Barracuda Make for Great Sport

By: Terry Tomalin


Barracuda are good sport. These open-ocean predators eat whatever is available, including a variety of baitfish, as well as Spanish and king mackerel. These voracious eaters are the bane of tournament anglers because a big 'cuda can slice a 40-pound kingfish in half with just one bite.

This creature's sharp, razorlike teeth helped it earn the nickname "tiger of the sea." The International Game Fish Association's World Record Game Fishes book lists categories for eight species of barracuda, the largest being the Guinean, which is found in the Eastern Atlantic, along the coast of Africa. This fish is a real monster, reaching more than 100 pounds.

But our local variety here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Sphyraena barracuda, or great barracuda, is no slouch. It can weigh more than 80 pounds and get as big as a grown man. This barracuda will not only devour a hooked fish, it will also try to take a speared fish off a diver's stringer. The smaller barracuda, more common in our local waters, sometimes gather in schools. But the big ones, like the kingfish they pursue, tend to be more solitary.

No matter how you hook ‘em, barracuda make for great summer fun.

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