Atlantic Angelfish, also known as Spadefish and Moonfish, lives in brackish, coastal waters in warmer climates. They tend to live near the coastline but can also be found around structures, reefs and shipwrecks. The most effective technique for catching Atlantic Spadefish is bait fishing using clams placed on a small circular hook.
Habitat: Bay, Ocean
How to identify Atlantic Spadefish
The Atlantic spadefish has a flat, disk-shaped body with 4-5 distinct offset black bands that slowly disappear as they grow older. Their first set of dorsal fins have up to 9 spines that are separated from their second set of dorsal fins. Both their second set of dorsal fins and their anal fins are soft rays with pointed tips.
Where to catch Atlantic Spadefish
The Atlantic spadefish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean waters hugging the U.S. from Massachusetts all the way down to Brazil, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. This fish prefers the warmer, shallow waters along the coastlines. Schools of adult Atlantic spadefish can be as large as 500 and are often found thriving among submerged shipwrecks. Younger fish, however, live in very shallow waters, such as estuaries or mangroves, where they float to mimic dead leaves as a protective mechanism against predators.
The following are habitats where you can catch Atlantic Spadefish:
- Backwater Fishing
- Channel Entrances
- Coastal Waters
- Deep Shore Water
- Floating Foam and Debris
- Jetties and Breakers
- Man-made Structures
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
- Ripples, Currents, Swirls and Sprays
- Rocky Sea Floor
How to catch Atlantic Spadefish
Atlantic spadefish are known for being fierce fighters, which makes the sport of catching one challenging. Their small mouths are notoriously hard to hook. Attracting these fish to a boat is as easy as throwing a weighted-wire chum basket filled with frozen chopped clams into the water. Experienced anglers report that slack tides are the best times for the spadefish to bite.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Atlantic Spadefish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Atlantic Spadefish
The key to catching a spadefish is finding a hook small enough to snag them. The best types of bait to use are jellyfish tentacles or a fly attached to the chum-line.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Atlantic Spadefish: