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Ladyfish are one of the most dependable targets for fly-fishing and light tackle, putting up a fight disproportionate to their size.
All species of ladyfish are slender, silvery fish with a large terminal mouth, eyes partially covered with adipose eyelids, and have a deeply forked tail. They resemble juvenile tarpon without the last elongated dorsal fin ray. Some ladyfish can reach weights of 15-25 lbs, but they are most often encountered in the 3-5 lb range.
There are six species of ladyfish inhabiting tropical and subtropical waters all over the world. They are inshore species that are commonly found in estuaries, coastal lagoons, hyper saline bays, along shorelines, and even venture far up coastal streams. Occasionally this fish is found several miles offshore. The ladyfish prefers open water areas in channels with moderate currents, and shallow bars and eddies at bends in rivers. It lives to depths of 160 feet. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
When hooked, ladyfish will often make a fast run and wildly leap into the air. This acrobatic display has earned them the nickname “poor man’s tarpon.” Shrimp, cut bait, small jigs, plugs, spoons or streamer flies can be used to catch ladyfish but they will strike almost any appropriately sized offering. Adult ladyfish are strictly carnivorous, feeding on small bony fish, including members of its own species, menhaden and silversides, as well as invertebrates including crustaceans. This fish swallows its prey whole. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
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