The Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) named “Barry” (Tag ID: GFR1251) was originally tagged & released by angler Steve Shaddock on October 29th, 2015 while fishing with Captain Bouncer Smith and mate Abie Raymond aboard the charter boat Bouncer’s Dusky 33, out of Miami Beach, Florida. The Barracuda was estimated to be 40 inches (101.6 cm) total length and had an approximate weight of 12 pounds.
The Barracuda was recaptured 108 days later on February 13th, 2016 by Omar Hernandez while fishing with his family aboard their boat out of West Palm Beach, Florida. The recapture was near the Blue Heron Inlet, which is a popular fishing and diving location in the waters off West Palm Beach. The recapture location was approximately 74.7 miles (120 km) away from the original tag location. During that 108-day time period, the Barracuda most likely stayed at a consistent water depth, around the reef areas, as it traveled north. That area is ideal habitat with its near shore abundance of coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves as well as home to numerous small fish, which is the primary food source for the Barracuda. At the time of recapture, the Barracuda had a measured length of 42 inches and weight of 14 pounds.
Great Barracuda’s exhibit a brownish to blue/gray on their dorsal side, with silvery sides and a white bottom side. The black spots found on the lower sides of the Greater Barracuda is what distinguishes it from other barracuda species. The Greater Barracuda inhabits both nearshore and offshore waters near the surface. They are often found in waters associated with coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves and tend to move offshore as they grow larger in size.
The Gray FishTag Research program has been able to shatter the expectations for fish recapture rates thanks to the hard-working professional fishermen on the water day in and day out. Tags are provided free-of-charge to the collaborating professional fishermen, and the tag data is available to the public at www.GrayFishTagResearch.org
Bouncer’s Dusky 33 charter boat crew will receive Gray FishTag gear for their tagging efforts. The tag recovery angler, Omar Hernandez, will receive a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses, a Tag & Recovery Certificate, and Gray FishTag gear for reporting the tag recovery.
The tagging and research efforts is made possible by our research centers and sponsors AFTCO, AA Video, American Fishing Wire, FECOP, Mold Craft, Costa Del Mar, CR Primo Fishing Tackle, Shadow Graphics, AquaWorld, Crocodile Bay Resort, Grande Alaska Lodge, Los Sueños Resort & Marina, Marina Pez Vela, The Pisces Group and The Zancudo Lodge.
For more information, please contact the Gray FishTag Research in-house fisheries scientist Travis Moore at travis@GrayFishTag.org or 954-675-3896
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The success of the program is made possible by the participation of the hard working fishing professionals and the generous contributions from our partners and donors. Any contribution is tax deductible and will go directly to support our cause and help the growth of the program.