Permit: Trachinotus falcatus


  • Color gray, dark or iridescent blue above, shading to silvery on the sides
  • May show golden tints around the breast in darker waters
  • Smaller fish have teeth on the tongue
  • No scutes
  • Dorsal fin insertion is directly above that of the anal fin
  • 17 to 21 soft dorsal rays; 16 to 19 soft anal rays


These coastal fish inhabit tropical grass and sand flats, near reefs and wrecks.


Spawning occurs primarily in early summer and again in fall. Permit have a specialized plate at the back of their mouth that helps them crush hard-shelled animals such as clams and crabs.

State Record:

56 lb 2 oz, caught near Ft. Lauderdale

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Anglers cast live crabs to schools of permit hoping to catch one of these line-stripping fish, which also take shrimp, clams and occasionally small fish.

Additional Information:

Permit are most common in south Florida. This member of the jack family can reach 40 inches and 50 pounds, but most are about 25-pounds.

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
The top 10 counties for boating accidents in 2011 are Monroe, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Lee, Pinellas, Collier, Brevard, Hillsborough and Martin.

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