The spotfin hogfish is also called the Cuban hogfish. Angler fish for Permit by stalking them by sight on shallow flats, and cast directly to them. This fish commonly found in brackish waters and overwinters in deep offshore waters. Sailfish show up in Southeast Florida and the Keys in Mid-October, offering anglers great fall action. Checkout our Fish ID page which will show you the most common Florida Inshore fish. The Queen Snapper is a rare catch and a unique snapper having a long, slender body with big forked tail with yellow eyes. White Marlin can be found in very deep water, usually 300 to 500 feet down. Occasionally they will eat beetles or other large insects. Bonefish a favorite for fly angers and are not commonly eaten. Blueline Tilefish feed on bottom creatures, such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish. This large species is commonly 6 feet and over 100 pounds in south Florida and get get as large as 280 pounds. They inhabit mostly offshore reefs and wrecks but sometimes are found inshore. The fish is stocky but small, only growing to 16 inches and 4 pounds. It is found in schools inshore preferring bays with muddy bottoms and high salinity. The above image is a 40 lb African Pompano.Image courtesy of Bouncers Dusky 33 - Miami Beach. They will attack surface bait, so chunking is a great chum method using their preferred diner species. They live in a U-shaped burrow in sand on most beaches. They are a beautifully colored ray with spots all over it's back. Image taken Gulf of Mexico, Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library - Image taken Gulf of Mexico, This Hound Needlefish caught in Key West by. Other Reef-Associated Fish: Pigfish. The best times to catch a Bonefish is during overcast sky, a rising tide, water less than 3 feet and water temperature more than 70 degrees. The Tripletail is a surface fish, lounging around floating debris and buoys waiting for it's dinner to arrive. Ballyhoo respond easily to ground chum and once they are schooled, cast netting is the way to capture more of them. Image Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library - Photo taken Gulf of Mexico, Golden Tilefish are found in deep offshore waters and feed during the day on the bottom on crustaceans, clams, snails, worms, anemones and sea cucumbers. Image courtesy of Bouncers Dusky 33 - Miami Beach, The Tomtate, also called Ruby Red Lips, Grunt or Spot Tail, is an bait fish for reef dwellers. The picture here is of a 21 inch catfish caught in Ochlokonee Bay. Bottom fishing from bridges, piers, the surf and from boats is the best way to catch a Kingfish. Bay Scallops can be found across the state from Palm Beach on the east coast to Pensacola on the west coast. If you see a ray jumping out of the water, do not seek it out but turn and go the other way - they have been know to land in boats unexpectadly injuring people as they land. Growing to12 inches in length, the Leatherjack eats small fish and shrimp. The lionfish flesh is very good to eat and the only precaution during preparation is to cut off the venomous spines, then prepare the fish as you would any other. The Cero Mackerel is usually caught at 10 pounds but can get to 30 pounds. Other great titles include Baits, Rigs & Tackle! Tidewater Silverside is a bait fish found in schools in coastal waters and estuaries and is up to 6 inches in length. If you have caught a fish or have a picture of a fish you cannot identify feel free to submit a photo to us and we will give you a hand. In addition, a new freshwater version of the app is being created and is anticipated to be rolled out later this summer. The Tomtate can grow to 12 inches and weigh a pound and is ID'd by the inside of it's mouth being bright red. The lane snapper is a bottom feeder preferring crustaceans, mollusks, and fish. The Scamp's spots can sometimes form close together creating larger spot-like area's. Florida Museum Fish Collection This searchable gallery includes 220 entries of Florida freshwater fishes, each with a live image, key characteristics for field identification and habitat description. They are excellent table fair. This species is fun to catch and quite tasty, best eaten fresh, not frozen. Put the worms in a bucket and add a bit of seaweed to keep them damp. The above pictures were of a 15 inch fish caught in the surf on Dania Beach. You have the option to turn off cookies in your browser. The adults form schools with other species of fish during the day over coral reefs or sandy bottoms. The Atlantic Bumper swims in large schools and can be found both inshore and offshore. They are about 12 inches and weigh a few pounds. Trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus) are easy to identify by their long, thin, tubular bodies with trumpet-shaped mouths or snouts. Snook cannot survive in water temperatures below 60 degrees. Live crab is by far the best bait for Permit; use a splitshot to weigh the crab down if the fish are lower in the water column. - Size Limits - Bag Limits - State Record - Habit… Florida Sport Fishing is owned and operated by South Florida Sport Fishing Inc, a Florida Corporation headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida — in the heart of The Fishing Capital of the World. Since Flounder are bottom fish, so you need to get your chum down to the bottom to stimulate flounder feeding. The bloody red meat of this Bonito must be bled in ice water for hours and the thick blood line must be removed before cooking it like any other Tuna. Like other Shad, the Hickory Shad is a schooling fish adults living in coastal ocean waters from Maine to Florida. Florida has specific bag limits for each region of the state so check current regulations before targeting this good eating species. Ocean Sunfish via flickr/Scott, Rita, Samuel & Tomas Azevedo Lusher. They have very sharp teeth and spines with razors for gills, so handle with care. The Ballyhoo can grow to 16 inches, but are commonly 12 inches. Spot one of the most popular fish to be caught and eaten. They have the same diet and habitat as the other Seatrout. These large fish require are very powerful and heavy requiring strong fishing gear. The Horseshoe Crab lives in shallow salt waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms and are common at the shoreline. You will catch very large fish with this setup, so be sure to use a heavy duty pole setup. Snook are excellent eating and fun to catch but do have strict catch limits and closures, so be sure to read up on current rules. If you land one on your hook and do not have gloves or courage to deal with them, cut the line and send it back. Dolphin's favorite food are flying fish and they also eat shrimp, squid, crustaceans or even baby dolphin fish. Use this easily caught fish for your chum mix instead of releasing it. The Mahogany has big eyes, grows to 20 inches, and usually swims in schools around reefs. To use the Atlantic stingray for bait, first remove the short poisonous spine with pliers that is at the base of it's long tail. Many anglers catch this giant while fishing for other species. When Redfish are actively feeding they are easy to catch if you do it right. This is a small species that can reach lengths of 11 inches but is commonly found at 7 inches. This grouper has vertical stripes and sometimes a redish color; juveniles are yellowish. This species is abundant and considered by anglers a nuisance, so why not use them for your chum mix. This species lives only a year, replenishing it's stock every 6 months due to the fact that it continually spawns. Check out our Lionfish page for more details. Often confused with the Marlin, this fish can be identified by their fin which is much higher throughout its length. Common on reefs around Key West, this porgy feeds on a variety of creatures including sea urchins, brittle stars, mollusks, sea worms, hermit crabs, and crabs. Flying fish are commonly found offshore in southern Florida especially in the Keys. All Rights Reserved. If you would like to read about the "mistaken identity" of both the White Marlin and the Roundscale Spearfish, check out this ScienceDaily article. We provide Fishing Reports and Tips for inshore and offshore Anglers. This fish seldom reaches over 3 to 4 inches and is abundant in large schools along the shore in seagrass beds and on offshore reefs. They can grow to 15 inches, but are most commonly caught at 6 inches. The Scamp is commonly 10 to 20 pounds and is sometimes found fairly close to shore, but generally sticks to deep reefs and ledges offshore. Great for the novice or experienced fishermen. Professional tournament anglers use flying fish as their secret weapon (we just gave away their secret!). Also remember to slightly tilt the net so when the squid expels its ink it is dispersed into the water. Mangroves are inquisitive fish that will come out of their ambush spot to see what's going on when they hear noise like your engines motor, but they will flee after hearing loud sudden noises. Lookdowns are in the Jack family and can grow to 19 inches and up to 3 pounds. There are almost a dozen species of Lobster residing in Florida water, learn all about the different Lobster species and Lobstering on our Lobstering page. Sheepshead are common at 4 pounds but can be found further from the shore near navigational markers at 10 pounds or more. You can collect small crabs at the shore or you can use a crab trap to catch them. The Margate, either White or Black, belongs to the grunt family. Image courtesy of Bouncers Dusky 33 - Miami Beach, The African Pompano is also know as Pennant-Fish and Threadfin Trevally, Cuban Jack, Atlantic Threadfin, Pennantfish, Threadfin Mirrorfish, and Trevally. The Atlantic threadfin has been discovered in recent years to be an excellent eating fish. Sturgeon jump out of the water and can jump in your boat without warning, watch this FWC video. The Scaled Sardine can be caught easily with bait net, just chum the water and when they arrive cast away. There are hundreds of saltwater bait fish species found in Florida. The Tiger reaches around 8-10 pounds, 35 inches long, and feeds on small fish, squid, shrimp, and crabs, devouring them with it's big teeth. The Jolthead can be caught on dead bait (Spanish sardines, threadfin, finger mullet) squid, and crustaceans. Free line live pinfish or shrimp near the edges of mangroves or over grass beds to attract them out of deep holes. The Red Porgy is sometimes called Seabream and is found is waters from 60 feet in depth to the edge of the continental shelf where they can be 16 inches and weigh 2 pounds. This rare fish is commonly caught at 15 pounds as an incidental catch while bottom fishing deeper reefs. Fish Species brought to you in association with Wickstrom Publishers Inc. Excerpts from the book Sport Fish of Florida a must for every tackle box and boat in and around Florida waters!!! There are many varieties of Shrimp, both freshwater and saltwater around the world, that live close to the bottom, but are frequently found drifting on the surface with the tide. Squid live at the bottom of the sea during the day and propel upwards at night. This species is in the Drum family Sciaenidae. Silkies can be found in water from 300 to 700 feet deep near rocks and pinnacles and average 8 pounds. Florida---My Salt Water Paradise. 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