The Ladyfish

The Ladyfish
Difficulty

Period

All year

Minimum size

no restriction

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The Ladyfish belongs to the Elopidae family. The adult size is about 1 m for about 6 kg. It has a lifespan of 6 years at least. It can breed throughout the year. It can be fished all year.
This fish has an elongated, thin and robust body with a large, deeply forked caudal fin. The body is covered with small, thin, silvery scales. The lateral line runs along the fish. The ladyfish has a small and pointed head with a large terminal mouth. The caudal lobes of ladyfish are long and thin. Dorsally, the ladyfish is silvery blue to greenish, while ventrally and laterally, it is silvery. The dorsal and caudal fins are yellowish to silvery and the pectoral and pelvic fins are speckled and pale.

The Ladyfish lifestyle

Larvae do not feed, but absorb nutrients directly from the water. As the larvae develop, they consume mainly zooplankton, insects and small fish. This is followed by a change in diet to small fish and crustaceans as the larvae become juvenile fish. Adult ladyfish have strictly carnivorous diet and eat small bony fish, including members of their own species, silverside and menhaden, as well as invertebrates, including crustaceans. This fish swallows its prey in its entirety.
Neither the eggs nor the larvae of the yolk sac have been described for ladyfish. Metamorphosing larvae and juveniles have been found in estuarine habitats. However, it is known that larvae undergo dramatic changes in body shape with two periods of increased length, interspersed with a period of decreased length.

The ladyfish habitat

This species is generally found in lagoons and brackish water bays, as well as in mangroves, tolerating a wide range of salinities. Sometimes this fish is several miles from the coast. The ladyfish prefers areas of open water in moderate-flow channels, shallow bars and eddies in river meanders. It lives at depths of 50 m. As a thermophilic fish, the ladyfish has been reported in cold-related mortality in fish in Florida. It can tolerate low temperatures for short periods of time. Catches of this fish were successful at temperatures ranging from 11 to 35°C.
The ladyfish can be found in the western North Atlantic, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, through the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to southern Brazil. The ladyfish also occurs in the waters surrounding Bermuda. It is most often observed in southern North Carolina. The ladyfish has been detected in the western Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The Ladyfish angling

It is caught in the hook and line.

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