Atlantic Croaker | Atlantic Tripletail | Black Drum | Black Bass | Bluefish | Crevalle Jack | Red Drum | Sand Seatrout | Sheepshead | Silver Perch | Silver Seatrout | Southern Flounder | Southern Whiting | Spotted Seatrout | Weakfish
inferior mouth; 3 to 5 pairs of small barbels on chin; silver-gray or
bronze body with dark oblique wavy bars or lines; iridescent especially
on head; preopercle strongly serrated.
found: young fish found in estuaries; older fish (2 to
3 years) inhabit deep OFFSHORE waters during the winter months and move
into bays and estuaries during the spring, summer, and fall.
Size: usually less than 2 pounds.
|Remarks: during spawning becomes bronze or yellow in color; spawning apparently occurs OFFSHORE in fall; longevity 2 to 4 years.|
high arched back; 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels; gray or black colored
body in adults; young have 4 to 6 vertical bars; has cobblestone-like
teeth capable of crushing oysters; scales large.
Similar fish: the vertical bars on juvenile black drum are somewhat similar to those on sheepshead.
|Where found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE. Size: common to 30 pounds.||Remarks: largest member of the drum family; spawns NEARSHORE in winter and early spring; feeds on oysters, mussels, oysters, crabs, shrimp, and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years.|
Croakers live their short lives to the fullest. They feast on small fish, worms, crabs, shrimp and other shellfish on the bottoms of bays. Then they migrate to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.
make good Table Fare
chin without barbels; copper-bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters;
one to many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots); mouth horizontal
and opening downward; scales large.
found: juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of
the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning
Size: one of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds.
|Remarks: First three years of their lives, red drum prefer the shallow water (1-4 feet deep) in the bays, preferring submerged vegetation and soft mud. Adults migrate from the bays to the Gulf where they remain the rest of their lives. These fish feed heads-down, tails-up, when you see this fenomenon its called "TAILING" because you can see their tails sticking up out of the shallow water while they are searching the bottom for crabs or shrimp, marine worms and small fish. But this strange feeding style doesn't slow their growth any - red drum may weigh in at 50 pounds!|
pale body color; yellow above, silver to white below; one or two prominent
canine teeth usually at the tip of upper jaw; inside of mouth yellow;
no well-defined black spots on back; 10 to 12 soft rays in anal fin;
no chin barbels.
found: a Gulf species, that may occur in the Atlantic
waters of extreme south-eastern Florida; adults predominantly found
INSHORE residing in bays and inlets, but may move OFFSHORE during winter
months; young occur INSHORE in shallow bays.
Size: usually less than 1 pound (10 to 12 inches).
|Remarks: matures during first or second year; prolonged INSHORE spawning season extends through spring and summer; feeds mainly on small fish and shrimp.|
color silvery with yellowish fins; no spots; no chin barbels; no prominent
canine teeth at tip of upperjaw; preopercle finely serrated; 5 to 6
chin pores; mouth terminal.
found: INSHORE in seagrass beds, tidal creeks and rivers,
Size: small, not exceeding 9 inches.
|Remarks: spawning takes place in shallow, saline portions of bays and other INSHORE areas, peaking between May and September; matures by second or third year (by 6 inches); adults eat crustaceans and small fishes; may live to 6 years.|
pale straw colored above, silvery sides and white below; no distinctive
pigmentation, although faint diagonal lines may be present on upper
body; 8 to 9 rays in the anal fin; large eyes; short snout; one to two
prominent canine teeth usually present at the tip of upper jaw; lower
half of tail longer than upper half.
found: most common over sand or sandy mud bottoms OFFSHORE
along both the Gulf and the Atlantic coasts of Florida; migrates into
bays during cold months.
Size: usually no more than 1/2 pound (less than 10 inches),
|Remarks: smallest seatrout; spawns OFFSHORE in deep water during spring, summer, and fall; feeds on small fish and shrimp.|
dark gray or green above, with sky-blue tinges shading to silvery and
white below; numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending
to the dorsal fins and tail; black margin on posterior of tail; no barbels;
no scales on the soft dorsal fin; one or two prominent canine teeth
usually present at tip of upper jaw.
Similar fish: other seatrout.
|Where found: INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand, and sandy mud bottoms; move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather. Size: common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast.||Remarks: matures during first or second year and spawns INSHORE from March through November, often in association with seagrass beds; lives mainly in estuaries and moves only short distances; adults feed mainly on shrimp and small fish; prefers water temperatures between 58 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and may be killed if trapped in shallow water during cold weather; longevity 8 to 10 years.|
dark olive or blue-green back; sides covered in tones of blue, purple, lavender,
gold, and copper; irregular diagonal rows of vaguely-defined dark spots
appear above the lateral line; 1 to 2 prominent canine teeth usually present
at tip of upper jaw; black margin on tip of the tongue; pelvic and anal
fins yellow; pectoral fins olive on outside, yellow underneath; mouth yellow
|Where found: an Atlantic coast fish, possibly found in the extreme southeastern Gulf; adults move INSHORE and north during warm months inhabiting the surf, inlets, bays, channels, and estuaries; adults move OFFSHORE and south during cold month; juveniles inhabit estuaries which serve as nurseries.||Remarks: may mature as early as age 1; spawns in NEARSHORE or estuarine areas between April and October; schooling fish; feeds primarily on shrimp and fish.|