Fear of spearfishing Barracuda

  • I think I have Barracudafobia lol. Today I went diving in the reefs on the Atlantic side of my island and came across a 4ft Barry which was hovering in about 8ft of water. I approached it with my 90cm Beuchat Canon, but after reading the new clip of what the Barry did that diver's arm, I was very hesitant to fire. It was about 7ft in front me and I was concerned on whether if I shoot it, if it would turn on my, so I left it alone. I went to another dive site a few hours later and came across a 6ft beast of a Barry that kept following me and taking swipes at my fish line. This scared the shit out of me as that thing came within 2 ft of me snapping its jaws at my fish!! I dropped my line and swam away.
    This time I had my Beuchat 115 Marlin gun with a tri cut Speardiver 7mm shaft. I didn't have a reel or float line on it though. Do you guys think I made the right decision, or should I have aimed for it's head and taken the shot without a reel? Do you think it would have turned on me if I hit it in the side?

  • That's a big fish. Don't shoot it if you don't have either a reel or a floatline, as most likely you will loose your gun. But don't be scared next time. I've been spearfishing for 30 years now. Never a barracuda has attacked me. Just be careful enough to keep your hands away from its jaws when manipulating it and try to put your hand in its gills as soon as possible.

    Marco Melis

    A bad day fishing is ALWAYS better than a good day at work.

  • thanks for the tips man. I will be getting the Beuchat Pacific reel shortly, to complete the setup I currently have. Do you think that 50M of line is enough for close reef fishing?

    The second Barry was almost as long as me and I and 6'5.

  • In 18ft of water without a floatline I'd have to really control myself not to shoot that fish. The only reason being I wouldn't want to lose my gun. Chances are I could hold my breath long enough until it stopped its initial run and I'll be able to get some air. It would depend on how much I liked the gun I had with me.

  • Not even close. And I've shot many many barracuda.

    I have a shark spike on the muzzle of my gun. One time I jumped in shallow water not really expecting anything big, so I didn't connect the float line. I saw maybe a 4ft barracuda. I shot it and the fish made a run. I held on to the handle of the gun. When I thought the fish finished its escape run I let go of the gun and started to bring it in with the shooting line (400lb mono). When I got it close the fish made another short run and the mono was slipping through my bare hands. I thought nothing of it and then in a flash I remembered the spike. Before I could tighten my grip and slow down the gun the spike hit me in the shoulder. I don't keep it very sharp so it didn't go in deep. But it was a surprise, never happened before or since. Get a float line.

  • Definitely not a fan of barracudas either. The dive instructor that I got my SCUBA cert with lost his eye to a barry. (Richard Ridell) Obviously a 1 in a million event but I hate how they follow me around the reef hovering at the edge of visibility. I wouldnt say Im scared of them per say but I definitely have a healthy respect for what they are capable of.

  • The speed they strike w is the real risk. I do not think they are ever attacking a diver but if they run at you in panic they will hurt.

    I wouldn't shoot a six footer more than once in a lifetime as I don't eat them over thirty inches cos of cig and I don't shoot fish I won't eat. Maybe once to get the skull as a trophy, but I am not a trophy hunter, I'm a dinner hunter :D

    i like to spear fish

  • There have been many recorded barracuda attacks, most from people
    using shinny objects and the cuda attacking thinking is a bait fish.
    But a few attacks have been on people who has shot them and
    they have turned and make no mistake, those teeth can be lethal.

    I have eaten them since i had hair, and I have had a few come way too close.

    Both injuries below were in 2011.

  • I knew I was saving this pic for something. Our own Jimcuda gets his name from a barracuda attack. I believe he was cleaning a fish off a dock or a boat with his hands in the water, and a cuda grabbed his hand good. Still me.. I'll never stop shooting them. I've sure eaten more cuda than any other fish, it's as good as anything.

    Here's Pantoja with a big fat cuda.

    And here's Pantoja's bite

    from a triggerfish :)

  • How do you check all of those cuda for cig? Dont most of the one that large have it? Ive heard of a "cuban" method involving black ants? Any truth to that?

  • How do you check all of those cuda for cig? Dont most of the one that large have it? Ive heard of a "cuban" method involving black ants? Any truth to that?

    Ask Marco the way he do it.;):D On my waters we are lucky cause we can eat almost any predator size.:cool2:

    Sadot Hernàndez.

  • The second Barry was almost as long as me and I and 6'5.

    i know ur new to this but u got to remember to have the mindset of predator when ur in the water yet still respect that ur in their element. im 6'6 and i once encountered a monster cuda. he didnt want to tell me his weight so i had to measure it myself...good thing i did, fatboy needed to lose some of that 65lbs

    Edited once, last by khalel ().

  • Just stone it :D I like shooting them dead center about 1ft. behind the gills. Go for a stone shot to break its spine, but if not then the cuda will most likely always come up broadside when you are retrieving it and if it decides to make a run it will run away from you. One time in the keys i shot a cuda through the mouth and out his gills. He was wore out so i decided to start bringing him in, due to the shot he was facing me the whole time i was bringing him in. The last 10ft or so he took off and whizzed right beside me. Very close and i will never take a shot like that again.

  • Over here, we shoot big cudas for chum, so we usually get half a dozen at the end of the day. Besides going for a stone shot, shoot while the fish is angled away from you. That way if you miss the spine, when you're pulling it, it's facing away from you. I always grab the end of the shaft, and slide my other hand down the shaft until it's tight to the fish. Then take your hand holding the end of the shaft and slide it into his gills. Now you've got the fish under control, and never had to be anywhere near his teeth. :toast1:

  • Alot of good info here guys. Thanks alot for the different insights...you have given me courage to get a reel and go back for my fish from that beast lol.

  • Barracudas never attack!

    That hand doesn't look that bad, but the doc lost count at a hundred stitches. Severed two tendons and an artery as well. I was scrubbing the hull of a Hobie Cat sailboat at the dock and it bit me.

    I've shot them, but they're not my favorite.

  • A float line. Something as simple as that. Funny how back in the 50's and 60's we didn't think of that. I guess that's how progress is, nobody thinks about it until somebody does it. Then everyone scratches their heads wondering why it took so long to think of it. lol
    More than once I have passed on a shot simply because I didn't want to risk loosing my gun. Of course, in the old days we would have used a powerhead at the drop of a hat on certain species, such as Jew fish.
    Don't sweat the Cudas. They are just a curious fish for the most part. Key words, "for the most part", ha

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