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Mixed bag with Destin night bite

4177 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Chris V
The boys and I went for some night fishing 10 miles out of the Destin pass, only 7 mile off shore. Only had frozen bait (cigs, squid, and bonitas). Went through all of it. They were biting the whole time we were out. We were using small clip on light connected to the braid that seemed to work well. Caught red snapper after red snapper, some up to 20 lbs. Caught a 37" redfish that was all beat up and bleeding like something went after him. Caught 1 keeper greater with a couple that were too small and 1 lesser that was too big.


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The first Jack has to be the biggest banded rudderfish I've ever seen!
I don't think it is JD. I think the lights are drowning out the color.

Nice report btw.
Dang, that looks like a blast! Sick report man.
It looks like it has white tips on its tail. I believe that is indicitave of the banded rudderfish.

That's how I was told to tell the difference, at least.

Either way, great report and I'm sure it was a blast!!
Yeah the spotlights on the boat made a funny reflection. It was a greater AJ, 30.5". We all had a great time and can't wait to go again. The water that night was like being on a giant pond. Wind would make riffs on the water.
Look at the white on the lower lobe of the caudal fin. Looks like a banded to me!
Sorry guys, but NO, the white "tip" on the anal fin is not a key identifier. First, that is a white margin not just a tip. It may not be a huge difference to most, but it is when trying to separate two very close species. Go look at all of your pics of small, greater AJs, you'll see the same marking.

The origin of the anal fin is too far forward and the rays are far too long as are the rays in the second dorsal. The eye-stripe is very distinct but that is too hard to really pinpoint so I'll leave that alone.

Edit-I misread a little. I see you said tail. But I still dont know about that. Sending the pic to bob Shipp
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Now that's what I call an A$$ waxing !:notworthy:
Cool report and pics!
Congrats to you and your crew on that action! Awesome report! Hanapa'a!!
Very nice fish. Nothing like a little night trip.
Congrats to you and your crew on that action! Awesome report! Hanapa'a!!
Mahalo nui loa
An easy way to tell the two apart is to look at the fish's eye. AJ's have a GOLD ring in their eye. Banded rudderfish (aka amberine) have a WHITE ring in the eye. This is true every time.
I talked to Dr Bob Ship and sent him the pic. He also said is is a Greater AJ and gave me another ID mark I had not paid attention to:

" Banded rudder fish have an anal fin base only half the length of the soft dorsal. In AJs it's 2/3, and that's what it looks like here".

I don't know about this eye color thing but just as with the "white tip" thing, if the fish isn't IDed correctly in the first place, you can't find ID marks for in the future.
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