Atlantic Cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus)
- Other Names
- Silver Eel, Ribbonfish
- The Atlantic cutlassfish, or ribbonfish as they are usually called in Texas, have no scales. Instead, their long, tapered bodies are covered with shiny, metallic silver skin. The body conformation is cutlass-like, tapering from the head to a pointed tail.
- Life History
- The Cutlassfish's life history is not well known. Juventiles are found in the central, coastal area of Texas in May and June, indicating spawning as late as February. They feed primarily on small fish and shrimp.
- These fish are found throughout Gulf waters.
- The Atlantic cutlassfish is found in the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans. It is very abundant in Texas waters.
- How To Catch
- Cutlassfish are not sought-after by anglers, although they can be incidentally caught on small fish, shrimp, or artificial lures. In fact, they steal bait meant for other fish and won't hesitate to use their sharp, barbed teeth on unwary anglers. They feed in a tail-down position, hovering under the surface and rising to strike.
Their principal use is as bait for offshore species such as king mackerel, spanish mackerel and wahoo.
- Where To Catch
- Cutlassfish are sold as live bait for offshore fishing.
- How To Eat
- Cutlassfish are not used as a food fish in the U. S., but are considered a delicacy in some other countries.