Fishing for Barracuda, Jacks, Grouper, and Sharks

OTHER GAME FISH: There is a cornucopia of under-utilized species at Belize which will match the skill of the most sophisticated anglers. Here are a few types you should definently consider pursuing.

Barracuda, Jacks and Sharks: Lurking at the top of the food chain, these tough flats predators offer some outstanding action on a fly or lure. They will viciously strike anything that darts away from them in an injured manner. When hooked, they are some of the fastest and most powerful fish to be taken on light tackle. These are species that should not be overlooked!

For sharks, they feed along the shore in very shallow water, at dark and dawn. So you leave your net out overnight. The sharks tangle in the shallow water, 2 ft to 4 ft. off the beach, as they cruise the shallows to feed in the dark. They usually travel in schools. I've caught as many as nine sharks in a 100 ft net. You need large mesh, 10" or bigger and a very light line. I think I used multifilament, hangs loose and they roll up and drown. Best over turtle grass bottom.

Use a chain and big hook and a piece of sting ray for bait, fastened to a post in the sand.

Or better yet. A nylon gill net, stretched out a 100 yards from shore over night. Feeding time is morning and evening.

Click here for how to cook up that catch!

Fly Fishing

Flies: Barracuda - Needlefish patterns (green/white, chartreuse, blue/white), Braided Barracuda Fly (chartreuse),Rabbit Barracuda (2/0), Chinese Dragon (chartreuse and white) 3/0.

Note: For barracuda and jacks, an extra-fast retrieve will usually provoke more strikes than a slow retrieve.

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Fishing Articles
Boats to Use
How to Build A Fish Trap
Bonefish        Permit
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Blue Water Tournament
Deep Water Fish
Other Flats Fish
Geography of Fishing
Commercial fishing in Belize
One Man's First Experience
Basic Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing

Jacks and Sharks - Lefty's Deceiver (red/white and blue/ white), Streaker, Gaines Saltwater Popper (red/white and blue/ white), Shark Fly. 2/0-3/0 hook.

Rod/Reel: Follow tarpon guidelines - 10 wt rod is ideal.

Line: Saltwater taper, floating line.

Leader: A wire shock tippet is mandatory. Pre-tied Climax BarracudalShark or Bluefish are perfect.


Lures: Barracuda - Tube lures (green and orange) are especially effective, Zara Spook (see tarpon section), 5 1/4" Rapala Silver 9/16 oz. (Needlefish)

Jacks and Sharks - Zara Spook (tarpon size/colors), Magnum Rapala (tarpon size/colors).

Rod/reel: Same listed in tarpon section. Line: 12-15 lb. test.

Snapper, Grouper, and various reef species can also offer some fast and furious fishing.

Fly Fishing: If you're in the mood for something different, try blind casting with a sinking line near the edge of the reef with a medium-sized attractor-type pattern (Seaducer, Bendback, Deceiver, Whistler, etc.). Use a short heavy leader with a wire tippet because there is no telling what you may hook! A 10-wt rod is recommended.

Spin/Casting: Reef species will take a wide variety of lures and bait. If you plan to do some reef fishing, include the following items in your tackle selection:

Mirrolures (52M, 65M, 38MR -red/white and green/white), Rapala Magnum or Rapala Silver (silver/black or needlefish). Jigs: 3/4 to 11/2 oz. bucktail and soft bodied models in white, yellow, and chartreuse.

Live bait rigs: 3/4 to 1 1/2 oz. slip sinkers, #1/0-#3/0 bait hook (Mustad 9174 0'Shaugnessy); a short wire leader is mandatory.

Click here for information on the lobster season and fishing for lobsters.

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