Florida Sportfishing Species
Description: terminal mouth, slender body, small scales; last dorsal ray not elongated; head small and pointed.
Similar Fish: juvenile tarpon, Megalops atlanticus.
Where found: INSHORE fish, in bays and estuaries; occasionally enters freshwater, occurring in tidal pools and canals; often forms large schools and harasses bait at the surface.
Size: 2 to 3 pounds.
Remarks: known to spawn OFFSHORE, ribbon-like larvae very similar to Albula and Megalops, peaking in fall; adult feeds predominantly on fish and crustaceans; leaps when hooked.
Description: last ray of dorsal fin extended into long filament; one dorsal fin; back dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the sides; may be brownish gold in estuarien waters; huge scales; mouth large and points upward.
Similar Fish: as juveniles) ladyfish, Elops saurus.
Where found: primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found.
Size: most angler catchs 40 to 50 pounds.
Remarks: slow grower; matures at 7 to 13 years of age; spawning occurs between May and September; female may lay more than 12 million eggs; can tolerate wide range of salinity; juveniles commonly found in fresh water; can breathe air at surface; feeds mainly on fish and large crustaceans.
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