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cuda killer

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 19, 2002
Here is one of the 4 cuda I shot Saturday. I broke the string on my MT-5 and lost the shaft and head (another story) so I used a borrowed JBL XHD 38 Special. Lost one of the three bands when I was paying attention to fighting a fish. Shot this cuda and another one with only 2 bands which made the gun very underpowered. But the good news is the low power made me learn some new hunting tricks. I found that some of the cuda’s would get up against a support and think they were hidden or something. I shot this one at a mere 12” from the tip and the other one at 6”.

I speared a grey snapper too, and by pole we caught 15 red snapper, one was 22lbs, and a 18” lane snapper. Didn’t get to bed till 1 AM with all the cleaning and put up.


  • don's cuda.jpg
    don's cuda.jpg
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World Record!

Scott, you’re the one with the world record! Some day I hope to improve on your record. There is one rig that has really big cudas on it here, but I was a complete newbie the one time I dove it and didn’t want to take the chance of getting dragged away. The visibility was just too poor Saturday and it may not clear up until next summer. It’s a big rig that the party boats go to which I think contribute to the size of the cuda’s, because they eat the chum and undersize snapper the boats through back.

Did you shoot yours on rig?

Good shot,
YEP, those black fins ones are the one that grow big in my place.

Don, don't u use cable on ur MT-5 ? U can get nylon coated ones, very friendly on ur hand. With ur shaft size, 500 lbs coated won't effect accuracy.

I recalled someone cooking a Barracuda with some kind of flour that they use on Kentucky Fried Chicken, it taste like Tempura !!!
Now I get hungry:confused: :confused:
Arent/werent you worried about Cigatera(sp?). When we used to catch Cudas on R&R in the Carribean we used to let then go in fear of getting sick. Just wondering :confused:

On the road..
nice fish, don. don't forget to email IYA your results on the accuracy of the gun at that half a foot range. :D

Congrat Scot nice cuda.Its really like world record.Is it?.What was the weight of the cuda? Which gun and setup did you use?

You deserve some +karma :cool:
I found it;

21.6 kg., 47.619 lbs.

Diver: Scott Garrett Turgeon
Date: June 20, 1999
Location: Jupiter, FL., UNITED STATES
Baracudas are all over the place here in S. Florida. The one that Scott got is definetely a bruiser. Most people stay away from them due to Ciguatera poisoning (more of a problem with the bigger guys) but I've heard that they are pretty good to eat. I am wondering whether donmoore eats his cudas fron the Gulf. Actually there are a couple of resident baracuda right off my beach that I always see and I would never imagine shooting. It is always pretty cool to show them to visitors from up North that come to take a peaceful swim at a sandy Florida beach.

Great fish , scott ...:king , congratulations on your record .
And well done Don , nice shot ...:cool: Be careful of lifting fish that way , guess you are using a stronger spear than my soft 7mm. though . More photo's please :D
IYA, the accuracy at 6” was #@&*$5/*8&65! Anderson and all, on my Riffe gun, before I broke the string, I was using the broadhead archery tip. I attached it directly to the shaft, without the Ice Pike setup I had made earlier. I really like it, because it greatly improves the chance of stoning the fish. I still have yet to shoot a fish with the Riffe that the shaft didn’t pass all the way through. I hit the gill plates once, which are like armor on cudas. The broadhead slices through with ease making it no sweat for the shaft with the shark fin taps to follow.

My shaft had the string attached to the 1st of the 3 shark taps. In all cases, but one the shaft turned sideways and acted like a huge ice pike/slip tip. In the one case it didn’t some how the butt end just happen to swing and hit the hole and the fish pulled it through. The standard shaft on MT-5 comes with a rest tap, more in the middle of the shaft, so I am going to attach the string there on my new shaft.

Hamrrhed, I assume Sturgent/Scott shoot his in Florida and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say about Cigatera. Barracuda are considered Cigatera free in Texas, because we don’t have enough reef to cause it. They are considered a 4 on a 5 to 1 scale of taste, which makes them one of the better tasting fish we have. They are much better than the King fish so many people fish for here. They aren’t sold commercially, because of the bad rap from Cigatera and you would never know if someone tried to sneak some in from a place that has it, just to make a few bucks.
Well you guys know the weight of my fish now. There's been bigger shot but at the time there was a 15 year existing World Record (45 lbs) from Hawaii so I turned my fish in for the hell of it. Best of luck to you Don in beating it, I'm sure you can do it. What do you mean you "didn't want to get dragged away"? You are using a float line with a float I hope? I wouldn't recommend a reel on a big fish like a cuda especially in a big structure place like a rig where you need to at least try to establish some sort of control over the fish.

When I shot that cuda, I used to sell cudas commercially (I don't do that anymore). Two of us could shoot over 700 lbs in a day sometimes. Prices ranged from $.50-1.00/lb (whole fish). We had a couple buyers. One fish house sent the cudas (whole) to Canada. The other was a wholesaler who filleted them and sold them somewhere locally (beware of 'catch of the day' in S. FL). I've never heard of anybody getting cig here from local fish. There are several instances from hogfish brought in from the Dry Tortugas and hogfish and grouper from the Bahamas but never from a WPB fish. We used to shoot some big cudas and as far as the buyers were concerned, the bigger the better.

I shot that cuda with the same setup I shoot all my fish with: 110 or 120 cm Euro gun w/single 20mm band and 7mm Hawaiian flopper. Back then, I used to use a float line though.

Scott T.
Last edited:
no surface float!

What do you mean you "didn't want to get dragged away"? You are using a float line with a float I hope?

The first few times I didn’t use anything (float or reel). I now have a 50lb lift inflatable folding float with a 63 gram CO2 cartridge. Anderson and Rigdvr have tried their best to talk me into using a surface bouy, but I’m a little stubborn, although I do listen and appreciate their advice. I haven’t activated my float yet, because until yesterday I didn’t have anymore CO2 cartridges. The factory was out and had to make some more. I have been trying different methods of attaching it to the gun, but now I am working on Velcroing it to my weight belt and running a small rope to the gun. If for some reason it doesn’t pull free, I can release the buckle. Plus I can use different guns just by transferring the rope.

I really get a kick out fighting a fish without a float or reel. They tend to want to go down and of course I want to drag them up. It makes it real interesting. The inflatable float gives me the opportunity to do this and still have a backup if I get in over my head. Now that I have some spare CO2 cartridges, I will experiment in the water to see how it works.

Another reason I like the folding float is it gives me the ability to swim under the rig supports. If you look at the photo you can see several pipes going into the water. These pipes extend about 8’ in the water. Most of the rigs here have this on the west side of the rig and it is for the crew boats to dock. The wind usually comes from the East so this is the side we mostly tie up to. I shot this fish inside of the rig and swam it under those pipes, because it was the shortest and quickest route to the boat.

Is there still a market for cuda there?

Thanks for your information and encouragement,

P.S. I’ll post some pictures of my CO2 float setup when I get it perfected.
The standard shaft on MT-5 comes with a rest tap, more in the middle of the shaft, so I am going to attach the string there on my new shaft.
Hi Don,
I wouldn't recommend putting your shooting line any farther forward than the band tabs at the back of the shaft. Actually the farther back the better, especially since you are shooting a shaft w/ tabs and don't have to worry about the shaft breaking at the notches. Putting the line forward will affect accuracy on your longer shots. I know you're getting some close shots now but they won't always be. Generally it's pretty rare to string a fish and then the shaft come back through the hole. Shooting through a fish isn't the best situation for recovery. You didn't say if you lost the fish, but if you want to still use the broadhead directly on your shaft w/out a breakaway then you could always put a flopper behind the broadhead incase you don't get a pass through shot. And this would keep the broadhead from cutting its way back out. Just MHO.


Your setup sounds very complicated and usually with freediving, simpler is better. I would like to see a picture of it though. I definitely understand why you would want to be free from a floatline when swimming in and around a rig. I refer to my floatline (when I'm forced to use one) as a 'necessary evil'.

Scott T.
Originally posted by sturgeon
I shot that cuda with the same setup I shoot all my fish with: 110 or 120 cm Euro gun w/single 20mm band and 7mm Hawaiian flopper. Back then, I used to use a float line though.

Scott T.

Yea i can see it from the pic.But i am asking about the brand and model.

Nice job Don!
A little helpful advice if I may... Go get a float line. Shave if you're going to be photographed, and yeah, go with cable around the rigs.
Oh, and the shaft you're holding is needing some serious work now. But you made it back to tell the tale, so it's all good.:cool:


Thanks for the advice. I didn’t realize how much I was bending the shaft until I saw the photo, but thankfully its fine. Straight as can be. The reason I was holding the fish like that was because it was still very much alive and my wife grabbed the camera and insisted on getting a photo before I threw it in the icebox. That’s as close as I dared to get to those teeth!

On shaving, my philosophy is I need to look meaner or just as mean as what I am hunting! Who knows, next time I may be wearing war paint!
Hey , Sven ; I'm giving up scuba tuition and going into fulltime fortune telling ...rofl
DB ' Nostradamus
I predict Don will do fine as well.

But ya see Don, from now on, get the better half to hold up the fish. ;) And have her shave too.

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