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Florida Sportfishing Species

Family Sphyraenidae


Description: Gray, with a greenish cast above, whitish below; many irregular, small black blotches on lower side; 18 to22 diagonal dark bars on upper side (not always evident); caudal fin dark with white tips; 75 to 87 lateral line scales; no fleshy tip on jaw.

Where found: Young live in inshore seagrass beds; adults range from inshore channels to open ocean.

Size: to 6 ft. and 106 pounds.

Remarks: Most attacts on people have occurred when they were wading or swimming in turbid water while wearing bright objects, attempting to spear a barracuda, or carrying speared fish; flesh of smaller fish apparently not poisonous, but larger fish sometimes very toxic due to ciguatera; no safe, reliable way of recognizing toxic fish.


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