Pilotfish (Naucrates ductor)

Pilotfish are a unique and circumtropical species widely found in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Oceans. They are renowned for accompanying large sharks on their oceanic wanderings, as well as whales, rays, schools of various other fish, and ships. A pilotfish is said to have followed a sailing ship for 80 days.

This species has no angling value but is often observed by offshore anglers. It feeds on scraps of the host’s leftovers, as well as on parasites, small fish, and invertebrates. Minor commercial interest exists for this species, which is of the jack family and looks somewhat like an amberjack.

The pilotfish has five to seven dark vertical bars on its elongated body and a low spinous first dorsal fin with four spines. It can grow to a maximum of 27 inches.