Permit are gray, dark, or iridescent blue on top with silvery sides and sometimes have golden tints around the breast.

They have a deeply forked tail.

Permit Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters Uncommon - this species is more common south of Delaware.
General Habitat and Food Preferences Permit prefer inshore shallow waters such as flats and sandy beaches as well as deeper channels near shallow water. They often congregate around artificial reefs, jetties, and wrecks.

They primarily feed on crabs, clams, and shrimps but being opportunistic feeders will also eat marine worms and small fishes.
Did You Know? Permit have excellent eyesight and an acute sense of smell, making it an exceptional shallow water predator.

This skilled and wary hunter is so sharp that two U.S. Navy submarines were named USS Permit in the fish's honor.
Common Lures and Baits Keep your hands clean. Permit have a powerful sense of smell. They can smell crabs and shrimps they cannot see. They can also smell insect repellant, sunblock, gasoline, and aftershave.

Permit anglers cast live crabs over artificial reefs hoping to catch one of these line-stripping fish.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Permit caught by anglers average around 25 pounds.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Permit are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award, but a large specimen may qualify for an “Unusual Species” award.
Delaware State Record Permit are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.