Cuda Up in My Grill

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Just so everyone knows I’m super proud of my new slim and trim status.

Louis has been on me a while now to drop some serious LB’s. I’ve really been stacking them on from my wife’s fantastic cooking. He says there’s a reason he doesn’t take photos of me anymore, and I really can’t blame him 🙂

Unfortunately, I’ve not lost the weight in reality. I ran across these two photos from four years ago, fishing down in the Florida Keys with Capt. Joel Dickey. He guided me to this behemoth barracuda on the fly. To this date, it’s probably one of my most memorable saltwater moments I’ve experienced on the flats. The take and battle were epic, particularly since my arms were already complete jello from the prior twenty minutes of stripping hand over fist as fast my arms would go.

Numerous barracuda prior had given us promising chases but as they so often do, they let off the gas and lose interest at the last second. About the time I was ready to yell uncle, Joel shouted in his famous southern accent, “DUDE, look at that giant cuda at two 0’clock”. I some how managed to lay out a good cast, and I was about five strips into my retrieve when this guy hammered the fly and took off faster than I’ve ever witnessed a fish swim. That’s when the “shit hit the fan”. Before I could transition from holding the fly line to the fly rod, that barracuda burnt the hell out of my hands from the fly line shooting across my palms and through the rod guides at fifty miles and hour. I’d wear that fly line brand across both my palms for the next two weeks.

But what really made this fish memorable was the fact that this toothy son of a bitch came screaming at us full speed, jumped out of the water mouth chomping and completely cleared the dolphin skiff giving Joel and I a fly by. It hit the water on the other side of the skiff, and kept tearing ass across the flats. I’m not lying when I say that damn barracuda was out for blood and revenge. It made it very clear it was not happy about that owner hook in its mouth, and it came damn close to giving me its own personal payback by taking a bite out of my ass. You want to talk about an adrenaline rush. That barracuda made me feel like I was at the bottom of the food chain. Joel made sure I fought that fish until it was completely exhausted before handling it for photos. Good idea captain 🙂

This was my first barracuda on the fly. I’ll probably never come close to matching this trophy the rest of my life.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Cuda Up in My Grill

  1. Nice one Kent! You gotta watch those cuda. Had a similar run in last year at Biscayne. I was waist deep in the water, which makes handling them at close range VERY INTERESTING. I called that moment the near cuda-sectomy.

  2. Awesome cuda, Kent. I landed one (my first) on a recent trip to Ascension Bay and was absolutely set back by its ferocity. I’ve since come to the conclusion that they are woefully under targeted on the flats.

  3. Pingback: 6 Reasons To Love And Fear The Barracuda | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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