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 Gulf sturgeon spawns 140 miles upstream from the mouth of the Suwannee River, one of the last pristine rivers with no dams to bar its path.

Learn More at AskFWC