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Old 19-05-2018, 05:29   #31
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by Ken Z View Post
When I lived aboard in the fl keys we ate barracuda 4-5 times a week. There were schools of 50 or more everywhere , they lived on grass flats. The ones around the reefs can be “off” as they eat reef fish, especially larger ones,I ate the 2’ ones.I was told by locals in the islands not to pepper the fish until you cook and taste it because if they are bad , fish poision, they will taste peppery. I never had a problem. They are good....
The peppery taste is not from ciguartera. Its scombroid contamination:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/fi...tera-scombroid
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Old 19-05-2018, 05:41   #32
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

Ciguatera distribution map here:

http://fundacionio.org/viajar/img/en...stribucion.jpg

Main site also has a good discussion (Shows up in Spanish for me, but you may be able to change language option or translate):

http://fundacionio.org/viajar/enferm...ciguatera.html

Have eaten cudda several times this year in Panama. No problems.

Testing in 2016 off Punta Galleta (Atlantic entrance to Canal) of dinoflagelates population (source of the toxin) concluded conditions were safe.

Still best to avoid at least the big ones I think, in low risk zones (yellow on map).
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Old 19-05-2018, 14:46   #33
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
There is absolutely no way to tell, unless you have a cat or other small animal to function as your official taster. Your spouse would work too, but that is less politically correct...

There are cases of ciguatera that have been documented in the eastern Med, but I am not at all sure if it is common there...

Since barracuda are one of the most common carriers of ciguatera, we generally avoid them, even the small ones. We catch enough other fish there is no reason to sit down to dinner and wonder...
We have stayed 2 months/year since 10 years in Puerto Aventuras MX and we bought baracuda very often from fichermen... even big ones without any problem.

You don't need a CAT !!! just put the fish liver on your tongue ... if you feel it tingling ... NOT GOOD !!! chances of ciguatera ... but NEVER found one in Yucatan regions until now. This is the way those fishermen detect them... their family eat it very frequenlty because people don't want them and prefer "better fish".
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:18   #34
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
I know the French girls who worked the boats as cooks told me they would take the eye out and bite it between two teeth. Get a little juice out and swallow it. If they got upset stomach from this small amount the fish was tainted. They felt confident. Me... I am a chicken. I just won't eat 'cuda in the Carib.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Z View Post
When I lived aboard in the fl keys we ate barracuda 4-5 times a week. There were schools of 50 or more everywhere , they lived on grass flats. The ones around the reefs can be “off” as they eat reef fish, especially larger ones,I ate the 2’ ones.I was told by locals in the islands not to pepper the fish until you cook and taste it because if they are bad , fish poision, they will taste peppery. I never had a problem. They are good....
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Originally Posted by majones View Post
We routinely eat barracuda caught off Isla Cozumel, Mx. Our guide bites into the raw liver. If it makes his tongue or lips tingle/numb then it has ciguatera. However, he has never experienced this sensation so this test may be faulted. But, none of our party have been afflicted in over 8 years of barracuda eating.
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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
AFAIK, they stopped making then in 2011. And (coincidentally?) a paper from that same year:



https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperI...x?PaperID=6617


Quantitative Evaluation of Commercially Available Test Kit for Ciguatera in Fish

"The low levels of uniform conclusions among readers examining identical test strips, and the low frequency of agreement with the correct ciguateric status as shown by separate N2a neuroblastoma analyses indicate severe short-comings in the reliability of these test kits to accurately reflect the ciguateric status of samples. The level of uncertainty associated with Cigua-Check® test kits indicate a continuing need for improvement of a simple, rapid, and reliable means to identify ciguateric fish."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falbala60 View Post
We have stayed 2 months/year since 10 years in Puerto Aventuras MX and we bought baracuda very often from fichermen... even big ones without any problem.

You don't need a CAT !!! just put the fish liver on your tongue ... if you feel it tingling ... NOT GOOD !!! chances of ciguatera ... but NEVER found one in Yucatan regions until now. This is the way those fishermen detect them... their family eat it very frequenlty because people don't want them and prefer "better fish".
Lots of local lore, which varies by place, on how to detect ciguatera. In Belize they say put a piece of the meat outside and if the flys dont land on it then its bad. I dont think any of them are valid.

Even the test kits dont work reliably.

My strategy has been to go with what the locals do (disregarding detection lore)...maybe Ive just been lucky.

Damn, I sure do like cudda though.
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:26   #35
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Now I know why I’ll never eat one, I don’t like Kings either, both fun to catch, but throw them back. I won’t eat Spanish either.
Attachment 170020Attachment 170021
Where are you fishing...Atlantic or Pacific?

Mackerel are VERY different depending on which. Atlantic Spanish Mackerel is delicious (to our taste buds anyway), but Pacific Spanish Macks have a very strong taste. Here in Panama you can get either, so have to confirm if buying from a fish market. I like King Mack too and they are a serious brawler on the line.Click image for larger version

Name:	King Mack <a title=Belize.jpg Views: 111 Size: 67.2 KB ID: 170085" style="margin: 2px" />
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:37   #36
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Now Wahoo, that is a fun fish, and good eating.Attachment 170022
A64- that is a beauty. I remember one of our fishing charter getting smacked on a panga by a wahoo flying across. We laughed so hard we almost died of asphyxiation. Guy who got hit had marks and injured dignity syndrome.
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:46   #37
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

About 15 years ago we had a local Jacksonvile Fl restaurant serve barracuda as a special one night. Gave ciguatera to approximately 75 people.
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Old 19-05-2018, 15:48   #38
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by Falbala60 View Post

You don't need a CAT !!! just put the fish liver on your tongue ... if you feel it tingling ... NOT GOOD !!! chances of ciguatera ... but NEVER found one in Yucatan regions until now. This is the way those fishermen detect them... their family eat it very frequenlty because people don't want them and prefer "better fish".
Falbala, never heard that tip before. Thank u very much for it.
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Old 19-05-2018, 16:18   #39
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Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Where are you fishing...Atlantic or Pacific?

Mackerel are VERY different depending on which. Atlantic Spanish Mackerel is delicious (to our taste buds anyway), but Pacific Spanish Macks have a very strong taste. Here in Panama you can get either, so have to confirm if buying from a fish market. I like King Mack too and they are a serious brawler on the line.Attachment 170085


All those pictures were from crossing back and forth between Panama City Fl and Clearwater, takes you through the edge of what we call the “Middle Grounds” which is good fishing, but for some reason usually little to no wind, and you can be 50 miles off shore and have flies show up. Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Where do the flies come from?

A lot of my King fishing came from the tournament every year in Jacksonville Fl. We usually did pretty well, not the winners but placed well. Our boat was a little big at 45’ and significantly slower than the big fast Center Consoles. So they could go where we couldn’t, and spend more time fishing than we could.
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Old 19-05-2018, 16:23   #40
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by Ecos View Post
Ciguatera on the grill? The small ones are tasty but I'm not sure about the big guys. Is there was a way to tell?
There isn't. The best guide is the knowledge of locals. Barracuda are reef fish, and the toxin can build up in them over time.
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Old 19-05-2018, 16:41   #41
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
All those pictures were from crossing back and forth between Panama City Fl and Clearwater, takes you through the edge of what we call the “Middle Grounds” which is good fishing, but for some reason usually little to no wind, and you can be 50 miles off shore and have flies show up. Northern Gulf of Mexico.
Where do the flies come from?
Yes, very familiar with the GOM (born in MS, lived in TX, lived in FL, boated all over the GOM). Ive noticed the fly thing before too, only along the GOM coast, never anywhere else...no idea why...maybe they follow all the shrimpers? Maybe they show up for the ciguatera test? 😉

Just different taste buds I guess, Atlantic Spanish Mack is one of our favorite fish. Used to catch a lot of them in Belize.
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Old 19-05-2018, 19:22   #42
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

FWIW: A long time ago (mid 80s) when Ann and I were studyin' up about going cruising, we did some ciguaterra research. At that time, folk wisdom suggested the "ask the locals, they know..." method. Sounded good to us. However, some further reading revealed that at that time if one excluded infant mortality and old age, ciguatoxic poisoning was the next most common cause of death in the Tuamotus. Hmmm...

Then we got there (Tuamotus). One day in Raroia I caught a couple of smallish spotted Groupers. Was a bit leary of them, so we walked towards the village carrying one of them for ID. First villager we asked said "oh yes, very good to eat". Ahaa, good news!
Walked onward and met the village gendarme whom we knew somewhat. When he saw the fish he said "you're not gonna eat that, are you? Full of "le gratte*", they are!"



Much later, a couple of years ago in New Caledonia's northern lagoon in the Belep group we caught a small Spanish mackerel (locally called Tazar). We'd been told that these smaller fish were quite young and were safe to eat. None the less, we cut it into steaks and carried some of it into the village, where we encountered several Kanak women. Showed them the fish, asked if they would like to have it, and they happily accepted the gift and we felt justified in having some ourselves. That was our third case of Ciguaterra... hopefully our last!

So there you are... ask a local, they know!

Jim

*local French term for Ciguaterra, means 'the itch', one of the symptoms of Ciguaterra.
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Old 19-05-2018, 19:25   #43
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

$12/kg?
Expensive bait.
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Old 19-05-2018, 19:32   #44
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

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Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
Falbala, never heard that tip before. Thank u very much for it.


Only Puerto Aventuras fishermen method. Worked for us since 10years... but NO GARANTY :-(
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Old 19-05-2018, 20:05   #45
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Re: Barracuda on the BBQ

One sure fire way to not get ciguatera is to go vegetarian. Worked for me.
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