Spadefish Fishing (Chaetodipterus faber)

All Tackle Record
14lbs, 14oz

Spadefish Fishing (Chaetodipterus faber)

Similar in coloration to Sheepshead, Spadefish are becoming increasingly popular with recreational anglers due to the strong fight they put up for their size and good food qualities.

The species is one of the most diverse saltwater feeders, eating plants, plankton, worms, sponges, small crustaceans and fish, clams, jellyfish tentacles and various other organisms throughout the water column.

How big

Spadefish grow up to about 3ft and 20lbs, with fish commonly caught at 1 to 1.5ft and 1 to 6lbs.


Spadefish are endemic to inshore and nearshore waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, from New England to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They are known to spawn May through August, when they can be found in schools of hundreds of fish at times, in 10 to 100ft deep water over coastal reefs, wrecks and pilings.

How to catch

A good way to attract them is by chumming their favorite food - clams. Dropping a clam strip or a fly at a chummed up school should produce a hit.

Good to eat?

They are great eating fish, with firm, white meat of somewhat unusual taste. However, they have been connected to cases of ciguatera (fish poisoning).