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The Barracuda

An often overlooked species of the Miami flats while on a Miami inshore fishing charter is the great barracuda. A live bait tossed in front of a large barracuda will last only seconds but the thrills of a large leaping, lightning fast barracuda on the other end of your line will last a lifetime. A good Miami fishing guide will know where these fish congregate and how to approach these surprisingly leary fish.

barracudaCall Capt. Mo today and let him put you on one of the meanest fish in saltwater, the great Barracuda. 

The barracuda lives a solitary life as an adult, especially at night, but is sometimes found traveling in schools with other barracuda. They can also be found hunting in groups or providing protection for each other. Large groups of hundreds or thousands of great barracudas have been observed together, however it is very rare.

Barracudas are piscivorous fish, which means they eat other fish all their life. The main consistency of the barracudas diet includes bottom dwelling fish, while occasionally they will feed on species of a higher water column. Barracudas will often destroy more than they can consume and usually only attack when provoked. It has also been observed that the great barracuda will herd schools of fish into shallow water and guard them until their last meal has been digested and they are hungry again.

The spawning of barracudas is not well documented, but is believed to take place in deeper offshore waters. There is evidence that suggests that they are seasonal spawners and are believed to breed in the spring. During spawning, the eggs are released into the water, where they are then carried by currents and dispersed around the area. The hatchlings hide in vegetated areas seeking shelter from other predators until they are 1.2 inches in length, when they then venture out into open waters within the estuary, and eventually leaving altogether at a size of 2 inches in length. For the remainder of the first year of their life they live within mangroves and seagrass habitats, and during the second year of life, they move to deep reef areas where they spend the rest of their adulthood.

Barracuda offer great sport in Biscayne Bay both on the shallow flats and in deeper water.  Smaller barracuda are plentiful along the mainland shoreline of Biscayne Bay while the larger fish tend towards the deeper channels and shallow reefs located on the Oceanside of Biscayne Bay.  While aggressive feeders, they can also be easily spooked on the shallow flats if not given their space.  Winter time is a great time to fish for the larger species are they gravitate towards the shallow flats seeking warmth from the sun and the quickly warmed shallower water.  Although live bait such as mullet, pinfish and grunts are great sure fire baits for large barracuda, artificial lures work as well but must be worked fast and across the fish in order to illicit a reaction strike.  While there are plenty of medium sized barracudas in the 1-5lb range, the real trophies are barracudas in the 20lb range that will speed across the flats faster than most can imagine and even jump out of the water when hooked in the deeper channels. 
Some info courtesy of Bryce Robinson

Scroll through the pics to the right to see some of Captain Mo's latest adventures:

It could be you posing with one of those beauties!
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