The great barracuda, otherwise known as the cuda or sea pike, exudes an aggressive appearance. The cuda is found in the offshore waters of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Sea pike are strong fighters when hooked and poses a gnarly jaw of teeth. Avoid coming in contact with the set of fangs to prevent injury. Just what is a barracuda?
How Do You Identify A Barracuda
The fish’s long and slender body is blotched with blacks spots over silver skin. However, the most prominent marking is the mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth. The jagged set of dentures is straight out of a horror film.
Cudas range between a couple of pounds and 80 pounds. The most frequent offshore catches range between twenty and thirty pounds.
What Is The Range Of A Barracuda
Sea pike is a warm water species. The cuda ranges between Florida and North Carolina but does straggle farther north.
Anglers on the northern end of the range find the best success in the gulf stream waters. The gulf stream is a channel pushing warm waters from the south to the north. Barracuda swim in the flowing water as a result of the increased water temperature.
Is Barracuda Good Eating
When filleted and cooked, the barracuda has large flakes, firm texture, and bold taste. Take note that a freshly caught cuda stinks. The smell leads most anglers to release the fish back into the ocean. In addition to the smell, they are coated in a slippery slime making them challenging to handle.
Take precautions when consuming barracuda. While small cudas in the five-pound range are safe, large barracuda risk containing ciguatera in the flesh. Ciguatera neurotoxins, when ingested by a human, result in detrimental effects from days to years. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and neurological implications.
Is It Safe To Swim With Barracuda
The likelihood of being attacked by a cuda is slim. While the fish has attacked humans, it most frequently occurs when visibility is low and results from mistaken identity.
Despite the low probability, take precautions when sighting the toothy critter. Cudas take notice of shiny objects, including watches, necklaces, and bracelets. When the sun reflects off of jewelry, it appears like a baitfish enticing the fish to pay closer attention. To reduce the chances of an accidental bite, remove jewelry before entering the water.
Where Do Anglers Find Barracuda
When it comes to finding barracuda in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, focus on the gulf stream waters in addition to reefs and wrecks during the summer months.
The predators lurk over structure in search of fish, squid, and shrimp. Cudas feed aggressively and, similar to a shark, bite a fish being reeled in by an angler.
How Do You Catch Barracuda
Cudas are caught while at anchor, drifting, or trolling. In offshore waters, troll skirted lures rigged with ballyhoo. Utilize 30-pound trolling gear and heavy leader line to avoid breaking the fish off.
Anchoring and dropping baits is equally as effective as trolling. Secure the vessel over reefs and wrecks. Spinning rods and reels are best suited for reef fishing. Rig hooks with sardines and deploy the bait but avoid it from laying on the bottom. Be prepared for the line to scream from the reel due to the aggressive nature of the strike.
In addition to bait, utilizing artificial lures is exciting. Cudas chase down lures at a rapid rate and strike the lure with force. Inspect the fishing plug after a catch and take note of the teeth marks and stripped paint.
Head Offshore To Catch The Great Cuda
Despite the shortcomings in the fillet taste and texture, the fight of a barracuda is hard to pass up. Additionally, the tooth-filled mouth makes for an excellent picture. Remember to obtain a saltwater fishing license before heading offshore when fishing in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina.