World Record Barracuda: Biggest Ever Caught

World Record Barracuda Feature Image

The biggest barracuda ever caught was taken by US angler Thomas Gibson in 2013.

Gibson was fishing for tarpon near the mouth of the Kwanza River in the African nation of Angola when he hooked the huge Guinean barracuda.

Gibson, a devoted tarpon fisherman who holds several state records as has been described as the Texas Tarpon Guru, had found the trip to Angola slow going with only a single tarpon landed.

He suggested to his fishing partner, Cam Nicolson, that they troll to locate the tarpon when the huge barracuda struck. They initially thought is was a tarpon, even though there were none of the trademark leaps.

“He pulled out all kinds of line,” Gibson told Field and Stream. “Oh, man! We’re looking back, waiting for this thing to jump. It never jumped.”

“All of a sudden I pulled it up, and Cam said, ‘Jesus! What is that? It looks like a crocodile with no legs!’”

The big barracuda weighed 46.4 kilograms (102 pounds, 8 oz) narrowly topping the all-tackle IGFA world record, a 45.9-kilo (101-pound, 3 oz.) fish caught in the west African country of Gabon in 2002 by Dr. Cyril Fabre.

Gibson’s fish was an impressive 6′ 10.7″ long, with a girth of 27 inches and succumbed following a 10 minute fight. Gibson caught the fish on a red Rapala lure.

About Barracuda:

The barracuda is a saltwater fish of the genus Sphyraena, the only genus in the family Sphyraenidae, which was named by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1815.


Barracuda are found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide ranging from the eastern border of the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, on its western border the Caribbean Sea, and in tropical areas of the Pacific Ocean.

How large can barracuda get?

The biggest barracuda ever caught was taken by US angler Thomas Gibson in 2013.

Barracuda can get to almost seven foot as seen from the one Thomas Gibson hooked.


Barracuda are a fast predatory fish often found in shallow tropical water near coral reefs and sand flats. The camouflage well and are capable of short bursts of speed making them a very effective ambush predator.


Because of their large, needle sharp teeth barracuda need to be handled really carefully, preferably with gloves and a fish gripper or a gaff if you are taking the fish for the table.

Fishing For Huge Barracuda

Lure Fishing

Barracuda take a range of lures either trolled or cast. Due to their teeth a steel trace is recommended to land these fish.

Fly Fishing

Any large baitfish pattern of the kind you would use for tarpon will work on barracuda, but you will need a thick nylon or stainless steel trace to land them and a rod with plenty of backbone to subdue these large fish.

Barracuda FAQS

Can you Eat Barracuda?

Yes, they are edible. They have a distinct taste that not everybody likes, but those who do find them a great eating fish.

Are They Dangerous?

World Record Barracuda 1

They are an intimidatingly tooth fish and swimmers have been reported being bitten by barracuda, but such incidents are very rare and may be caused by poor visibility. Barracudas may mistake objects that glint and shine for prey.

Final Thoughts on the World Record Barracuda

There are likely to be more world record fish that even exceed the size of the one Gibson caught and there will be more noteworthy catches in the future and possibly a new IGFA world record fish.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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