Also known as: Palmetto
Scientific Name: Trachinotus falcatus
Description: Permit have a compressed body like form that gives the other species the impression that’s it’s tall and thin. They can be recognised by their elongated dorsal and anal fins, their tails are also deeply forked. They’re usually a highly reflective, greyish-silver colour, so much so that they are very difficult to see in the shallows. They have between 6 to 7 dorsal spines, 16 to 20 soft rays and sport an orange patch on their bellies, just in front of their anal fins. Permits eyes are on the side of their head to give them a good all-round vision, however, this does mean that when a fish is tailing and feeding on the bottom they cannot see their own mouth or what they are about to feed on. This is why Permit switch over to other sensors like vibration and scent when in close feeding quarters. This is thought by many why on so many occasions a Permit will see you twitch your fly chase after it, tail over it and then nothing happens, as there is no vibration or scent from your artificial fly.
Average Size: Permit can be caught in all ranges from just 1lb right through to 60lb but according to the Florida Museum, fish have been caught by other methods to 79lb. A good average size for any fly angler is a fish around 10–15lb.
Where to catch: The Permit range along the Atlantic Coast of the US from Massachusetts, all the way south to Brazil, along the Caribbean Islands and the Gulf of Mexico coast. Some of the most popular destinations to catch Permit are the Seychelles, Oman, and Mexico.
Fishing Methods: Although Permit can be caught on live crab and shrimp, the art and holy grail of catching a Permit on the fly is considered the highest accolade. Normally fishing is carried out wading shallow water where you can look for fish, once spotted you and your guide will try to get in the perfect position to take the shot. You do not get many seconds to cast at Permit so you have to make sure the first cast counts. Fishing for Permit would normally be with flies that are trying to intimidate small crabs or shrimps.
A single-handed 9ft saltwater fly rod between 7# to 9# is used with a suitable reel that can hold a floating warm saltwater fly line and lots of backing. As for flies, there are hundreds of variations and theories of different imitation crab and shrimp patterns, many that you can simply purchase in local tackle shops.
If you have any questions on any of the Permit fly fishing trips we offer then contact us in the office, our fly fishing department will be happy to help you with any queries you have or you can request a free brochure.