Originally Posted by Biggie
That size cuda is supposed to be pretty good eating. I've never had it, but I'm curious...
Chechem is absolutely correct! They are very tasty. I don't eat any over 3-4lbs , but they do taste good. They are very mild. Many people are put off by tales of cigatera, but even more by the smell of their skin slime - which does not affect the meat at all.
As always when filleting fish, keep the fileting table clean so no blood or entrails gets on the meat.
Their cigar shaped bodies result in easy to filet, high meat/body weight ratio as well. Narrow but thick filets. Immediate icing with sea water added after catching will void the arteries of blood and make filleting much easier, since it firms the meat. This goes for all fish.
My sisters and I have eaten them since infancy, twice or ocassionally three times a week as kids. I remember my mother mushing each bite between her fingers checking for bones before feeding them to my little sisters.
So few people eat them (no commercial fishery) that there are no size or bag limit restrictions on them. So if you're down here and renting a kitchenette place or camping out, give them a try. All you need is some lemon, butter, salt and a frying pan.
For guys fishing for tarpon for the first time, or who have not hooked up before, I would suggest the first trip being one that starts at sundown and into the night. That is when tarpon are feeding and the chances of actually catching one (with a guide) increase by at least 2,000%. You will be fishing known lies, or to busting/boiling fish. That will break the ice, and when you do hook up on a daytime fish, you will know what to expect and have a better chance to bring him boatside.