A couple weeks ago we gave you a bunch of reasons why we love chucking poppers for barracuda on our flats at Andros South, not the least of which is, well, they work!
For that reason alone, we have a feeling a few of you will be tossing poppers to toothy critters this season. That’s why today we present you with..
Popper Fishing for Barracuda – 3 Tips
- Short, quick, strips. When fishing streamers for barracuda, its crucial to keep the fly moving as fast as possible throughout the retrieve. This is usually performed by really long, really fast, strips of the fly. However, when fishing a popper, strips that are too long often pick the fly up out of the water, causing slack in your fly line and/or leader, which greatly reduces the ‘popping’ action of your fly. Instead, we find that quick, but short, strips gives better action to the fly, making much more of a disturbance over a short distance. This creates a lot of chaos (which drives ‘cuda crazy) while keeping your fly in the strike zone longer. Its a win win!
- Accelerate your retrieve. A great tip to convince ‘cuda to chase is to accelerate the pace of your strips throughout the retrieve. Once your fly hits the water, start by popping your fly slowly (with short quick strips for a good ‘pop’) and speed up the pace as you retrieve. This gives a more realistic imitation of fleeing prey, often enticing otherwise ‘stale’ ‘cuda to chase.
- Don’t present too close. Contrary to popular belief, barracuda can be spooked, especially when hit on the head with a big heavy popper. They also make a living out of ambushing their prey. Therefore, unlike when presenting to bonefish, we find that ‘cuda respond best when the fly is presented further away from the fish. Presenting the fly anywhere from 8-15 feet away, or even farther in some circumstances, allows the fish to pick up the fly from a distance, and ambush it, just as it would its prey.