Two types of fish from the bottom of the ocean off of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georiga are the golden tilefish and blueline tilefish. They lurk far below the surface in profoundly deep waters. Tilefish are fun for anglers to both locate and battle to the surface from far below. Beyond catching them, both the blueline and golden tile fish are great for eating. What is the difference between the two types of tilefish?

How to identify each type of tilefish

Both the blue line tilefish and the golden tilefish have common characteristics and significant differences to differentiate the two types.

Blueline Tilefish

The blueline is also called a grey or common tilefish. The name comes from a blue-colored line that extends from the mouth to the tip of the eye. The top of the body is gray, and it fades to white towards the belly. The dorsal and anal fins are long and cover more than half the length of the entire fish.

Golden Tilefish

The golden is very prominent. The fish is colorful and portrays yellows, blues, purples, white, and green. Yellow shows as spots all over the top half of the body. The most noticeable difference between a blueline tilefish and a golden tilefish is the crest on the head. It has a vertical protrusion forward of the dorsal fin.

How big does each type of tilefish grow

Each type of tilefish can grow significantly large. The golden is a slow grower and reaches forty-three inches. Most are caught around twenty-four inches in size.

The blueline do not grow as big. It will measure up to thirty-five inches long. Also, each has a long life. The golden can live up to 46 years while the blue line around 26 years old.

Where do you catch golden and blueline tiles

Think deep. These fish hang out on the bottom well offshore of the coast from Main through south Florida. Don’t expect to find either type of tilefish any shallower than 400 feet of water. However, the blueline likes a soft mud bottom while the golden prefers ledges and rocky areas. High-quality depth-finding equipment is a must to locate where each may live.

How do you catch tilefish

Break out the wallet. To catch tiles, it requires the use of heavy electric fishing gear. Electric reels mounted on stiff rods in a strong rod holder are a must. The boat needs to be wired to handle powering the reel.

A tilefish rig has a clip on the bottom to secure a heavy led weight of up to eight pounds. Above the weight is a series of circle hooks. Remember to ad a flashing fishing light to attract fish to the bait.

Almost any type of bait will work. Cut squid or cut fish are ideal but make sure they are well hooked to avoid bait stealing.

Are tiles good to eat

Both the golden and the blueline make excellent table fare and are extremely healthy. The golden tile typically has a thicker fillet because of the overall size. The meat is described as sweet, much like a lobster, and easily flakes when cooked.

The blueline is more firm in texture but has a similar taste. The fillets are slightly smaller in length and thickness but nearly equally as good to eat.

Should you target tilefish on your next offshore trip

The answer to these questions depends on the gear you are equipped with. If you don’t already own deep drop equipment, be ready to make a large investment. The benefit to tile fishing is that you can typically fish the same location time after time once you find where they are. The challenge of fishing so deep can be exciting for many anglers. Be sure you have a large enough boat to make the long runs offshore.