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filterlesskamel

Help identifying this fish

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Looks like some kind of Cichlid, perhaps a tilapia of some sort.

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I agree with J Franco. Tilipia, just very dark compared to what I have seen here in Texas. What did you catch it on?

FM

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14 minutes ago, Fishingmickey said:

I agree with J Franco. Tilipia, just very dark compared to what I have seen here in Texas. What did you catch it on?

FM

Hehehe.... usually catch them with a plain hook and piece of bread. Switched to a small feathered jig and bread and started catching a lot more. Not sure if it was the jig, but I'm inclined to think it was the smaller hook.

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2 hours ago, filterlesskamel said:

Need some help IDing this fish. Doesn’t quite match anything I’ve searched for..

 

caught in SE Florida canal

32BF9B61-DF45-459E-866A-F93B49C2F84B.jpeg

Welcome to the forum. The fish in your hands is a zebra tilapia. I have caught many of them in Miami Dade county canals along with many other exotic species of fish. The zebra tilapia you caught is very big one for its species.

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Thanks @soflabasser , I was hoping you'd see this and know what it was.

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4 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Thanks @soflabasser , I was hoping you'd see this and know what it was.

Thank you @J Francho. I enjoy fishing for South Florida exotic fish and will help members when I can. The zebra tilapia caught by the @filterlesskamel is a very large one for its species. Most of them average less than 10 inches and the one he caught appears to be over 12 inches in length.

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1 hour ago, soflabasser said:

Welcome to the forum. The fish in your hands is a zebra tilapia. I have caught many of them in Miami Dade county canals along with many other exotic species of fish. The zebra tilapia you caught is very big one for its species.

Thank you sir! and all others as well.

 

This is indeed Miami-Dade, a small branch off from the Snapper Creek canal that leads to my backyard.

 

I've caught several this size, or perhaps the same greedy wretched over and over. And of course several smaller.

I see Mullet, Carp, Catfish, Oscars, Tilapia, Bass of varying types and 1 hog-sized Peacock. Of course a neighborhood friendly gator.

 

Thanks for the welcome and look forward to posting more pics of catches. Bought the house recently and the canal was a big factor. Been a saltwater fisherman all my life, so this is a bit different for me.

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1 hour ago, soflabasser said:

The fish in your hands is a zebra tilapia.

Interesting, as this fish is familiar to me from my time in the aquarium trade.  Back in those days, it was known by it's specific name, "Buttikoferi"

 

I just didn't recognize it by the picture - it's a really dark one in full breeding colors.

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We've actually got Tilapia in Tennessee now.  Never thought I would see that.

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26 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Interesting, as this fish is familiar to me from my time in the aquarium trade.  Back in those days, it was known by it's specific name, "Buttikoferi"

 

I just didn't recognize it by the picture - it's a really dark one in full breeding colors.

Here's a bit better pic of another I caught the following day. Both were at least 12 inchers and pretty hefty.

IMG_3840.jpg

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1 hour ago, filterlesskamel said:

Thank you sir! and all others as well.

 

This is indeed Miami-Dade, a small branch off from the Snapper Creek canal that leads to my backyard.

 

I've caught several this size, or perhaps the same greedy wretched over and over. And of course several smaller.

I see Mullet, Carp, Catfish, Oscars, Tilapia, Bass of varying types and 1 hog-sized Peacock. Of course a neighborhood friendly gator.

 

Thanks for the welcome and look forward to posting more pics of catches. Bought the house recently and the canal was a big factor. Been a saltwater fisherman all my life, so this is a bit different for me.

You are welcome @filterlesskamel. You are very fortunate to live behind the Snapper Creek canal since its loaded with many exotic species of fish. Looking towards to reading your reports and seeing your catches.

1 hour ago, J Francho said:

Interesting, as this fish is familiar to me from my time in the aquarium trade.  Back in those days, it was known by it's specific name, "Buttikoferi"

 

I just didn't recognize it by the picture - it's a really dark one in full breeding colors.

Yes its scientific name is Heterotilapia buttikoferi and the ones above seem to have spawning colors. The smaller ones are lighter in color and these fish are usually found close to the rocky shorelines of the canals. I also have aquariums throughout the years and one of my favorite fish to keep are Oscars.

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On a side note, do Tilapia fight like bluegill/sunfish or do they have their own style?

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40 minutes ago, OCdockskipper said:

On a side note, do Tilapia fight like bluegill/sunfish or do they have their own style?

The ones I've caught found like very hard pulling, large bluegills. Very sporty little fish and much more wary than a bluegill.

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3 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

On a side note, do Tilapia fight like bluegill/sunfish or do they have their own style?

The tilapia I catch in South Florida fight much harder pound for pound than equal size bluegill. The biggest tilapia we have are the blue tilapia which can get over 10 pounds and average 2-4 pounds in weight. 

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Looks just like the Blue Tilapia Ive seen from Pinellas county all the way over to Miami Dade.....but maybe a darker species of tilapia . 

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Some informed members here !

 

A lake I fish in the Tampa area is loaded with what I believe are Blue Tilapia. In certain areas they are THICK.

 

I understand they are pretty good to eat so I thought I might catch a few and try them. 

 

Any suggestions on how to catch them ?  Would prefer artificials but if that’s not viable I’ll try something else.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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15 hours ago, soflabasser said:

Yes its scientific name is Heterotilapia buttikoferi

Their taxonomy has been in flux for years.  Back in the 90s, they went by Tilapia, Herotilapia, Paratilapia, and a few other generic names. I think it's because many are newly described within the last 100 or so years, and genetic testing has changed the game.  The Rift Lake Cichlids' names are even harder to keep up with, scientific and common.  Anyway, cool fish, and interesting topic.

 

I've often wondered how they fought.  Many of my friends from Africa have said Cichlids of all types are good eating fish.

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20 hours ago, J Francho said:

Interesting, as this fish is familiar to me from my time in the aquarium trade.

Let me guess.  You took a job in a aquarium shop and then got fired for fishing out of the tanks. 😝

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I'd love to prep and eat these chubby fat fish, but considering what I see going into the canal, I'm not overly enthused 😕

 

The several I caught do put up a nice fight. Only comparison I can make is to perhaps snapper; they prefer to stay deeper.

 

Only thing I've caught them on is small bread balls...works until it falls off.

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16 hours ago, davecon said:

Some informed members here !

 

A lake I fish in the Tampa area is loaded with what I believe are Blue Tilapia. In certain areas they are THICK.

 

I understand they are pretty good to eat so I thought I might catch a few and try them. 

 

Any suggestions on how to catch them ?  Would prefer artificials but if that’s not viable I’ll try something else.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

I have caught the majority of my blue tilapia on bread, worms, and small jigs. Lots of people catch them with cast nets or bow fish for them.

7 hours ago, J Francho said:

Their taxonomy has been in flux for years.  Back in the 90s, they went by Tilapia, Herotilapia, Paratilapia, and a few other generic names. I think it's because many are newly described within the last 100 or so years, and genetic testing has changed the game.  The Rift Lake Cichlids' names are even harder to keep up with, scientific and common.  Anyway, cool fish, and interesting topic.

 

I've often wondered how they fought.  Many of my friends from Africa have said Cichlids of all types are good eating fish.

They are always changing the names of these cichlids so I won't be surprised if we see some new names in the next couple years. Most species of cichlids in South Florida are known for tasting good but I won't eat them since the canals are polluted. I highly recommend you visit South Florida and fish for freshwater exotics. You will have a blast catching them and there are over 25 species of freshwater exotics to choose from in South Florida.

2 hours ago, filterlesskamel said:

I'd love to prep and eat these chubby fat fish, but considering what I see going into the canal, I'm not overly enthused 😕

 

The several I caught do put up a nice fight. Only comparison I can make is to perhaps snapper; they prefer to stay deeper.

 

Only thing I've caught them on is small bread balls...works until it falls off.

I agree eating them would not be the best idea since these canals tend to have many nasty chemicals in them. Better to go to the ocean for hogfish, lobster, grouper, snapper, snook,etc if your goal is to fish for food.

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