Tilefish are members of the family Malacanthidae, which is a group of fish that is widespread in tropical and temperate waters. Tilefish fishing is typically done in very deep water. Six different types occur along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Two of those types, the golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) and the blueline or gray tilefish (Caulolatilus microps), are fairly plentiful in Florida waters. The golden tilefish is the most colorful fish with a blue-green back that fades to a pearly white belly. It is touched with red and blue iridescence, highlighted by irregular yellow-gold spots and ocean-blue under the eyes.
Tilefish Feeding Habits
A great variety of bottom-dwelling invertebrates have been taken from tilefish stomachs. Crabs, of which they are often packed full, are the most important article of diet. They also mainly consume squid, shrimp, shelled mollusks, annelid worms, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and sea anemones. Occasionally they catch other fish such as spiny dogfish. Tilefish fishing is not difficult in terms of fighting these fish, the hardest part is locating them.
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