About Bud N' Mary's

Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina is located in Islamorada, Florida, The Sportfishing Capital of The World!  It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world!  It is home to over 40 of the finest offshore captains and backcountry guides.  We also have a spectacular party fishing boat, the Miss Islamorada.  There is also a great dive shop, boat rentals, motel, boat storage, transient dockage, and tackle store.  We will be posting fishing related events, catches, media publications, and overall news concerning Bud N' Mary's here, so keep tuned in!  You can contact Bud N' Mary's at 1-800-742-7945 or e-mail us:


How to catch barracuda in the Florida Keys

Fishing for barracuda in the Florida Keys is lots of fun and they are a much under rated fish that we have here in Islamorada and the rest of the Florida Keys. Barracuda can be caught all year round both inshore and out on the reef. They range from very tiny to sometimes over 60 lbs! They can be caught on live bait, artificial, and even fly. They are very toothy critters so care must be used when handling them and trying to catch them.  Barracuda fishing most often requires a bit of thin wire for leader. You don't want to use too heavy as they may not bite if they see the heavy wire leader. But using a simple knot like an albright can seamlessly connect your wire leader to your mono, without having a swivel to worry about when casting. Usually #5 wire is likely fine for medium to larger size barracuda. When catching barracuda in Islamorada, the most consistent place to find them is out on the reef. Many structures such as the lighthouses, wrecks, and patch reefs will hold some resident barracuda. Of course around alligator lighthouse in Islamorada there are always a few, however you can not anchor there and fish as it is a no-fishing zone. However you are allowed to 'troll through' the area, so dragging tube lures is a productive way to catch them by trolling.  Fishing for barracuda in Islamorada is often done with live ballyhoo, pilchards, cigar minnows, or any other energetic baits. If you can see them you can just cast a bait to them, however often times they are a bit leary of taking a bait on its own. Usually most charter boats will chum with other live baits to 'fire them up.' Simply throw a few free baits out, injuring some to get the barracudas attention. When Islamorada barracuda fishing, mullet are a good bait to use too. They are often a by-catch when tarpon fishing in shore as mullet are a popular tarpon bait. Sometimes a dead mullet on the bottom will work great, as well as fishing one live. They are typically a larger bait though so the barracuda will miss the hook once in a while. Getting a little blood in the water will fire the barracudas up just as much as chumming with live baits, very similar to a shark. We often find barracudas around the bridge channels, and nearby channels in the everglades. Catching barracuda in the Florida Keys can also be done with light tackle and you can find many smaller ones around the mangrove islands of the everglades. You'll also see them cruising the flats of nearby Islamorada, and can sight cast to them which is a lot of fun. On an Islamorada barracuda charter I will often fish light tackle trout or snapper rods with a bit of light wire when we see small ones mixed in with our other fish. A simple live horn-hooked shrimp will work, though again a small live pilchard or pinfish can be good too. Good luck learning how to catch barracuda in Islamorada!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing