Selene Vomer



Reefs, inshore, offshore

2 - 3 pounds

12" - 19"

Lookdown Game Fish Quality Very Good
Lookdown Meal Quality Very Good
Lookdown Fly Fishing Quality Poor


Also Known As: Dollarfish, Hairfinned Dory, Horsehead, Jorobado, Jack  

Lookdown (Selene vomer) Description

Lookdown fish have a thin, rather flattened, and silvery body. They have compressed, concave heads with large mouths low on their face and eyes set high. And they also have deeply forked tails with a small base. While appearing on their back and anal fins are long, thin rays. 

The Lookdown can be nearly identical to the Atlantic moonfish. To distinguish one from the other is by their dorsal and anal fins, that the second ray of the lookdown fish being longer than the surrounding rays, giving a scythe-like shape. Lookdown fish’s dorsal fin has 9 spines and 23 rays, all the while their anal fin has 3 spines and 18 rays.


Diet and Size

The Lookdown fish most commonly consumes small worms, fish, and crustaceans.

They can grow to 12 inches or so longer, but in terms of weight, rarely exceeds 2 to 3 lbs.


Interesting Facts 

  • The lookdown fish are named for the way it appears to “look down” as it swims.
  • Lookdown fish would make grunt noises using their swim bladder and their teeth when under duress.


Fishing Techniques - How to Catch Lookdown

Lookdowns are frequently encountered in a wide range of inshore waters and they aren’t necessarily picky, so they don’t quite have boundaries. With this in mind, the best spots to target lookdown fish are around underwater dock lights. 

Stealth is critical while fishing dock lights for anglers, in both your approach and presentation. It’s best to keep it simple. Try and go for the line to leader knots then swivels and downscale your leader to fresh 10 lb. fluorocarbon. When you begin to cast into the orb of light, but don’t disregard the darker shadows on the outskirts of the light.

Tackle selection, regardless of the venue, stays the same. Lookdowns frequently attack silversides, anchovies, glass minnow, tiny shrimp, and crabs. Considering they have relatively small mouths it is preferred and within best interest for bait, such as fish and flies, no larger than 3-inches. Tiny streamer flies, small crappie jigs, and the smallest live shrimp you can find are good at luring in a variety of ultra-light targets.


Habitat and Distribution

Lookdowns are commonly found in the sandy areas near bridges and pilings. They tend to live in small schools of fish close to the bottom, going at depths of 3 ft. to 173 ft.  Though Lookdown fish can often break away into smaller groups or even pairs.

Although Lookdown fish are often located in tropical Atlantic waters, they can be found from Canada, South of Maine and all down the eastern coast of the United States.  This includes Bermuda and the Gulf of Mexico.