What Are Predatory Fish and Which Ones Can You Catch and Eat?

Last Updated: 19.06.19


A short overview

The fish which preys upon other fish or animals is called a predatory fish. They vary significantly in size, weight and population levels, with a lot of other differences setting them apart.

Many different hunting and feeding behaviors have been observed, with some being active chasers while others prefer to wait and ambush their prey in dark, muddy waters with little to no visibility.

Switching between types of prey is a natural response to variations in food abundance in the environment, this being an evolutionarily efficient tactic.

If the fish are introduced into an ecosystem where they become top predators, either by eating the food of other breeds or by destroying the other predatory fish, they can become pests and can cause serious environmental issues.

Your chances of catching the prey will significantly increase if you use the right equipment. Check out our other posts for more information on reliable saltwater surf fishing rod and reel combos, for example.

Some examples of predatory fish

One of the most well-known predatory fish is the piranha. This small, freshwater fish is renowned for being voracious and extremely dangerous due to the very sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

These fish do not represent a serious risk to humans, but attacks have occurred, and fatalities have been reported, especially when children or teenagers were the victims.

Another example of a predatory fish is tuna, a subgrouping which comprises 15 species. They vary significantly in size, with the bluefin tuna reaching 4.6 meters in length, while the bullet tuna rarely exceed 50 centimeters. It is a popular game fish, being capable of speeds of up to 75 km/h.

The list also includes sharks, catfish, barracudas, salmon or perch. These are usually quite large and do not possess any other weapon apart from their sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

However, some of the most dangerous and lethal predatory fish are very small – the puffer is one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. Stonefish use camouflage and dorsal spines with venom to hunt for prey.

Other breeds use electricity – the electric eel is known for an enormous discharge which can kill through heart failure.


Edible predatory fish you can catch yourself

You’ll find that your chances of actually catching a predatory fish will significantly increase if you research a lot on the topic. We can help by offering you information on good saltwater fly fishing rods or on some of the most effective saltwater reels.

Catfish are one of the most widespread vertebrates in the world. These fish are also favorite game fish and are used in many various recipes; they contain high amounts of vitamin D and fatty acids, making them healthy too. Most of them are not threatened by extinction so they can be caught without any severe restrictions.

They can be cooked and served fried, baked or grilled with a variety of seasonings and garnishes. To catch them, one needs no professional equipment; the techniques are quite simple and, if you are a beginner, you will quickly learn how to get them.

Unlike catfish, tuna is a lot harder to get, hence it is very appreciated by professionals as a game fish. Techniques used include longline fishing, purse seines, and the Phoenician technique.

If properly cooked it is delicious and can be served with a great variety of garnishes. Many Mediterranean recipes are world-famous for being very tasty. However, some species are threatened by extinction, so before you go fishing make sure that the fish you intend to get is not under prohibition.

Many people consider salmon, a relatively large anadromous predatory fish commonly found in the Atlantic, as a delicacy. It is very healthy and can be cooked in numerous ways if you succeed in catching it.

The technically demanding methods required to fish salmon are a challenge even for experienced fishers, let alone for a beginner. However, during certain periods and in some places, there are severe restrictions imposed even on sports fishing.

Common fish such as perch and trout are enjoyed both as game fish and as food.

The yellow perch can be caught in the US and Canada, and there are so many recipes available that even the pickiest fisher will find something to his liking. It usually fights back after being caught too, turning sportfishing into a more exciting and enjoyable activity.

Trout is appreciated not only for its taste but also for its beauty. Its colors vary not only with the seasons change but also with the environment they are in. Fishing for it does not require special techniques, and even inexperienced people can try it.

There are many other predatory fish which can be caught and cooked. Piranhas are not too favorite on a worldwide scale, but in the Amazonian area, it is enjoyed by many, grilled or baked.

Catching them is dangerous, so inexperienced fishers should not try it. Keep in mind that their teeth are so sharp that the indigenous people use them as wood carving tools. Imagine what those teeth can do to human flesh.

Exotic recipes include stranger and less common types of predatory fish such as rays, parrotfish or octopus. Usually, tropical fish cannot be exported to temperate areas or are very expensive if farmed there. Catching them often requires a permit, but some species are not subject to prohibition and are also easy to catch and cook.


There are so many predatory fish you can catch and eat that there is no way of covering up all the types. Apart from the widespread species such as catfish, tuna or trout, there are many kinds of fish which can be found in certain places or countries, found as food only in local recipes.

Wherever you are, it is almost guaranteed that somewhere nearby you will find a body of water with edible predatory fish swimming in it.

Their acclaim as food and game fish, together with pollution and industrial fishing, made some species endangered and subject to prohibition. Before setting out for a new adventure, make sure that you have read the legislation regulating fishing for specific breeds in the desired location.

Sometimes, a special permit might be required; in certain seasons, catching some types of predatory fish might be prohibited entirely. If you follow these measures, you will undoubtedly spend an enjoyable day outdoors and if you’re looking for a brand new canoe, check out this article



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