Key West Barracuda

Great Barracuda are curious creatures. They’re also quite dangerous and very fearsome in appearance. They’re solitary predators who love the shallows and reefs common to Florida.

Quickly recognized for their torpedo-shaped body and large eyes and mouth – and large teeth! – the Great Barracuda is usually about two to three feet in length and 5 to 20 pounds, although barracuda of 100 pounds in heft are not unheard of.

They’re at the top of the food chain along reefs and feed on fish, cephalopods and sometimes shrimp.

They don’t normally attack humans (although you don’t want to provoke them). When they do attack, it’s rarely fatal, as they strike just once – but quickly and fiercely. Serious injury can result.

They’re known to be attracted to the shiny, so avoid wearing jewelry, watches and other reflective items as they may think your hand or arm is a tasty silvery fish.

When it comes to fishing them, be sure to have a wire line – they can bite through other types. Be prepared – they may go after other fish you’ve hooked as you’re reeling them in; many Great Barracuda are caught when fishing for other types of catch.

As for tackle, a medium weight setup up ready for saltwater should work fine for you. It should be rated 20-30 pounds. Be sure to have saltwater spinning gear. If you’re going to use a fishing lure, use a longer rod about 7 feet or more (if using bait, you probably could use a shorter rod; you can use a very short rod if you’re going to troll).

You can use either lures or bait. As mentioned above, Great Barracuda are curious fish and will come over to take a look at something that enters their area (especially if it’s shiny…).

Blue Marlin Fishing Charters in Key West When it comes to using bait, think silvery: small bonita, sardinas, mackerel, and so on. You can cast the bait, but many fishermen prefer to troll for barracuda.

Great Barracuda generally bite the tails off of bait first and then – maybe – return for the rest later (barracuda, as mentioned above, tend to attack just once and then leave). If they do take a bite, don’t pull on your bait too early.

Barracuda aren’t caught generally for their meat: they tend to have a very unpleasant odor once out of the water and are very slimy.

Still, landing something with such a big mouth and ginormous teeth for its size can be quite satisfying.