Fish ID

SAILFISH – Istiophorus platypterus

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Istiophoridae, BILLFISHES

Description: color dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in form of spear; first dorsal greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black spots, its front squared off, highest at its mid point; pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus; body covered with imbedded scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved over pectoral, then straight to base of tail.

Similar fish: white marlin, T. albidus, young blue marlin, M. nigricans (spectacular sail-like dorsal of sailfish is most notable difference).

Where found: OFFSHORE species, in south Florida associated with waters near the Gulfstream; off the Panhandle near the 100 fathom line.

Size: common to 7 feet.

Remarks: rapid growing species, reaching 4 to 5 feet in a single year; swims at speeds up to 50 knots; feeds on the surface or at mid depths on smaller pelagic fishes and squid.

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WHITE MARLIN – Tetrapterus albidus

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Istiophoridae, BILLFISHES

Description: color of body dark blue to chocolate brown, shading to slivery white underbelly; noticeable spots on dorsal fin; upper jaw elongated in shape of a spear; body covered with imbedded scales with a single sharp point; tips of first dorsal, pectoral, and first anal fins rounded; lateral line curved above pectoral fin then going in straight line to base of tail.

Similar fish: blue marlin, M. nigricans.

Where found: OFFSHORE, a bluewater fish.

Size: common to 8 feet.

Remarks: uses its bill to stun fast-moving fishes, then turns to consume them; spawning procedures unknown; ranges throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean; feeds on squid and pelagic fishes.

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BLUE MARLIN – Makaira nigricans

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Istiophoridae, BILLFISHES

Description: color cobalt blue on top shading to silvery white on bottom; upper jaw elongated in form of a spear; dorsal fin pointed at front end; pectoral fin and anal fin pointed; lateral line reticulated (interwoven like a net), difficult to see in large specimens; no dark spots on dorsal fin; body covered with imbedded scales ending in one or two sharp points.

Similar fish: white marlin, T. albidus (white has rounded dorsal at front end, rounded tip of pectoral and anal fins, and spots on the dorsal fin).

Where found: OFFSHORE, a bluewater fish.

Size: largest of the Atlantic marlins, common to 11 feet, known to exceed 2,000 pounds.

Remarks: all of trophy size are females; males do not exceed 300 pounds; make trans-Atlantic migrations; spawning procedures unknown; feeds on squid and pelagic fishes, including blackfin tuna and frigate mackerel.

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LONGBILL SPEARFISH – Tetrapturus pfluegeri

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Istiophoridae, BILLFISHES

Description: color of body dark blue, shading to silvery, white underneath; dorsal fin bluish, others brown-black; two dorsal fins, the first lengthy, its front forming a peak; two anal fins, the anus well in front of the first; upper jaw prolonged into spear, its cross section round.

Similar fish: white marlin, Tetrapterus albidus.

Where found: OFFSHORE in deep water.

Size: relatively small species.

Remarks: uncommon; available data indicate that the spearfish matures at 2 years of age, and rarely lives past 4 to 5 years; they are pelagic, and feed at or near the surface, mainly on fishes and squid; named for Al Pflueger, Sr., founder of Pflueger Taxidermy.

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SWORDFISH – Xiphias gladius

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Xiphiidae, SWORDFISHES

Description: color of back variable, black, grayish blue, brown, metallic purple, or bronze; sides dusky; underbelly dirty white; long flat, sword-like upper jaw; lacks scales, teeth, and pelvic fins; single keel on each side of body in front of tail; first dorsal fin high, rigid and short; large eyes.

Similar fish: no close resemblance to other billfishes.

Where found: OFFHSORE species worldwide in temperate and tropic waters; known to frequent depths of 400 to 500 fathoms; also has been seen basking at the surface.

Size: once averaged 200 pounds, but overharvest has reduced size of commercially caught swordfish to average of 48 pounds.

Remarks: large swordfish are all females, males seldom exceed 200 pounds; except when spawning, females believed to prefer water cooler than that favored by males; feeds on squid, octopus, and pelagic fishes of all kinds.

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DOLPHIN – Coryphaena hippurus

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Coryphaenidae, DOLPHINS

Description: bright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors; body tapers sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered over sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical; head of females more sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from just behind the head to the tail; anal fin margin concave and extending to tail.

Similar fish: pompano dolphin, C. equisetis; the pompano dolphin has squarish toot  patch on tongue (oval tooth patch on dolphin) and fewer dorsal rays (48 to 55 vs. 55 to 65 on dolphin).

Where found: OFFSHORE in warm waters.

Size: common to 30 pounds.

Remarks: one of the fastest-growing fish, thought to live no more than 5 years; swimming speed estimated at 50 knots; spawns in warm oceanic currents throughout much of the year; young found in sargassum weed; feeds on flying fish and squid.

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BLACKFIN TUNA – Thunnus atlanticus

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS AND TUNAS

Description: pectoral fin moderately long, reaching point below beginning of 2nd dorsal fin; 2nd dorsal fin dusky; all finlets dusky, with white edges; dorsal finlets sometimes turn yellowish at base after death; a broad, brownish stripe along upper part fo side; eye large; 19 to 25 gill rakers (usually 21 to 23) on 1st arch.

Size: to 1 m (3.25 ft.) and 19 kg (42 lbs.).

Where found: near shore and offshore.

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YELLOWFIN TUNA – Thunnus albacares

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS AND TUNAS

Description: pectoral fin moderately long, reaching point below beginning of 2nd dorsal fin; 2nd dorsal fin and all finlets yellow; no white rear edge on caudal fin; golden stripe on side; 2nd dorsal and anal fins become much longer with age (to about 1/5 of total length); eye small; 26 to 35 gill rakers.

Size: to 2.1 m (82 in.) and 176 kg (367 lbs.)

Where found: offshore mostly bluewater; in or near the Gulfstream.

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LITTLE TUNNY – Euthynnus alletteratus

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS AND TUNAS

Description: diagonal, sometimes wavy, dark bars on bare areas on each side of back; 4 to 5 dark spots below pectoral fin; no dark stripes on belly; dorsal fins connected at base; pectoral fin short.

Size: to 1 m (3.25 ft.) and 12 kg (26 lbs.), but usually much smaller.

Where found: common offshore, but also occurs regularly in bays and over reefs.

Remarks: probably the most common tuna in the w. Atlantic; popular sport fish, it is also used as bait for marlin; occurs in large schools.

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WAHOO – Acanthocybium solanderi

Published on March 9th, 2006 by cbfishing.com Press | Click for more | Add Your Comment

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS AND TUNAS

Description: body slender; elongate jaws form a pointed beak; dark bluish above, with about 30 dark wavy bars; whitish below 1st dorsal fin long and low, with 21 to 27 spines; no gill rakers.

Size: to 2.1 m (83 in.) and 83 kg (183 lbs.).

Where found: offshore Gulfstream; bluewater

Remarks: an important game fish, reowned for its tremendous runs and shifts of direction; usually not in schools; caught by trolling bait and artificial lures on flatlines.

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