View Full Version : Fish stolen by Barracuda
01-10-2003, 01:34 PM
On the weekend of 28 DEC 02, myself and my dive buddy went diving on the Bibb Wreck down in Key Largo. Great wreck but saw only 1 out of range keeper grouper. Before the dive was over I did get the chance to spear 2 decent sized hogfish. After spearing The first somehow it got off of my spear but I found him swimming 5 minutes later and caught him by hand. The second was stoned outright. The problem was there were about 200 barracuda in the water around the wreck like battleships in formation. Having said that, You can see where this is leading. On the way up the line line at about 80 ft. of water I felt some tugging on my stringer tied on my waist (too close to my groin). At first I thought the tugging was from one of the fish still alive on my stringer but It felt too strong. It was tugging for about a minute when I thought to myself, "Damn, I thought I killed both those fish". I looked down and saw a 5 ft. Barracuda chewing on the tail of the bigger hogfish. I scared him off momentarily with my hand but he started coming back at me. I regrettably didnít have the bands pulled back in my speargun so I started poking him in the face with the spear tip each time he came back at my fish. After several minutes of fencing with the barracuda I realized he would not give up until he had my whole fish. It was then I decided on a compromise. I untied the half eaten hogfish and let it float free to allow the barracuda to eat it. Unfortunately I dropped the stringer and it floated downward. I started swimming after it when I saw about 10-15 barracuda swimming towards their free lunch. I hope they enjoyed it because I was mad. Anybody have any suggestions as to how to avoid this in the future?
01-10-2003, 01:38 PM
Welcome to the board, fernandez!!
How was the current on the Bibb?
I wonder if you PH'ed the cuda, would the other cuda's feast on their dead brother?
Sounds like a feeding frenzy I would want no part of.
01-10-2003, 01:42 PM
Bag the fish and they won't bother you.
It is a pain though.
01-10-2003, 01:53 PM
There were hundreds of Cudas there (no exageration). I didn't get the chance to spear it because I didn't have my bands pulled back. I am sure that if I speared it, it would have caused a feeding frenzy. There were numerous Cuda with bite marks in their backs, apparently from previous frenzies. The current on the Bibb wasn't that bad on the bottom. Maybe 1/2 knots at the worst. but from 50 ft to the surface, it was pretty strong at about 3-4 knots. Ascending on an ascent line is a definite must on this wreck. Well worth seeing in Key Largo, along with the Spiegel Grove and the Duane. We found a great and affordable dive boat the Island Venture. 10 divers max, and only $55 with tanks included. I have my dive log on powerpoint format, with pictures on it to include all my dives in Key Largo. Let me know if you would like to me to email it to you. email@example.com
01-10-2003, 02:12 PM
Where did you go out of? You cannot pass through Pennekamp park with spearguns on the boat, even unloaded and stowed. I did not think you were allowed to shoot on the Duane or the Bibb. I know you can't shoot on the Grove.
The Eagle further down is a decent spearfishing site.
01-10-2003, 02:17 PM
I left out of the Island Venture dive Charter that is located just a mile N of Pennekamp park. The boat left from a marina outside of the park so we didn't break any rules there. I didn't bring my speargun on the Spiegel Grove, definitely Verboten. But on the Bibb and Duane you are allowed to shoot to your heart's content. The problem will be getting your catch past the gauntlet of the 200-300 barracuda that reside on each wreck.
01-12-2003, 10:15 AM
So I have just started spearfishing and love it. My buddies and I I spent a week or so in Key West do a bit of free diving. We were diving some of the finger coral around 4pm as our last spot. (can't recall which reef) Being a rookie combined with bad viz from the wind kicking up I was not having a good day. I was working the southern tip of some of the fingers when I found a beautiful overhang with some really nice snapper. After a few dives I had picked my fish and took the shot. Luckily I hit him just right and he came right out. I started to pull him in while working my way back to the surface when out of no where I spot a shark coming in.... Well- my first thought is that it a reek shark trying for a free meal and my thought was to pull the snapper in before the shark got close enough. My bad. I quickly realized that this was no Reef but actually a 9ft Bull who had one thing on his mind, my fish. He came straight in just as I was about to crab the shaft. Stupidly, I kicked towards him and he did turn away for a second but when I saw him turn again I knew he was coming again and would not stop. Realizing that I immediately just let go of the line but still had the gun in hand. The bull put that entire snapper in his mouth and it came off the spear like butter but not before I felt a good tug of his power. I was on the surface a bit just looking back down at the gun knowing that I had to go back down to retrieve it. I had watched the Bull disapear but needless to say, I was a bit nervous. After getting my gun I joined up with the rest of the gang, as we had all decided to stay together. We looked around for some big groupers but was quickly joined by the Bull again. That is the point where you call it a day.
That was my third time spearing and needless to say losing your fish is better that losing a leg or hand.
01-12-2003, 08:06 PM
Man, that was one aggressive cuda! We've encountered some awfully curious ones before, but we were always able to keep them safely at a distance without a problem using our guns.
01-14-2003, 08:48 AM
Normally cudas are pretty non-chalant about things like this but perhaps that cuda got brave since there were several hundred of his breathern in the water.
01-14-2003, 09:27 AM
They're more competitive in numbers like that. I had a large one harrassing me during the Southern Open in early November. Every time I shot a fish I had to race to it to barely beat the Cuda. Funny thing is, he wouldn't move until I cocked back my fist like I was going to punch him.
I clip my stringer to my BC as well, but there is a release buckle so I can take it off when needed. I will leave the stringer clipped to me while hunting, but I hold it with my right hand during the ascent. This would allow me to drop it if charged my a large shark, or to defend it from smaller sharks and cudas.
01-14-2003, 10:10 AM
I had a Cuda try to steal a lobster from me in the keys...never saw him until he came toward my bug. He darted after it about 3 or 4 times. I had to kick him off with my fin:eek:
Think I had to clean my drawers shortly thereafter:D
01-14-2003, 03:05 PM
you are allowed to go through pennikamp with a speargun properly stowed, you just can't stop or dive anywhere in the park. i run out of largo and go up to ocean reef all the time, so i inquired about the rules. you can have a gun on your boat, you just cant stop or dive. funny thing is that once we broke down inside the park with guns on board, so the first thing i did was radio the faggot wussy cocksuckers(FWC) to tell them that i was broken down inside the park and had guns on board, but was not diving- they documented it and everything was ok.
01-19-2003, 11:56 AM
I have had this problem many times. When barracuda are in large numbers, they tend to follow you up to see if they can get the fish. However, two things seem to keep them away. A lobster bag works well it keeps the fish out of sight and the other thing I do all the time is just bring the fish up to my chest and sorta just hug them close to me. At that point they seem to become too skittish and just stay close but I have not had one actually come to me once the I have my arms wrapped around the fish.
01-19-2003, 07:13 PM
Just remember. the darker the cuda is the madder they are. If you don't want to keep and eat em.. shoot them low and in the stomach.. the stomach being very soft, they rip off the shaft fairly easily. They usually don't make it too far before the rest of them take care of the wounded one, and after about 6 get shot the word seems to get around and they leave. Just what I have found out over time..diving in gulf. As powerful and fast as they are you would be missing body parts before you even know you were bitten. Be safe than sorry..
As for PH's. I have yet to have a PH go off shooting a cuda. Just something about them I guess...
that pain that will not kill you, is good for you,
therefore, pain is good
extreme pain is extremely good.
01-19-2003, 07:33 PM
When the cudas are around I make sure that all the fish on my stringer are dead .If thats not enough for them then I show the steel to them . I have P.H. about 4 cudas never stuck around to see what happens next.
01-19-2003, 08:33 PM
I was freediving out of islamorada over thanksgiving. I had a pole spear, and I see a nice gag. I swim above it, and out of nowhere, a 500# bull shark came over and ate the gag. It scared the crap out of me. TALK ABOUT RUNNING ON WATER. I was in the boat in a millisecond. Ive done some free dives in some areas that are packed with cuda. I don't know why, but sometimes, this is where I find some big fish.
01-19-2003, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by Wierd fish
I was in the boat in a millisecond. And therein lies the advantage of freediving over tank diving.
01-20-2003, 06:07 AM
You could always PH the bottom of yer tank, and shoot thru the water like a cartoon!:p
01-20-2003, 10:08 AM
If I had the money to buy my own gear, I would be down there with the rest of you. I got tired of renting and went to freediving. Maby for my birthday I might ask for some stuff :) . Untill then, its freediving for me.
01-21-2003, 06:18 PM
Hey, I can attest to the cuder situation on the Bibb. It was 7 miles out my back door less than a year ago. It is a great spot to tag a variety of fish throughout the year. Monster muttons and super sized yellowtail snapper hang of the wreck in the spring and fall, big blacks underneath. hit it really early or really late in the day as the charters seem to scare all the life inside the wreck or wherever the hell they decide to go. It is pretty deep though at 130'. Huge pompano, aj's and mackeral species are often seen at this wreck. Current can rip pretty good, but the nice thing about the wreck is that it sits on its side and the superstructure portion is on the lee side of the current so that once you get down to 90 feet or so, you are out of it and not struggling. Big jewfish living there too, but very wary, which is nice:cool:. Never been bothered by the cudas, just always bagged everything or held it real close to my chest after making sure whatever I'd shot was good and dead. I hear some of you guys talking about bulls and I am not surprised you've seen them. Super abundant when the water cools off a bit like this. Had many a friend run in with them guys from the keys up to west palm. Had a twelve footer sneak up behind me at 135' around deerfield beach:eek:. Basically, they seem to get what they want over there as no one I know has had a lot of success with shooing them off. Couple of guys diving off the boat I worked on in Hollywood got cornered against the reef by a trio of bulls, all about 6-8 feet. They fought them off and then the sharks separated the guys and bit one of them in the ass at the surface. Shortly thereafter, he dropped his stringer. I'll take a cuda anyday over one of those ****ers.
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