About This Fish


The permit (Trachinotus falcatus) is a ray finned fish which belongs to the family Carangidae under Order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil including most of the Caribbean islands. It occurs usually in shallow tropical waters such as mudflats, channels and muddy bottoms. It is usually seen as individuals or in small schools. The young Permit is found usually in the surf zone where plenty of small invertebrates are available.

The permit’s body is short, deep and compressed with a sloping head that terminates in a blunt snout. Head profile is rounded with somewhat inferior mouth. Color is bluish-green to bluish-gray dorsally, fading to sliver laterally and silvery abdomen. A blackish blotch is present on the flanks. Fins are pale with blackish tips. The upper jaw is narrow and ends beneath the midline of the small eyes. Dorsal and anal fins are elongated while caudal fin is deeply forked. Dorsal fin has 6-7 spines and 18-21 soft rays while the anal fin contains 2-3 spines and 16-18 soft rays. Both dorsal and anal fins have dark anterior lobes. A large orange-yellow patch is present on the abdomen in front of the anal fin. The pectoral fin is dark in color and it is shorter than the head while pelvic fin is very short. Bases of the second dorsal and anal fins are about equal in length. Its food items usually consist of crabs, shrimps, copepods, mollusks, polychaets, amphipods, insects and fishes. The Permit fish can reach a maximum 122 cm in length and 36 kg in weight. It can live up to 23 years.

Fishing methods include casting to fish sighted in shallow water, bottom fishing, fishing over inshore wrecks, and jigging from boats or while wading. Baits and lures include crabs, shrimp, streamer flies, bonefish jigs, weighted bucktails, and plugs. Permit up to 8 or 10 pounds are considered excellent eating

= Excellent   = Good   = Fair