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Most Dangerous Fish in the U.S.



Be it surfers, swimmers or fishermen, every water-bound Adrenalist should have a deep understanding of the sea life that lurks in the water below.

Know your waters and handle these dangerous fish with extreme care, should you come across them. After you know your enemy, you can visit the best fishing spots in the U.S. and try your hand at capturing the beasts.

Here are the most dangerous fish in the U.S.


Piranhas are native to South America, but a few rogue packs call the United States home, too. There have been reports of small groups of the dangerous fish found in U.S. lakes. People have been finding piranha routinely in lakes across the country. There aren’t enough of them to travel in schools just yet, but they are out there. If you are brave or crazy enough, you could go looking for them at Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, Lake St Clair in Michigan, or Tom Bass Park Lake near Houston, Texas. Most of the fish, which are pretty much all teeth, were caught accidentally during summer fishing trips.

Bullhead Catfish

Bullhead and other species of catfish are widely spread in North America. Bullhead croak at you unnervingly, armed with two sets of spines that can pierce your skin and even fatally wound you. Fishermen unfamiliar with the proper way to handle their catch are prone to being injured by the catfish’s spine. It is unlikely that you will be fatally wounded by a prick from a freshwater bullhead spine, but the wound hurts immensely. If pain and swelling persist, a trip to the doctor is a must.

Great White Shark

Few are surprised to see this name on a list of most dangerous fish. You have to hand it to the great white shark. Few other creatures on the planet, except saltwater crocodiles, are so terrifying. Great whites combine massive mouths with beady eyes and razor-sharp teeth. Petrifying. As sharks do, they get around. One place to see them is near the Farallon Islands off San Francisco. One company runs a tour []. The usual deal with great white experiences is you get dunked in a cage while your tour operator obligingly dangles tasty, shark-friendly morsels to draw the animals over. You probably won’t want to go swimming in great white shark-infested beaches for obvious reasons. If there is any upside to shark attacks from an American perspective, it’s that they mostly seem to happen off the coast of Australia. But don’t chance your arm off America. The great white is incredibly formidable – capable of short, high-speed pursuits and even breaching -launching itself clear from the water.


Do not underestimate stingrays. Stingrays can wreak major havoc for unaware swimmers. Like sharks, stingrays can get everywhere. America proudly boasts its own variety, known as the Atlantic stingray (Dasyatis sabina). These are common along the Atlantic coast of North America from Chesapeake Bay to Mexico, including brackish and freshwater habitats. Atlantic stingrays have much longer snouts than other stingrays. Step on it at your peril. The dangerous fish utilize a poison stinger when feeling threatened.


Like the great white shark and piranha, the barracuda is synonymous with danger, reflected by its fearsome appearance. Barracudas, which you can find on the Atlantic coast of tropical America, are huge. What’s worse is, they have prominent, fang-like teeth, much like piranhas. They are voracious, opportunistic predators and count on shock tactics and short bursts of speed (up to 27 mph) to catch their prey. They also have the nasty habit of mistaking snorkelers for large predators. Barracudas duly shadow them hoping to eat the remains of any prey. Additionally, anything that glints or shines is mistaken for prey by the barracuda. This is dangerous if you are wearing a diving watch or have any metal on you that can reflect the sun. These monsters can cause wounds that require amputation.

Have you ever gone face-to-face with any of the most dangerous fish in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments below or @DegreeMen.

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