Markos Vidalis: Mediterranean Barracuda Part 2


I still remember myself before 9 years, fishing Cudas in the ports around Athens. Being one of the very few familiar with spinning fishing, I had the privilege to say to myself when bored: hmmm ill go get some Cudas tonight to have fun. Numbers like 12 or more Cudas per night was very ordinary and joyful. But as I was promoting this technique via fishing magazines and internet, more and more people starting to love spinning. Athens is a very populated city and that means that back then, many anglers that liked other techniques, turned to this one and nowadays spinning has take a morph of “fashion” and many people start with it without never had a simpler “touch” with the sea.

This was after all my goal, but the main problem is that the ports once I was getting a dozen of fish, now seem to be empty with very few and reluctant to strike fish. So many things changed from past to present but one is still the same. Whenever I get bored and decide to go for some Cudas, I will manage to catch some, even though not as many as back then, (maybe three or four), but they will give me much more joy because of the effort I have to apply. In order to be efficient to their fishing, I have to consider many things like season, prey items, moon and temperature of the surface waters. Each one of these factors, make Cudas to hunt differently, like striking in fast or low retrieve, long jerk, big or smaller lures, on the surface, mid waters or even bottom. My first action is to go fishing very late when no one else is there and apply all the retrieving techniques with different lures in the game.



Even though most of the times a TMS 175 going slowly on the surface will trigger an attack of the “love to ambush” Cuda, in stressed areas often is not enough. If the fish are very small like small sardines, Cudas will ignore larger lures and focus on the “real thing”. Then come to play smaller DUO lures that are normally designed for other fishing. In some cases I had success with crazy lures like Spearhead Ryuki 80S that mimics perfect a running sardine with high speed or even a Spinbait 80 with very slow retrieve like “spybaiting in the port”.


markosvidalis-barracuda-bay ruf


Every rose has its thorns they say, but for us, every lure was its action and way of use. But using lures the right way still is not enough many times, since you have to combine the right way, with the right time and the right season. For example late afternoon, often Cudas stay on the bottom in the entrances of the ports and attack on the surface the incoming small fish that enter to stay the night. Many anglers know that and fish like crazy and once it is dark, they leave because they say that fish finish their hunt. Actually small fish entered the port and stayed lower, so Cudas just moved in and hunt in midwaters, ignoring the surface any more. There a vibrating lure or a sinking lipless, or a deep diver could bring the game on with the right action.

There is exactly where we have to focus on our fishing and start to use each lure we suspect is effective on a very delicate way. We hide our presence and use our best skills to give life to different lures until we find where the Cudas are Vulnerable. When we do, WE DON’T INSIST, because after two or three fish, game is over. We will try to find another effective lure and action, and only if we fail we will use again the effective one but only once in an hour. In this way we can get more fish than two, and is crucial if we release them to do it far from the spot we fish or in a better case on the outer side of the Port.




As I always say, for me is TMS 175, and TMS 175 FLYER. If there is a Cuda game, I can’t imagine going there without them. As simple as long jerks or steady slow or medium retrieve, those lures are like designed exclusively for this species. But this counts only when Cudas hunt on the surface. Also TMS 140 and TMS 200 have their way and are 100% effective in most of the cases, but when we have to become real ninjas to get stressed Cudas, then other lures come to loose our hands. Tide Vibe Slim is a killer when we want to focus on mid waters and so is Tide Vibe Score and Bay Ruf V75. Going even lower, I recently loved the Spinbait 80 that with very slow retrieve it made Cudas crazy. Talking about low, I love also Press Bait Saira, a lure that has results during day, getting Cudas from deeper layers but needs heavier gear.

When it comes to very reluctant fish, I use very light gear and the very effective in sea bass, MOAB 120. It seems that it works great on Cudas too with twitching and stop and go. All of the Realis Jerkbait do also well but the Suspending models. It is really adrenaline pumping, when while the stop and go, you see the braid running with these models that get the strike right there. Last but not least, when Cudas are focusing on the surface, an amazing lure started to show me amazing results and I use it more and more often. The Terrif DC 12 Type 1 is simply amazing. With minnow swimming only a few centimeters under surface, confuse cudas and make them strike like crazy. With very slow speed you can make this lures “tail” touching the surface and make it leave a trace! Real killer only in calm waters!

Markos Vidalis


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