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Old 09-07-2007, 02:43 PM
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Default Eating Barracuda

Okay, I have read many times you CANNOT eat Barracuda (Ciguatera poisoning) but I saw a show on the Travel channel where they were preparing it. They said it was a very good fish to eat. What is the real story? We have tons of these toothy bastards Offshore in Texas. Can I eat them?
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Lots of people eat Barracuda, just stick to the smaller ones.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

The big Dekalb County farmers market here in Atlanta has about any seafood you could imagine INCLUDING 'Cuda!!!!!!
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:53 PM
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Default RE: Eating Barracuda

While bonefishing in Sandy Point, Abaco a few years back, the guides would keep a couple cudas every day. I asked how they knew whether the fish had ciguatera or not and they told me their secret for testing it.

First, you fillet the fish quickly and get it on ice immediately. At the end of the day you deliver a nice fresh piece to your neighbor and put the rest in your icebox overnight.

The next morning you knock on your neighbor's door and if he opens it, the fish is OK to eat.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:57 PM
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Cuda is GOOD !!!
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:58 PM
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Default RE: Eating Barracuda

C U D A S ? ? ? ? ?..................... Every one goes to the last place............my table!!!

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Old 09-07-2007, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Steve, they do that here, too. We catch them all the time, and give them away to the locals who love them. I have cleaned a couple, and its good looking meat. I have also been told that while you are cutting it up, watch for flies. If they land on it, its good. If they buzz down and then take off without landing on it, I was told "T'row de fish after de fly".

I read up quite a bit on ciguatera, and you can get it from grouper just as easily as barracuda. they eat the same stuff. it comes from a toxin that grows on dead coral. It seems to stay in areas with lots of dead coral. People here wont eat fish from South Caicos, but anything on this side of the islands is much sought after.

I have also been told, laughingly, that people dont really know how much barracuda they have already eaten. Ever notice the local restaurants NEVER run out of 'fish and chips'? And its alway 'grouper' or 'snapper'?? yeah, right.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Quote:
bigbender - 9/7/2007 2:44 PM

Lots of people eat Barracuda, just stick to the smaller ones.
Damn fine eating!
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Interesting thread. I've released a bajillion out of perhaps ignorance or mis information on ciguatera?
Curious to know how many of my fellow THT'ers are eating them and at what size they cut off as table fare.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

They eat big stinky in NC, said that the toxins, if any, are flushed out if away from the coral, and the fish that eat the coral, for a few day's. I don't know if I will or not....they still stink!
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

the best test feed it to a cat if eats it its good to go. If he smells it and leave throw it away.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Quote:
Dsaltydog - 9/7/2007 4:16 PM

Interesting thread. I've released a bajillion out of perhaps ignorance or mis information on ciguatera?
Curious to know how many of my fellow THT'ers are eating them and at what size they cut off as table fare.
What you said??????????????? With a lot of cubans friens you haved releasing cudas??????
At Soldier Key we catch a lot with live sardines! See you there!


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Old 09-07-2007, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Quote:
gary240 - 9/7/2007 3:26 PM

....they still stink!

cudas stink bad bad!
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

They eat them around here, and considered a nice to good good table fare. After you pass that nasty slime they have, you will finda a very good flaky, white meat. ideal for frying and grilling.

Here In the tropics, ciguatoxin poisoning is a very real risk, not just from cudas, but for groupers, some snappers and several more fish, For the cudas specifically, I've found that of about a weight 5 pounds or less, chances are nil to get sick since the young fish do not have had enough time to accumulate enough toxin in their system, if any in their system, 10 pounds or more is a no-no.

But the local commercial fishermen here eat them at any size if they pass the cat test, they believe (and i have no reason not to believe them, they've been doing it for who knows how long) when they clean the fish they throw pieces at the cats wandering around the cleaning areas, if the cats eat them, it's ok then.

Sometimes people get caught in what i call "tribal knowledge" and believe things that pass from mouth to mouth sometimes without factual data or experience, and becomes prejudiced about eating, fishing, or appreciating things, the fishing community does not escape the tribal culture.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

Quote:
cojimero - 9/7/2007 4:32 PM

Quote:
Dsaltydog - 9/7/2007 4:16 PM

Interesting thread. I've released a bajillion out of perhaps ignorance or mis information on ciguatera?
Curious to know how many of my fellow THT'ers are eating them and at what size they cut off as table fare.
What you said??????????????? With a lot of Cubans friens you haved releasing cudas??????
At Soldier Key we catch a lot with live sardines! See you there!

My friend,
Sorry, but I would not be the bigot who would stereotype all "Cubans" as cuda eaters, but truth is i know a couple ABUELLOS who love them!

Tight lines one day we have a Mojito!
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

I remember seeing somekind of small test kit you buy to see if fish carried the ciquaerta posion
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

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Gringo - 9/7/2007 3:01 PM

I have also been told, laughingly, that people dont really know how much barracuda they have already eaten. Ever notice the local restaurants NEVER run out of 'fish and chips'? And its alway 'grouper' or 'snapper'?? yeah, right.
In Belize, we ate batter-fried 'cuda and grouper - the 'cuda was better!
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: Eating Barracuda

I would not recommend eating barracuda because of ciguatera. I am a physician and remember reading in the Southern Medical Journal about ciguatera poison which occurred after a North Carolinian served several types of fish to dinner guests in his home. The fish included King Mackerel, Dolphin, Barracuda, etc. There were several dinner guests who did not become ill and many who became very sick with brain swelling (cerebral edema). The ones who became ill had all eaten barracuda, and the ones who did not become ill, had not eaten any barracuda.

Ciguatera poison occurs when coral reef dwelling fish eat protozoans in the water around coral and then are eaten by barracudas. The toxin is heat stable, that is, it cannot be destroyed by cooking. It causes cerebral edema (brain swelling) and severe headaches. It makes people have reverse temperature sensitivity, where ciguatera poisoning victims feel that hot items appear cold and cold items feel hot.

Ciguatera poisoning has occurred in the Marshall Islands extensively. It is worse in larger barracudas because the toxin builds up in the flesh of larger predator fish. The treatment is to reduce brain swelling by giving an Intravenous medication called Mannitol. Generally, this poisoning will not kill you, but the headache and symptoms are reportedly so severe, that you may wish you would die.

Bottom line DO NOT EAT BARRACUDA.

Kendall, captain of the "Fishin' Physician"
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

That seems to me like saying dont ever eat potato salad again because you once knew some people who got salmonella poisoning from eating potato salad.

I have been giving barracuda to some of the same people for over two years now, and they ask for more, (and try to give me rum). We have had to sort of come up with a little rotation schedule to see who we give it to next. Some of these guys are in their 60's, and have been eating it all their lives, and when we give them one or two, they feed them to all their families. and invite their friends over. Theres a couple of people, we have given maybe a dozen fish each to. They always ask me where I caught them. Some areas are knowns as places where the barracuda will make you sick. They wont eat grouper or snapper from those areas, either. These are places where there has been extensive coral damage, back before people cared about that sort of thing, and there is a lot of dead or dying coral. So, Doc, is it possible to develop an immunity to ciguatera? Or have a natural immunity? I have been wanting to try it, but the wife says she won't. She had ciguatera poisoning years ago, from eating grouper at a high end restaurant.

Why does it make sense not to eat a barracuda caught in the same area where I have caught fifty others who were all eaten and not one person got sick. And this same area supplies lots of fresh grouper that vacationers are eating nightly in the restaurants all over town. Thats something like 500 barracuda dinners that I supplied, without a single instance of ciguatera.

Cojimero, I have heard them referred to as "Cuban mackerel" here, too.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Eating Barracuda

In Mexico, small cudas are great grouper bait, but they also carry worms and lice.

Never tried one, just use em for bait.
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