There are six species of ladyfish inhabiting tropical and subtropical waters all over world. They are inshore species that are commonly found in estuaries, coastal lagoons, hypersaline bays, along shorlines, and even venture far up coastal streams.
All are slender, silvery fish with large terminal mouth, eyes partially covered with adipose eyelids and deeply forked tail. They resemble juvenile tarpon without the last elongated dorsal fin ray. Some ladyfish can reach weights of 15-25 lb (6.8-11.3 kg), but they are most often encountered in the 3-5 lb (1.4-2.3 kg) range.
No matter where they are, ladyfish are one of the most dependable targets for fly-fishing and light tackle, putting up a fight disproportionate to their size. When hooked, ladyfish will often make a fast run and wildly leap into the air, this acrobatic display has earned them the name “poor man’s tarpon”. Shrimp, cut bait, small jigs, plugs, spoons or streamer flies can used to catch ladyfish, but they will strike almost any appropriately sized offering.