Banded Rudderfish?

Went out of Jupiter mid day Tuesday and to my surprise caught a variety of bait near the Juno pier. Runners, sardines, a gog, & some grunts. Went out to 160ft and got right on some kingfish. Kept a medium sized one. Action was steady all day with multiple species from the ledge to 200ft. Got sharked a couple times too. Caught the fish in the picture in about 150ft on a dead sardine. Is it a banded rudder fish?  Finished the day trying to get a cobia on some wrecks but they eluded me again. Anyone have advice on how to find the cobia?


  • ASK KNOTASK KNOT Posts: 116 Deckhand
    That look like a small aj to me.  Not a banded rudder.  The banded rudder has a perfectly flat gill plate with no curve.  Here is a link,  Greater aj has 7 spines at front dorsel; lesser aj has 8.  I check the spines.  

    Cobia are thick off port canaveral and moving north.  Secret is they move through palm beach quick in early spring and late fall. We had report 2 -3 weeks ago and then nothing.  When they are here;   look for reports, chum, look for sharks, try wrecks and have luck.   I have caught them with knocker rigs and jigs over structure, had them swim to the boat and pitched live bait or jigs too.  They fight like scuba divers; don't reel had, just finesse them in.  They go crazy when you gaff them and they hit the boat; again, just like a diver. (hehe)    If you don't have the FISH RULES app on your phone I would recommend.  
  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 6,369 Admiral
    edited March 30 #3
    FWIW I would not keep a fish unless I knew what it was as well as size restrictions. 

  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,383 Captain
    Cobia are probably moving north of you. Try chumming a wreck for one
  • FishFactsTVFishFactsTV Miami, FLPosts: 37 Greenhorn
    We got into a bunch of them on the party boat out of Jupiter on Saturday.  The captain said they were rudderfish rather than small amberjack.  I have caught a lot of greaters in Jacksonville, and these fish definitely were lighter in color.  on the FWC website it says the best way to tell the difference is the white tips on the tail.  Looks like you cut those off in the picture, but based on the fact we were catching so many, I would think thats what it was.
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  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,745 Captain
    I would have thrown that one back as a short AJ, but after reading this thread, I would be looking to see if the tips of the tail are white?

  • FishFactsTVFishFactsTV Miami, FLPosts: 37 Greenhorn Yup that the way i read this and looking at them the white tips were clear.
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