Species Info

Blue Tilapia

Type:  Other Non-Native

Appearance:  Adults are blue-gray shading to white on the belly; borders of dorsal and caudal fins are edged with red or pink.

State record:  9.38 lbs.

BigCatch:  To qualify your catch needs to exceed the listed weight OR length (not necessarily both).

Habitat:  Blue Tilapia are established in central and south Florida with isolated populations further north, including in some inshore marine habitats. Native to north Africa and the Middle East.

Behavior:  Males dig large nests with their mouths in the shallows. Females lay eggs and then, after fertilization, take the eggs into their mouths. Eggs hatch in her mouth. Fry are released to feed, but when threatened return to the mother’s mouth. Tilapia eat plankton and small organisms living in or on bottom detritus.

Tips:  Anglers use pieces of hot dogs, bread balls, dog food, or live worms. Bow anglers also target this species. They can be a very good eating fish; take as many as you like, but do not live release them.

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