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Spearing Barracuda

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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The boys are back in town
Jul 11, 2004
hey all, just checkin on what ever thinks about the behaviours of barracuda. i know people shoot them all the time, but here in bermuda we are only allowed to use pole spears. every time i go out i see at least one cuda, and i really really want to get one but im unsure about if i miss. I guess i good quote for it is "how do you shoot the devil in the back.....what if you miss?"
basically im lookin for opinions on whether its gonna come attacking if i didnt get it first time, or if itll just be scared away.
any thoughts????
oh yeah.i guess ill add, in case it helps, that the cuda's i see are usually 3 feet long, not the big 6-8 ft that i see in most pics
when i was like 14 in the bahamas I baited one in and shot him in the head w/ a 1/4 shaft and HI sling. The spear bounced of and the 'cuda shot off leaving a trail of caviated bubles behind. Very impressive.

Lesson? 1) he didn't attack something 10x his size
2) go for a body shot w/ a pole spear. You might even consider some poly rope and a float to make sure you don't loose your gear.

We shoot big cuda here in the Persian gulf and my experience (5 footers) is that:

-If I miss, they do not come after me.

-They WILL leave with your spear if given half a chance (a friend lost his Riffe C2 spear to a small barracuda)

-They DO NOT LIKE TO DIE and will thrash and try to bite until they can no longer move

-As you pull them in, they normally come after you (in my experience) This makes it exciting so have a knife ready, grab the spear when you can and hold the things mouth away from you. Have a real good knife (preferably something that is more need like <ice pick style> and brain it quick... again, they will bite hard and while the teeth are small, there are 10s of them and you end up bleeding like a stuck pig (trust me). The last one I got (only 10-12 pounds) I had to ride to the botton with a knife in its head and holding on to the spear with the other hand... It would not give up.

-They cut up into large steaks for the BBQ quite nicely :)
From what I remember, barracudas cannot see from above. We use to dive down on them as they glide pass us and shoot for the middle of their backs (with a speargun). Usually we stone them or even get a kill shot. If you don't emobilize them, get ready for a fight. I think they will get away from you unless you have a good grip on that pole or have some strap that securely attaches the pole to yourself.

I have never been attacked by barracudas, even after swimming in the midst of a school of about a thousand. What I've heard is that they attack shiny objects in the water (rings, necklace, wristwatcher etc.) So you might not want to wear jewelry while hunting them.
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awesome. i guess another follow up question since you guys are sayin they fight a lot is should i go with a standard tri-cut w/barbs tip, or a paralyzer?? and how strong do they pull? these are small compared to the average cuda, but im sure they got some strength to them....
tri-cut w/barbs tip! paralyzer is a waste of time and energy because cudas will tear it loose as they initiate their run. as with any other fish, a good solid shot is really important with cudas, and watch-out for their mouth, the little "innocent" cudas have smal razor sharp teeth that will really mess up your hand if given the chance

good luck
Well guys, i saw one today. Scared the crap out of me though cause i turned around and there he was. unfortunately i chickened out and started swimming the other way(had the thought of my shiny earrings lookin good to it). of course, as cudas are he followed for a lil bit, tauntin me and my buddy. I keep telling myself that come winter when i have a wetsuit ill have more balls and go get one, but not today.