When you glance at a lookdown, you will realize where it got its name in short order. The fish is otherwise known as a horse-head. The species belongs to the family of jacks. While the lookdown is prevalent in coastal waters, it is also a highly regarded aquarium specimen because they are exceptionally hardy. Learn what a lookdown is and how to catch them. 

What Does A Lookdown Fish Look Like

The lookdown is easily identifiable primarily by the head and coloration. Lookdwons are shiny silver, and the face is formed like a battering ram due to its bluntness. 

Additionally, the dorsal fins extend into long thin streamers extending to the tail. The tail is deeply forked. Lastly, the body is nearly flattened. 

How Big Do Lookdowns Grow

The lookdown fish most frequently ranges between one and two pounds and measuring twelve inches in length. 

Occasionally anglers catch horse heads exceeding 3 pounds, but this is a rare occurrence. 

How Do You Catch A Lookdown

Break out the ultralight spinning gear. The lookdown is an incredible fighter on light tackle. Rods will be doubling over when the fish strikes the bait.

In addition to utilizing lightweight spinning combinations, the terminal tackle must also be small. Fish a number four or six hook tipped with bait under a float or along the bottom with an egg sinker.  

When targeting lookdown, utilize live bait. The species does not strike well on dead on or cut baits but instead prefers those actively in motion. 

Locating dock lighting in the evening hours is key. The fish congregate beneath dock lights allowing anglers to hone in on school of lookdowns. 

Small artificial baits are equally as effective. Cast jigs intended for crappies along structures in inshore waters. 

Lastly, horse-head strikes flies well. Fly fishing anglers also must cast towards structures with small flies to maximize success. 

What Is The Habitate Of A Lookdown Fish 

Lookdowns live in coastal and brackish waters around structures. The structures include channel markers, dock pilings, bridges, sunken rip rap, and sea walls. Additionally, the fish prefers sand or compact seafloors. 

During the evening hours, lookdowns congregate under lights. The light attracts the fish. Horse-head are found in staggering numbers because they gather in schools. 

Are Lookdown Fish Good To Eat

The lookdown makes excellent table fare. Despite the low yield, the fillets are sweet, white, and mild in flavor. 

One drawback to harvesting horse-heads is the process of filleting the fish. The bodies are thin; therefore, a sharp fillet knife is required to follow the rib cage and extra every morsel of flesh on the bones. 

When preparing the fillets avoid overcooking. The thin fillets become overcooked rapidly. Some of the best cooking methods include deep frying, sauteing, or broiling. Simply add your favorite seasonings. 

As a result of the small size, lookdowns are most frequently tossed back as anglers are unfamiliar with the quality of the flesh. 

Where Do Lookdown Fish Live

Despite the fish having an appearance of a reef dweller because of its bright shine and unusual appearance, the lookdown has an extensive range.

Horse-head fish ranges between Novia Scotia, Canada, to Florida along the east coast of North America. The unsuspecting angler can catch the delicious but odd-looking fish throughout the entire east coast of the United States. Therefore, anglers in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina can catch the unique-looking species.

Head Out Fishing And Target Lookdown Fish

The cats out of the bag, the lookdown is not to be overlooked. Not only is the horse-head an excellent fighter on light tackle, but the fillets are sweet and delicious. When feeding a family, remember to add plenty to the cooler. The yield per fish is low. Lastly, obtain a saltwater fishing license for the state in which you are fishing.