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 Bluefish
(Pomatomus saltatrix)


 Distribution & Size

The best time to fish for Bluefish in Florida is during the winter months. The largest concentrations and the biggest fish are caught on the Atlantic side of the state.  

Fish tend to be smaller and less numerous on the Gulf coast.  The average size of the fish is from 1 to 3lbs with catches to 6 or 7lbs always possible around the inlets, passes and jetties.  During runs of big fish usually in the spring fish as heavy as 20lbs are taken. 

The Florida record is 22lbs 2ozs caught near Jensen Beach and the World record being 31lbs 12ozs.

 General Information

The fish travel in schools and migrate down the Atlantic seaboard following schools of baitfish. Schools of Bluefish will go into a feeding frenzy when they encounter a school of baitfish.  When this happens you can cast bare hooks and catch fish. This fish will tear most artificial's apart with their sharp teeth, so do not use your favorite lures. Average size is 3-5 pounds.

 Tackle & Bait

The best methods of catching this specie are light casting and spinning tackle.   Generally they may be caught along the surf line and from piers.  The fish make unpredictable runs and will put up a good encounter on light tackle. Heavy leaders are usually necessary to prevent the fishes sharp teeth cutting monofilament line.   Bluefish are ravenous as both predators and scavengers and will virtually take any bait offered. Best baits are probably cut fish, cut squid and live shrimp.  As for artificial's any fast moving lure will suffice.

 Eating Qualities

The meat is good to eat, but is best when eaten fresh.  Apparently the meat does not freeze well. These fish are a bit oily for some people, so gut them and clean them as soon as you legally can.

 State Limits and Regulations

Size Limit  Closed Season  Daily Rec. Bag Limit  Remarks
12" Fork None 10 per harvester per day Must be landed whole

 
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