We have 3 main species of Barracudas you will bump into here on Koh Tao. From smallest to largest; we have Yellowtails, Half Chevron and Great Barracudas. All three of which can be found at the same time on dive sites like Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest and sometimes right at the front door on White Rock, although this is a little more rare. But guaranteed you will bump into at least one of the species on your visit. Looking at the stealthy swimmers individually…
The Yellow Tail Barracuda are by far the cutest members of the family. They are probably seen best at White Rock on the Southern end usually swimming around and around the buoy line pinnacle. Spending any time watching them do this can actually send your head in a bit of a spin but usually they readjust and either swim straight toward you skimming the top of the coral garden and off for a little deeper water. More recently a large group of juveniles have moved into the wreck for protection and they literally fill one of the rooms.
Well, as the middle brother and often overlooked in search of the Great Barracudas, the Half Chevron Barracuda always look to surprise you. Often sighted at Chumphon Pinnacle on the Eastern side or Shark Island on the Northern or Eastern sides, they will quickly appear, always close together in their perfectly steely schools. A very fine and handsome fish, they have acquired the seemingly military perfect design and abilities of their older brothers the Great’s, yet still retain that shyness and coyness of the Yellowtails. They often swim around you as if drawn to you but unsure why. It's always a pleasure to see as the slightly lesser sighted of the three and always very photogenic too.
The Great Barracuda, well the name says it all, they are great. Whether it’s admiring their large assertive presence when schooling at Southwest or Chumphon Pinnacle, or capturing their perfect hunting methods and abilities at night it is always a thrill to be in the water with these hawks of Koh Tao. Just as hawks contrast with eagles, the Great Barracudas swim with such poise and elegance, and deliver such power and strength whether in a current or hunting, you can be forgiven for imagining them as a potential threat or as curious as sharks, but this is not the case. Yes, among them you do feel the lesser species but bask in these moments for in front of you is one of the seas true predators and a fantastic fish to spend time with.