Barracuda, Great

Details

220px-barracuda_laban
Scientific Name:
Sphyraena barracuda
Fight Rating:
Hard Pointer
Description:

An excellent gamefish, the great barracuda leads a list of marine fish that cause ciguatera when eaten, although small fish are apparently not poisonous. Not every barracuda
causes ciguatera, but there is no safe or reliable way of recognizing toxic fish.

OTHER NAMES:
’cuda, sea pike, giant sea pike; French: barracuda, brochet de mer; Hawaiian: kaku, kupala; Japanese: onikamasu; Portuguese: barracuda, bicuda; Spanish: barracuda, picuda.

Identification. The great barracuda is long and slender, with a large, pointed head and large eyes. The dorsal fins are widely separated, and the first dorsal fin has five spines, whereas the second has 10 soft rays. In a large underslung jaw, the great barracuda has large, pointed canine teeth. It also possesses a bluish-gray or greenish-gray body coloration above the lateral line and a silvery-white belly. A few irregular black blotches are usually scattered on the sides of the body, especially toward the tail. The young have one dark stripe down each side, which mutates to become blotches as the fish grow. The great barracuda also occasionally has 18 to 22 diagonal dark bars above the lateral line. It grows much larger, in general, than its relative the Pacific barracuda.

Size. Known to reach a weight of 106 pounds and a length of 61⁄2 feet, the great barracuda averages 5 to 20 pounds in weight; larger specimens are rare. The all-tackle world record is an 85-pounder.

Life history/Behavior. Young barracuda under 3 pounds usually inhabit shallow waters, such as harbors and coastal lagoons, until they become adults and live farther offshore, sometimes far out to sea. Smaller barracuda will occasionally school, but the large ones are typically solitary. Curiosity is a trait of all barracuda, and they will follow waders or divers as a result.

Food and feeding habits. The great barracuda eats whatever is available in its habitat; needlefish, small jacks, and mullet are among the mainstays. They are attracted by shininess or flashes and movement, feeding by sight, rather than by smell.

Distribution. Great barracuda range from Massachusetts to Brazil, although not in abundance from the Carolinas northward. They are caught mainly around Florida, in the Florida Keys,
in the Bahamas, and throughout the West Indies.

Habitat. Young barracuda live in inshore seagrass beds, whereas adults range from inshore channels to the open ocean. They are also found in bays, inlets, lagoons, and the shallows of mangrove islands, as well as around reefs, wrecks, piers, sandy or grassy flats, and coastal rivers where saltwater and freshwater mingle. They prefer shallow areas and appear to move
inshore in the summer, and offshore in the fall and the winter.

Fishing Spots

Locph_102644026_locid11981

Agawa River -- Unknown --

Wawa, ON
Canada Canada
6 1 2
Locph_1714553119_locid107731

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Boynton Beach, FL
United States United States
34 65 9 6
Locph_974320026_locid108540

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Ocean Isle Beach, NC
United States United States
Locph_777587811_locid109076

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Bimini, Bimini Islands
Bahamas Bahamas
14 40 6 18
Locph_96706018_locid108380

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Puerto Morelos, QROO
Mexico Mexico
239 40 2 4
Locph_2021822549_locid108577

Atlantic Ocean Ocean

Stuart, FL
United States United States
Locph_473147711_locid109060

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Charleston, SC
United States United States
9 60 7 10
Locph_813251905_locid108599

Atlantic Ocean Ocean

Charleston, SC
United States United States
22 80 11 4
Locph_1026416815_locid107800

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Georgetown, SC
United States United States
8 89 1 4
Locph_927474819_locid109287

Atlantic Ocean Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic City, NJ
United States United States
9 43 1 6
Photo

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Islamorada, FL
United States United States
Mixed_bag_mark

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Fort Lauderdale, FL
United States United States
P706048120120706_08

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Fort Pierce, FL
United States United States
Locph_195882796_locid103131

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

West Palm Beach, FL
United States United States
28 38 1 16 8
Locph_1449028830_locid103104

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Miami, FL
United States United States
Locph_234482525_locid103135

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

St. Augustine, FL
United States United States
3 64 11 4 4
Locph_1288515186_locid103136

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Jacksonville, FL
United States United States
69 70 3 10 28
Locph_477173656_locid103134

Atlantic Ocean (FL) Atlantic Ocean

Daytona Beach, FL
United States United States
17 59 3 14 4
Missing

Atlantic Ocean (GA) Atlantic Ocean

Savannah, GA
United States United States
Locph_98339879_locid4612

Ballston Lake Lake (Freshwater)

Ballston, NY
United States United States
26 6
Locph_1322358926_locid103167

Barnes Sound Sound (Saltwater)

Key Largo, FL
United States United States
50 12 4
Locph_1604798513_locid108071

Beaufort Inlet Inlet (Saltwater)

Beaufort, NC
United States United States
14 30 1 5 4
Locph_1373085525_locid109050

Bedok Jetty Sea

Bedok, Singapore
Singapore Singapore
34 8
Locph_1378050668_locid103170

Biscayne Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Key Biscayne, FL
United States United States
Locph_1820512915_locid103144

Boot Key Harbor Harbor (Saltwater)

Marathon Key, FL
United States United States
2 70 1 5 4
Locph_1280196429_locid103149

Buttonwood Sound Sound (Saltwater)

Key Largo, FL
United States United States
2 29 3 27 2
021

Caribbean Sea Sea

Virgin Gorda, Virgin Gorda
British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
1 16 1 5
Tn_5345

Carpenter Lake Lake (Freshwater)

Wasilla, AK
United States United States
6 11 1
Locph_1894562048_locid103007

Caxambus Bay Bay (Saltwater)

Marco Island, FL
United States United States
44 5 2
Locph_2085340168_locid108379

Channel Islands Harbor Harbor (Saltwater)

Oxnard, CA
United States United States
2 18 1 4

Guides

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Cape Town, Western Cape , South Africa South Africa
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Tournaments

There are no tournaments specified for this fish.