Beware of the sharp teeth of barracuda when handling them, even after they are dead. The eating qualities of these fish can be greatly improved if they are killed immediately by iki jime or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. A firm knock on the head may be easier to implement to stun the fish first before attempting iki jime.
- Adult great barracuda have a distinctive emarginate caudal fin, black with white tips and with a pair of large lobes at its posterior margin. However, juveniles less than 50 cm have a forked caudal fin.
- The body is long, silvery in colour with many oblique dark bars on upper half of body that do not across lateral line. Juvenile fish have a series of large dark blotches along the flanks.
- This species is a voracious predator with a mouthful of large sharp canine teeth and a pointed snout with a protruding lower jaw.
- The great barracuda is regularly eaten in many parts of its range, however large fish should be avoided due to the high risk of ciguatera poisoning.
- Great barracuda may also attack and bite swimmers and divers.
- Great barracuda occur worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas, including the entire Indo-Pacific region, Atlantic Ocean, Red Sea, and the Caribbean.
- They may be encountered throughout northern Australia, as far south as Albany in WA and along the entire east coast as far south as Sydney.
- Juveniles frequent mangrove estuaries, seagrass areas and shallow sheltered inshore reef areas, often in schools. Adult fish occur in a wide range of habitats from murky inner harbors to deep reefs, atolls and open seas, with the very largest fishes often solitary in nature.
- This species feeds mainly on fishes and cephalopods, while juveniles also will feed on small crustaceans.
Fish Size Common Length:
90-120 cm (3-4 feet), maximum size around 200 cm (6 feet 8 inches) and 50 kg (110 lb)