Sharks and Barracuda) see as bait. We had a great day, even though the seas and wind were tough to battle. It is so much fun to fish in Florida because you just never know what might take your fly or your fish.