An important gameﬁsh and a particularly prized member of the Carangidae family of jacks and pompano, the permit is a tough ﬁghter and a handful on light tackle.
IdentificationIn overall appearance, the permit is a brilliantly silver ﬁsh with dark ﬁns and a dark or iridescent blue to greenish or grayish back. The belly is often yellowish, and sometimes the pelvic ﬁns and the front lobe of the anal ﬁn have an orange tint.
Many individuals have a dark, circular black area on the sides behind the base of the pectoral ﬁns, and some have a dusky midbody blotch. The body is laterally compressed, and the ﬁsh has a high back proﬁle; young ﬁsh appear roundish, adults more oblong. Small permit have teeth on the tongue.
The permit has 16 to 19 soft anal rays, and the second dorsal ﬁn has one spine and 17 to 21 soft rays, compared with 22 to 27 in the similar Florida pompano. It is further distinguished by its deeper body and a generally larger body size.
Also, the second and the third ribs in the permit are prominent in ﬁsh weighing more than 10 pounds, and these ribs can be felt through the sides of the ﬁsh to help in differentiating it from the Florida pompano.