Barracuda Fishing Basics

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Barracuda are found inshore on the flats, around bridges, near mangroves and offshore on the reefs and wrecks.  These fish are opportunistic feeders and they will show up wherever they can find an easy meal.

How to Catch Barracuda

Barracuda can be caught many different ways.  The easiest way to catch them is to use live bait.  Barracuda will eat practically anything they can sink their teeth into, so any smaller bait fish will work.  Artificial lures also work well.  They will eat a variety of lures such as tube lures, jigs, swimbaits, spoons, crankbaits and more.

Recommended Tackle

Because barracuda have very sharp teeth and they are very strong fish, heavy tackle is a must if you want to get them to the boat.  Wire leaders, 20 to 50 pound test line, medium-heavy to heavy action rods and large reels are the preferred tackle for catching barracuda.

Eating Barracuda

They are fun to catch, but they are not very good table fare.  Most fish are released immediately.

Inshore Fishing for Barracuda

Barracuda are often plentiful along the inshore flats that will also hold bonefish, permit and tarpon.  Anglers target these fish with tube lures, long crankbaits and long soft plastic swimbaits.  When fishing in clear water, it is fairly easy to see these big fish cruising along the flats.  At times, you may see bonefish and other smaller fish scattering in a hurry on the flats.  This usually occurs when a barracuda or shark invades the flats to find an easy meal.  If you see a barracuda chasing other fish on the flats, you have a real good chance of catching these fish if you can get a lure in front of them.  Barracuda can also be found around bridges, piers, mangroves and many other areas inshore.

Offshore Fishing for Barracuda

Offshore, barracuda are common around many of the reefs and wrecks. Anglers catch them a variety of ways in deeper water. Barracuda are opportunistic feeders and they will grab almost any type of smaller fish that they can fit into their mouths. Fishing with live bait is one of the most productive ways to target them on the reefs and wrecks. Trolling and casting plugs is another method that works well. Vertical jigging with jigs and jigging spoons will also entice barracuda into feeding.

Barracuda as Bait

Barracuda is a very oily fish that works great as bait for sharks. Anglers often put barracuda in their freezers so they have them for future shark fishing trips. You can cut the barracuda into solid chunks or fillets to use as bait.


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