THE hunter became the hunted on the weekend when a barracuda turned the tables on a spear fisherman.
The avid boatie got more than he bargained for when Ricky Durand was bitten by the barracuda while spear fishing off Humpy Island in Keppel Bay.
The fish reportedly took a piece out of the Durand's forearm, causing extensive arterial bleeding.
Ambulance officers met Mr Durand at Rosslyn Bay boat harbour after he was brought to shore in a private boat. They stopped the blood flow and took him to Rockhampton Hospital where he underwent surgery. He was released from hospital this morning.
Though barracudas have a reputation as a fierce, predatory fish, unprovoked attacks on humans are extremely rare. Like sharks, they don't like the taste of human blood.
The Morning Bulletin's fishing editor, Scott Lynch said a tourist was bitten about five years ago by a barracuda on Great Keppel Island when he swam through a bait school.
"There's a lot of small bait around at the moment.
"We have some big fellows around here. I've seen them around Barron Island up to 1.8m."
But he said barracuda would only attack in extreme circumstances. "They aren't going to waste their energy and time attacking something they can't eat," he said. "He must be the unluckiest spear fisherman in the world."