What Gear to Use for Catching Great Barracuda?
Use strong, big tackle if you’re going to target catching this species. Strong line (60+ lb. leader), strong hooks, strong braided line – 50 lbs. or stronger.)
Barracudas are usually 2-3 feet in length and weight 5 to 20 lb. Some exceptional fish can reach over 6 feet in length and over 100 lb.! You better have the right fishing gear if you’re going to target the Great Barracuda.
Best Barracuda Rod?
Any rod can catch a smaller barracuda, but you should be prepared to catch a fish at least 3 feet long and 20 lb. in weight.
A 7-foot long medium-heavy or heavy action rod is good for this species because the size variation is extreme on these.
A 20 lb. fish and a 60 lb. fish fight a lot differently and you’re going to be happy with a heavier rod if you’ve got it, so GO BIG OR GO HOME!
The bigger fish will destroy your light or medium-action rod.
A strong UGLY STIK will work.
Best Reel for your Rod?
Baitcasting / Trolling Reels
I Penn baitcasting reels. I’ve used them for decades. If you get one and treat it well, you’ll have a great fishing reel for the rest of your life.
The great thing about fishing for barracuda is that you can catch them inshore, at a pier, or from a boat over deep water. The reel and rod you choose will depend on where you are fishing from.
Here’s a great PENN BAITCASTING REEL for catching barracuda and other medium to large fish (under 70 lbs).
Best PENN SPINNING REEL (6000, 8000, or 10000 size) for this fish? A strong spinning reel is required, with Penn reels for good sized barracuda choose a 6000 series reel or higher.
Fifty-pound test braided line is a good start for barracuda. Go as heavy as you can, or whatever is convenient. You’ll need a wire leader, regardless. Their teeth are just too hard and sharp for anything but wire leader.
STRONG LINE is perfect for your main line and tie it to a 3-5 foot long wire leader.
The best hooks for Barracuda fishing are size 3/0 to 9/0 circle hooks or inline hooks. Get the better made hooks by Owner, Gamakatsu, or Mustad to minimize hook straightening. Some excellent Mustad Hooks are here.
How should you present your bait or lure?
Best Live Bait Barracuda Rig
- Thin Wire Leader – one strong leader with a swivel on one end you can use to attach to your braided line.
- Main Fishing Line – 50 lb. or stronger braided is fine for your main line. This will be heavy enough for most big fish. Braided is so hard to break!
- Leader – a very thin wire leader is advised. I use wire leaders only because it just doesn’t make sense to try something else and hope and prey that the fish doesn’t break the line. About a decade ago I started using wire leaders whenever possible and I’ve definitely had more hook ups and landed more of the fish I hooked.
- Hook – 6/0 or up to 9/0 hooks from Mustad, Owner, and Gamakatsu.
Bait for your hooks is live or dead but a decent sized chunk. Don’t put on the smallest pinfish you have, get some bigger ones or bigger chunks. I think live bait is better because you won’t get catfish, sharks, and other undesirables messing with your bait as much!
By the way, if you happen to catch a trash fish like a ladyfish – stick that thing on a hook. Ladyfish are perfect for barracuda and if they’re around, you’ll almost definitely get one!
Best Artificial Lure for Barracuda?
Many people swear by tube lures for Barracuda. They really like them and it seems they’ll bite them even if they’re not biting anything else.
Simple 7-inch EEL LURES with a jig-head work well. You can also use plastic bass worms (11 inches from Culprit or Berkeley). The bigger the better.
Others use TUBE LURES. One hook in the center, and a big treble hook at the end of the tail (replace the one shown with a bigger one). It looks like a big worm or eel. You can even make your own and save a few dollars. Stick a wire leader through a skinny tube of 12-18″ long and drag it near the topwater.
GOT-CHA lures in most colors work well too but shiny gold or silver are always best for smaller cudas chasing these smaller lures.