: Sphyraena barracuda
Cuda, Sea Pike, Picuda
Florida coasts, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
The Barracuda is at home almost anywhere in South Florida and the
tropical islands from shorelines and bays out to blue water. Although
most fish in the shallows are small, it still is possible to connect
with a 15- or 20-pounder
perhaps even a larger one on the flats, or from shore. In Central and
North Florida both Atlantic and Gulf the Great Barracuda is seldom seen
inshore, but is common offshore on wrecks and artificial reefs.
Greenish or grayish above, with silvery sides marked by numerous dark
blotches. Tall widely forked with pointed lobes. Two other members of
the Cuda family might be encountered. The fairly uncommon Southern
Sennet, grows to about 18 inches, but looks very
similar to the bigger Cuda and is usually found in schools. The
Guaguanche, is much like the Sennet in size, shape
and rarity. It can be distinguished by a yellow or gold mid-body stripe.
The Great Barracuda ranges from foot-long juveniles on shallow flats to
50 pounds or more offshore. Usual maximum is around 30 pounds, with the
average being 5-15 pounds. World record 85 pounds.
FLORIDA RECORD : 67 pounds.
Excellent up to 5 pounds or so. Larger fish sometimes carry Ciguatera.
On appropriate tackle, the Great Barracuda is one of our most
spectacular and able fighters, frequently mixing fast and fairly long
runs with huge jumps. In deeper water, such as over the reefs, it can
also fight with strength and stamina.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
For inshore fishing on the flats and along shorelines, spinning and bait
casting tackle are ideal, and fly tackle will also take plenty of Cuda.
The best artificial bait for Barracuda is a tube lure, made from a foot
or 18 inches of plastic tubing with wire through the middle and a hook
on the end. Fly casters can make or buy similar lures of braided textile
materials. Over reefs and wrecks, casting tackle is still a good choice,
with light saltwater gear also capable of providing good sport. Live
fish make the very best natural baits. The Barracuda also attacks rigged
natural baits, such as Ballyhoo, with great pleasure.
Casting; Still Fishing; Trolling.