Max rap 15 in the jaws
Sphyraena sphyraena – European barracuda, škaram, škarm, luccio di mare... Whatever the local name is, there is something special about this fish’s appearance and habits making it exceptional target for every spin fisherman. Although it’s not as strong as leer fish or bonito, large barracuda could be a big challenge. Let’s see why.

author: Igor Perić

The sea is calm. Sound of the smallest fish splashing is heard half a mile away. Eyes trained to register every move easily spot the track left on the water by the dorsal fin just a second before the fish disappears again in the darkness. Tide is slowly coming in and all that I expect is a light breeze to make the ripples. All preconditions are met that “something” runs from the shelter of the darkness to attack the lure.

First few casts give no results. Neither lure switching makes fish to bite. Nothing happens in the sea. Then minutes later something is going on again – the long underwater shadows are diving suddenly making the ring-waves on the surface. Tension is rising - bite fish stick very close to the dock wall opening and closing their mouths rapidly, obviously scared.

The moment later, characteristic “eight tracks” appear on the water surface out of the lures range. Feeding frenzy is starting – long silhouettes armed with strong teeth are cornering bite fish. That’s barracuda!

European barracuda, skaram, skarm, luccio di mare... Whatever the local name is, Sphyraena sphyraena is domestic species and one of the few species of barracuda that swim in the Adriatic.


There is something special about this fish’s appearance and habits making it exceptional target for every spin fisherman. Although it’s not as strong as leer fish or bonito, large barracuda could be a big challenge. Why is that?

There are few reasons. Barracuda’s body is designed for the high-speed attacks in all directions. Elongated jaws are armed with strong, sharp and big teeth making barracuda able to attack prey in any direction, like a crocodile.

Jaws designed for hunting are powered by spindly, elegant and striped body. This beauty among sea predators is most active during morning and evening twilights what is making it a mystic and exotic game.

From dusk till down...
Barracuda can be fished very well but you have to find right fishing spot – harbor walls, dock and cliffs with deep water just underneath. Around these spots, during the morning twilight specially, barracudas approach the shore to feed with bite fish which try to find the shelter from abyss and jaws.

When non fishermen people talk about barracuda they usually imagine Sphyraena barracuda - the biggest species in this toothed family – that inhabits all seas on the planet. Laymen don’t know that barracuda inhabits Adriatic as well.

For this reason the domestic barracuda (skaram) is a bit neglected. Even the fishermen very often discuss differences between the skaram and the barracuda. Discussions are encouraged by some ichtyologycal data which are not so clear. The theory even says that skaram can have up to 8 kg in weight.

Barracuda family

During the last decade or so several species of barracuda inhabit the Adriatic. Among them is Sphyraena viridensis (Yellowmouth barracuda, bikuda), which in Atlantic grows up to 10 or 12 kg. It’s very hard to notice the difference between the European and the Yellowmouth barracuda since they share same habitat.

European barracuda has scales all over the gill cover
The only significant difference can be noticed on the gill cover’s preoperculum. European barracuda has small scales all over the gill cover, while Yellowmouth barracuda’s preopeculum has no scales.This is not of big importance for fishing pleasure, but could be interesting for those who want to know more about fish they’re after.

When you are targeting big barracudas lures of choice have to be long and slim. Small lure can be smashed by the barracuda jaws and you can be left with nothing but the plastic head hanging on the snap – scene just like in cartoons. I’ll quote one of my fishermen-friends: “big lure for big fish”. Even 18 cm long lure seams small in the barracuda’s jaws.

That would be all for now. Hope you’ll enjoy Lures Way team’s photos.

Author holds barracuda
Barracuda attacked Yo-zuri

Spinning from the beach - Duo vs barracuda (photo: M. Sakovic)

Small barracuda caught while trolling
Rod Daiwa powermesh 10-35
Reel Shimano rarenium 4000 fa
Braid  PowerPro 10 lbs
Snaps Daiwa D Snap, @Chelsea and Kahara
Lures – Bassday logsurf 144, Max rap 15, Ima Ko 130s, DUO tide minow 125, Nabarone 125, Yo-zuri magnet minnow 125 diet, Duel aile minnow 9 cm...
Falcon boat 12-30 lbs
Daiwa BG 90 
Stren 20 lbs 
Husky jerk 10 DD

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