Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda)

 

Family Sphyraenidae

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Description: Dark gray, sometimes sooty-black color on back, to bright silver with a whitish belly. Long, slim-bodied, and has a pointed head, Pronounced black spots or splotches on sides, which turn silvery below lateral line. Very long sharp teeth, slightly hooked inward.

Similar fish: resembles the pike; called sea tiger, ‘cuda, saltwater pike, picuda, muskellunge.

Where found: frequently found in shallow water, as well as offshore.

Size: common size 8-20 pounds; known to reach over 100 pounds, and up to a probable length of 6 feet.

Remarks: Built like a torpedo, very swift to start, but does not run great distances. An aggressive, carnivorous fish, attacks flashing objects and other disturbances that appear as prospective prey. They display an extreme curiosity toward persons wading or swimming, and will approach quite closely. Known records of attack are comparatively rare, but the species must be considered potentially dangerous. An underrated game fish; when hooked up in the shallows on light tackle, the fish makes an incredibly swift run and frequently jumps. Its flesh is frequently toxic and is not recommended as food.

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Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Marine Resources, Office of Fisheries Management and Assistance Services
Revised - 12/14/02 04:19 PM

 

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