Florida Angler Scores Extremely Rare “Tortilla fish”

  • Thomas Bosworth, a Florida resident, caught an extremely rare “Tortilla fish”
  • The fish was later identified by Florida Fish and Wildlife as a rare colored Orange Filefish

Thomas Bosworth scored a giant round white fish with brown speckles and but could not identify the exact type of fish so he sent a photo to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The FWC identified the fish as an orange filefish. This species of filefish is rarely hooked by anglers but can sometimes be found by divers for the aquatic trade.

Oddly enough, Orange file fish need not be orange to fit the bill. Facebook commenters were wowed by the Filefish’s appearance and rarity. One commenter, Vanessa Griego, said this:

“I shall call it… tortilla fish!”

Griego posted a photo of a tortilla and the cream color combined with the brown spots was an exact replication. The facebook deemed name was spot on.

The FWC congratulated Bosworth for releasing the fish, advising anglers:

What do you do when you pull up a fish you didn’t intend to catch? That’s what happened to Thomas Bosworth recently when he caught this beautiful orange filefish. This fish is a marine life species, meaning they are typically caught by divers to sell in the aquarium trade and must be kept alive in an aeriated livewell or bucket until they reach their aquarium destination. Remember, if you can’t identity your fish, release it… just like Thomas did. “If you can’t identity your fish, release it… just like Thomas did.”

Orange filefish can be orangish-yellow, olive gray, or milky white. They aren’t great for consumptions and have even been linked to cases of ciguatera poisoning.

Filefish are rarely caught by anglers because they feed far away from the human eye on algae and sea grass.

Orange filefish can be found throughout the western Atlantic and in portions of the eastern Atlantic ocean.


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