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.
- A medium sized barracuda with dark chevron-like bars along the body that cross the lateral line, and a yellowish tail. The bars are oblique above the lateral line, and almost vertical along the lower sides.
- The Pickhandle barracuda lacks the scalloped tail fin and white tail-fin lobes of the Great barracuda.
- The pickhandle barracuda occurs throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region from the southeastern coast of South Africa east to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Tonga.
- They may be encountered throughout northern Australia, from Ningaloo Reef in WA to Jervis Bay south of Sydney.
- Juveniles of this species 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.
- This species feeds mainly on fishes and cephalopods, while juveniles also will feed on small crustaceans.
Fish Size Common Length:
60-90 cm (2-3 feet), maximum size around 150 cm (5 feet) and 15 kg (30 lb)