English: Barracuda, barra, Commerson's sea pike, and short barracuda
Spanish: Picua .
Occurring worldwide in near shore tropical and subtropical seas (30°N - 30°S), the great barracuda is common in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts (U.S.) to Brazil. It is also found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea as well as the eastern Atlantic Ocean, Indo-Pacific, and the Red Sea.
Great barracuda commonly occur in nearshore coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves. They may also reside in the open ocean, living predominantly at or near the surface, although they are at times found at depths to 325 feet (100m). Barracudas tend to be solitary but are sometimes found in small aggregations over reefs and sandy bottoms. Juveniles mature amongst mangroves and seagrass beds, habitats that offer cover from predators. During the second year of life, barracuda move to deeper reef habitats.
The great barracuda has a slender, streamlined body that is roundin the mid-section. The top of the head between the eyes is nearly flat and the mouth is large, containing many large sharp teeth and a projecting lower jaw.
Body coloration of the great barracuda is brownish or bluish gray on the dorsum and upper side with a greenish cast shading to silvery on the sides and a white belly.
The black spots on the lower sides of the great barracuda distinguish it from other species of barracuda.
Great barracuda are large fish. The record for a hook and line caught great barracuda is 1.7 meters (5.5 feet), 44 kg (103 lbs) and the species is reported to attain a size of 2 meters, 50 kg. Any barracuda over 4.8 feet (1.5 m) in length can be considered very large.
Great barracudas feed on an array of prey including fishes such as jacks, grunts, groupers, snappers, small tunas, mullets, killifishes, herrings, and anchovies. Barracudas have a large gape and very sharp teeth, enabling them to feed on large fishes by chopping them in half. An opportunistic predator, great barracuda feed throughout the water column.
Great barracuda are commonly caught both trolling and bottom fishing. Often caught on down riggers.