Barracuda fishing with my daughter, CindyGeneral: The great barracuda is the largest of twenty or so barracuda species that form a worldwide distribution. TheyBarracuda fishing in Sarasota Florida are eagerly sought by anglers wherever they are found.
Fishing for Barracuda: Most barracuda are probably caught while trolling for other species and are unwanted by most fishermen who have their sights set on something grander. As with other species of the same size, trolling leaves a lot to be desired in how well the fish can fight.
Casting to barracuda with live or artificial baits on twelve to fifteen pound test line is an awesome sport. Their surface strike is explosive, their jumping acrobats are chaotic and their runs are strong and unpredictable. They are about the smartest fish that I know of. They are always watching you, in the water or out. They may lay under your boat and wait, striking only the better fish like a snapper or mackerel, letting the jacks and grunts go by.
I use live sardines and herring free lining them out on a 5/0 hook and a 6" light wire leader. Sometimes they will only hit the bait on the first run or I may need to take the wire leader off to get them started. My favorite way to fish them is with a tube lure when the water is flat calm and you can sight fish them. I use bright pink or green and retrieve the lure as fast as I can. They will strike with a roar and an explosion of water you seldom see. In this area, you can find barracuda all over the Gulf but they stack up in large numbers over the artificial reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water for most of the summer. The average size is about 15 to 20 pounds but it is not uncommon to get a 30 pounder.
People do eat them here and call them "Poor Man's Grouper". In some areas they can be poisonous to eat due to Ciguatera fish poison but we don't seem to have that in this area. I don't eat them because I don't like the smell from their slime when they are put in the fish box. I must also admit that the word "poisonous" used in any context with my food is a deterrent to my appetite.
Size: Up to 6 ft. but the average fish is much smaller.
IGFA ALL TACKLE: 85 lb.
Distribution: World-wide in tropical and subtropical waters.