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Salt Water Fish Species


White Marlin

WHITE MARLIN (Tetrapturus albidus) OTHER NAMES: Spikefish, Aguja Blanco Short, heavy bill, Greenish-blue above, silvery-white below. Light blue stripes may be present. Dorsal and anal fins are rounded, and may contains spots. The lateral line is conspicuous on the white marlin; but, can not be seen on the blue. RANGE: Blue ocean water off all Florida coasts and throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean. HABITAT: Like the Blue Marlin, a […]

Yellowfin Tuna

YELLOWFIN TUNA (Thunnus albacres) OTHER NAMES: Allison Tuna, Ahi RANGE: All Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. HABITAT: The open seas, but frequently near dropoffs. DESCRIPTION: Distinguishing the Yellowfin Tuna from the Blackfin or Bigeye is sometimes difficult as many visual features are similar. Finlets of the Yellowfin are yellow, trimmed in black. Gold stripe along side. Light underside usually shows spots and/or wavy lines. Second dorsal and anal fins […]

White Grunt

White Grunt (Haemulon plumieri) OTHER NAMES: Gray Grunt, Key West Grunt, Ronco Arara RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas. HABITAT: Not choosy; inshore to deep sea. DESCRIPTION: Usually from light gray, almost white, to dark gray. Many small blue and yellow lines on head. SIZE: Averages 8-10 inches; not too uncommon at 12 inches or slightly larger, especially in deeper waters of the Gulf. Word record 6 pounds, 8 […]


WEAKFISH (Cynoscion regalis) OTHER NAMES: Gray Trout, Northern Trout RANGE: From North Florida, south to Cape Canaveral; stragglers perhaps to Fort Pierce on the East Coast. HABITAT: Most fishing for Weakfish takes place in the Jacksonville area and Port Canaveral. This species prefers deeper water, as a rule, than its spotted cousin; channels, deep holes, basins and harbors. DESCRIPTION: Silhouette similar to the spotted seatrout, but markings take the form […]

Warsaw Grouper

WARSAW GROUPER (Epinephelus nigritus) OTHER NAMES: Giant Grouper, Black Jewfish, Garrupa Negrita RANGE: All Florida coasts, Atlantic and Gulf, but not reported from the Bahamas. HABITAT: Very deep dropoffs, ledges and seamounts. Seldom encountered in less than 200 feet, and most common in much deeper water. Partyboats working offshore waters of the state’s upper half both Gulf and Atlantic seem to bring in Warsaws more often than elsewhere. DESCRIPTION: Mottled […]


WAHOO (Acanthocybium soladri) OTHER NAMES: Peto, Ono RANGE: Offshore of all Florida coasts, especially the Keys, but for more plentiful in the Bahamas and many Caribbean Islands. HABITAT: Roams the deep blue water, but anglers can find them by working dropoffs, seamounts, weedlines and other favorable feeding locations DESCRIPTION: Long, slender body marked with zebra-like stripes of white and deep blue or black. Mouth is elongated and narrow, and equipped […]

Vermillion Snapper

VERMILLION SNAPPER (Rhomboplites aurorubens) OTHER NAMES: Beeliner, Mingo, Cajon RANGE: All Florida coasts; more common northward. HABITAT: Prefers the same depths as the Red Snapper, with which it often mixes. A common panfish around offshore deep wrecks, reefs and ledges of the upper Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Like the Red Snapper, it is more of a temperate than a tropical fish, and is unfamiliar to most anglers in the southern […]


TRIPLETAIL (Lobotes surinamensis) OTHER NAMES: Drift Fish, Leaf Fish RANGE: Both coastal and pelogic in Florida; mostly pelogic in the Bahamas and Caribbean. HABITAT: The Tripletail is a true world traveler, drifting with ocean currents and often spotted by dolphin fishermen in weedlines or alongside floating debris. Many are found closer to shore in most coastal areas of Florida during warm months, and also in larger baysÐusually hanging around markers […]


TILEFISH (Lophlatilus chamaeleonticeps) OTHER NAMES: Blue Tilefish, Common Tilefish RANGE: All Florida coasts, but this fish varies greatly in abundance, evidently because of cycles that may be tied to vagaries of ocean currents. Tilefish also occur off the Bahamas, but are seldom caught there, due to lack of fishing effort. HABITAT: Likes soft bottom with scattered rocks or growth. Most Florida fish are taken from depths of 400 feet or […]


TARPON (Megalops atlanticus) OTHER NAMES: Silver King, Sabalo sivler in color, large uptilted mouth, large heavy scales, tubular body. RANGE: All Florida coasts plus the Greater Antilles and some other Caribbean islands, including the Virgin and Cayman Islands. Scattered in the Bahamas, where it is most plentiful around Andros but also present elsewhere, including Bimini, the Berry Islands, and the Exumas. HABITAT: Fishable throughout Florida in warm months, including the […]