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SCIENTIFIC NAME : Brevoortia tyrannus

OTHER NAMES: Porgy, Mossbunker, Bunker, Alewife, LY, Fatback, Shad.

RANGE: All Florida coasts.

HABITAT: All the Menhaden's range widely in open water of the Gulf and Atlantic, but are most often sought by anglers fairly close to the beaches, or around shoals and wrecks.

DESCRIPTION: Three species of Menhaden are common in Florida, but all are similar in size and appearance, and interchangeable in their bait appeal. The Atlantic Menhaden, shown here, is slightly larger than its Gulf side counterparts, the Gulf Menhaden, and the Yellowfin Menhaden. The latter two can be distinguished by their spots, a lone prominent spot behind the gill cover of the Yellowfin, as opposed to a large spot and a series of smaller ones on the Gulf Menhaden. The Atlantic variety also has numerous spots. All three have dark greenish backs, yellowish fins and dull silver or brassy sides.

SIZE: To about 12 inches. The average is about 8 inches.

FOOD VALUE: Very oily. Best used for bait and for sliced or ground chum.

GAME QUALITIES: The Menhaden's are very strong and active for their size, which makes them ideal as bait for fast-swimming game fish. They fight well on very light spinning tackle.

TACKLE AND BAITS: Most are cast needed, but many are caught on spinning tackle with Sabiki Rigs.

FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.


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