A schooling migratory fish which inhabits open coastal waters and areas where baitfish congregate such as shallow reefs, headlands and deep bays. Young fish are known to enter sheltered bays and large estuaries.
Can be caught by trolling or casting, using lures, baits and barbless hooks with red tags or by jigging around schools of baitfish. Barracouta are voracious feeders and will aggressively attack any small, shiny lure. Use a wire trace to prevent lures being bitten off. May cause the mysterious disappearance of shiny sinkers when bottom fishing in areas they are known to inhabit.
Be careful handling barracouta as they have sharp teeth and spines on their back.
Barracouta are a tasty eating fish with firm pinkish-white flesh when cooked. Smaller fish have numerous small bones. Larger fish may have a microscopic parasite that causes the flesh to go milky or worms in the gut or flesh. Both are killed by cooking, but barracouta should not be eaten raw. They have medium oil content and are suitable to bake, barbecue, deep fry, grill and shallow fry. Often used to make fish patties.
6 cutlets from a medium-sized barracouta; plain flour; juice of ½ lemon; 60 grams butter; chopped parsley; salt and pepper.
Wash and dry the fish and place the slices side by side in an ovenproof dish. Mix the flour and seasoning together and sprinkle over the fish. Add lemon juice. Mix the butter and parsley and place in small pieces over the fish. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve on a hot dish with the liquid strained over.