Sport Fishing - - FISH FACTS - — Ray Wald­ner

We re­cently fished east­ern Panama, where we caught this small barracuda. We catch lots of baby ’cu­das back home. Those are all great barracuda, I be­lieve, but I have no clue what species this might be, where it’s gen­er­ally found or how large it gets. Can you en­lighten me? My­ron Bum­bleschmetter En­gle­wood, Flor­ida

Although I can’t clearly see the rel­a­tive po­si­tions of the fish’s dor­sal and pelvic fins in the pho­to­graph, I’m fairly cer­tain that it’s a guaguanche (also called guachanche), Sphyraena guachan­cho, My­ron. In the western At­lantic, this small barracuda (grow­ing to 2 feet long) ranges from Mas­sachusetts through Brazil, in­clud­ing the Caribbean Sea. Small barracuda species such as the guaguanche and south­ern sen­net, S. picud­illa, can be ex­cel­lent table fare but have also been known to cause ciguat­era poi­son­ing. The guaguanche prefers some­what tur­bid in­shore ar­eas with muddy bot­toms, but has been re­ported from depths of over 300 feet.


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