SCIENTIFIC NAME :
Blue, Chopper, Anchoa
All Florida coasts.
Schools of small Bluefish roam outside beaches, bays and estuaries of
both coasts mostly summer in the upper half of Florida; fall and winter
in the lower half. Many are caught each summer by anglers drifting
shallow grass beds for Speckled Trout. Definite
southward runs occur each year on both coasts, but they vary in size and
extent. Runs of giant Blues from 8 pounds to occasionally 20 or more,
sometimes occur offshore and in the surf, usually in March and April on
the Atlantic Coast and in late summer or fall in the Panhandle, but
these are unpredictable.
Color is steel blue or dark green above, shading to silvery white below.
Dark spot usually shows at base of pectoral fin. Large mouth with
prominent teeth. Forked tail.
Averages 1-3 pounds in most coastal waters of Florida, with catches to 6
or 7 pounds always possible, especially around major inlets, passes and
jetties on both coasts. During runs of big fish, generally in the
spring, Floridians have taken blues as heavy as 20 pounds or so. World
record 31 pounds, 12 ounces.
FLORIDA RECORD : 22 pounds, 2
Small Bluefish make fine table fare if broiled or pan-fried soon after
being landed the same day if possible.
Outstanding fighter at all sizes. Strong runs and frequent jumps.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
Light casting and spinning tackle is adequate in most instances, along
with surf tackle for beach and pier fishing. Many big fish, during those
aforementioned unpredictable runs, will put light trolling tackle to a
good test. Heavy leaders are usually necessary to prevent clip offs by
the Blue's sharp teeth. Stout monofilament leaders usually suffice, but
wire can be used too. Bluefish are ravenous as both predators and
scavengers and will take virtually any popular bait-live and cut fish,
cut squid, live shrimp. Fast-moving artificial baits work best, with the
nod going to noisy surface plugs, jigs, spoons and swimming plugs, in
about that order. Often, though, feeding Blues will slash at anything
thrown their way.
Casting; Still Fishing; Trolling.