Great Barracuda (Sphyraena)
The great barracuda is a slim large predatory fish with two rows of razor sharp teeth that are fun and exciting fish to catch in Miami. They have two widely separate dorsal fins and large scales. They have a Bluish grey color on its back that fades to a silvery color on the side and bottom. On the lower side, you will find several random black spots. Juvenile barracuda has a dark strip on the side that turn into the black spots you see on adult barracudas. It has a long pointed mouth with a protruding lower jaw that gives it a scary look. The great Barracuda can grow up to 39 inches and weigh over 51 pounds. The largest Barracuda caught off of Key West weighed 67 pounds and the world record is 85 pounds. The adult great Barracuda is usually a loaner but juveniles can sometimes be seen in schools. They dominate reefs by sprinting in a burst of high speed and slicing up baitfish with their sharp teeth. It is very unlikely that a Barracuda will attack you in the water unless you’re wearing shiny objects that shine like a bait fish. Going with a Miami fishing charter that specializes in catching Barracuda will guarantee a fun fishing experience. Barracuda can live up to 14 years. Some people also refer to them as Cuda, Sea pike, and Picuda. Barracudas have excellent vision and can spot a bait fish from far away. They have binocular vision which means their field of view is forward-looking.
How to catch Barracuda in Miami
To catch barracuda in the flats look for clear sandy bottom throw out a surface lure and reeling in quickly. Cudas put up an incredible fight and are a fun fish to target in Florida. Wire leader is 100 percent required when try to catch Barracuda in Miami. It’s important to use at least 15-pound test on your main line as this fish can grow fairly large and are very powerful. The clear mono line works best for your main line but you can also use braid if you have a long leader at the end. Slow trolling with live bait around lighthouses or wrecks is another way to lure in Barracudas in Florida. When a Barracuda attacks your bait it can do so at blistering speeds and sometimes even jump out of the water. Tossing out a barracuda tube is another effective method to catch Barracuda that has been used by Florida fisherman for decades. Toss out the tube lure as far as you can and then reel in slowly while jerking the tube lure every couple of seconds. The most effective colors for tube lures are red and green. These high visibility colors trick the Cuda into thinking its a ballyhoo or needlefish floating across the water. When the Cuda hits your bait you should let them take it for a couple seconds before setting the hook.
Where to fish for Barracuda
Barracudas can be found all throughout Miami-Dade, Broward County, West Palm Beach and, the Florida Keys. They are found all along the water column. When your fishing the flats sandy bottom is a great place to find Cudas. The bigger Barracudas are usually found in deeper water roaming around wrecks and reefs. Make sure to stay a little far from the wreck so that the fish doesn’t tangle your line or get cut by sharp objects on the reef. You can even catch Barracuda while fishing off of peers. There are lots of bait fish that hang out around pilings so if you don’t have the cash to go on a Fishing charter in Miami. During winter in Florida, the bigger Cuda start coming in closer to shore so you can find them in shallower water between 10 feet and 50 feet. Trolling through the grass flats or sand bottoms is a great place to find Barracuda.
Best time of the year for Miami Barracuda fishing
Barracuda can be caught year-round in South Florida but if you want to catch a giant Cuda then you should fish for them during winter when cold weather pushes the larger ones closer to shore. During summer and spring time you can find them in deeper water near wrecks and reefs offshore. The great thing about booking a fishing charter in Miami is that you can always count on beautiful weather and plenty of fish. During the daytime is the best time to catch Cuda although they will bite at night as well. An experienced captain can almost always put you on Barracuda any time of the year.
The best bait to catch Barracuda
Great Barracudas eat a variety of baitfish including small blue runners, pilchards, ballyhoo, jacks, grunts, pinfish, groupers, snappers, small tunas, mullets, killifishes, goggle-eyes, sardines, ballyhoo, cigar minnows, herring, and mullet. Live ballyhoo or small blue runners are the best bait for Barracuda and will almost always land you a barracuda. Make sure you use a hook in the front and middle to rig. This method gives you have double the chances of hooking the Cuda. Due to their razor-sharp teeth, they can eat fish far larger than themselves. They can slash there bait in half and then come back and eat the rest of the baitfish. They have good eyesight so the best bait to catch Barracuda is live bait hooked up with a kingfish rig tied to a metal leader. Lures can also attract Barracuda, especially shiny lures like spoons and tube lures. Tube lures are an inexpensive alternative to fishing with live bait or buying an expensive lure. You can make them at home in a few minutes with cheap materials. The Cuda tube is a tube lure, made from surgical rubber from 12 inches to 16 inches long with a wire running through it and a treble hook on the end.
Florida Great Barracuda fishing regulations
The minimum size limit for Barracuda is 15 inches and the maximum size is 36 inches. You are allowed to keep on oversize Barracuda that is over the 36-inch mark. The daily limit for catching Cuda is 2 fish or 100 pounds whichever is more. These regulations apply to both recreational and commercial anglers. There is no closed season so they can be caught year round. A current Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish for all types of saltwater species in Florida. You can obtain a license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by going online, calling or going to a bait and tackle shop. Florida residents who are fishing from shore, bridges or piers can get a recreational saltwater shoreline fishing license, which is free of charge.