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For fly anglers there is no more difficult or prestigious a target than permit, they have incredible eyesight and any presentation that is not absolutely perfect will be refused. A flats permit may even turn down a perfectly presented live crab at times, let alone a fly. However, if you are lucky enough to feed one of these finicky eaters you’re in for a ride. A member of the jack family just like the offshore amberjack and ranging jack crevalle, they fight extremely hard. Their forked tail allows for powerful, long runs or deep dives and their flat bodies provide drag as they sit in the current once tired.
Just like bonefish and snook, permit are experts at finding anything to break you off on; mangrove shoots, rocks and bridge pilings – if there’s an obstruction, a permit will go right for it. Aside from all these difficulties, their lips and mouths are rubbery, this means that getting a good hookset is also difficult. A hook that is not set strongly enough can result in the fish spitting a bait or the hook coming loose.
Most fish that we encounter inshore are in the 10 to 30 pound range, but it is not uncommon to come across larger fish. Similar in appearance to pompano, a main difference being that pompano tend to be more oblong in shape, permit grow to larger sizes and have more elongated fins as well as a more narrow forked tail.
Both permit and pompano are of similar food quality, that is excellent. However, we release all permit that we catch. These fish mean a great deal to the ecosystem and are extremely valuable as a sportfish and so to ensure healthy stocks for future generations we never keep permit.
If you think you have what it takes to try your hand at one of the hardest fighting, most elusive, difficult yet rewarding fish on Earth give us a call. Catching a permit is an accomplishment that even the most veteran anglers find challenging and exciting. A picture after stalking and battling with a permit will be a memory that you’ll never forget.