Florida Sportfishing Species
Description: Generally silvery to brassy, with a bluish cast. Front of head brown, with blue line along lower rim of eye; a whitish stripe below eye, and another between eye and mouth; corner of mouth orange.
Where found: Coastal waters to 45 m (150 ft.)., R.I., Bermuda, and n. Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.
Size: To 60 cm (2 ft.) and 3.6 kg (8 lbs.).
Remarks: Regarded as a good fish, but may cause ciguatera.
Description: Body deep; front profile very steep. Nape projects strongly in large adults. Body generally silvery, with a rosy cast; cheek and snout dark purplish gray, with many bronze spots. Large blue spot at axil of pectoral fin.
Where found: Hardbottom, reefs, ledges. N.C. to s. Fla. and entire Gulf of Mexico.
Size: To 46 cm (18 in.).
Description: Small mouth with incisor-like teeth; distinctive black spot behind the gill cover; body bluish-silver with blue and orange-yellow horizontal stripes, yellow fins.
Where found: Seagrass beds, bridges, piers, marker pilings, and around natural and artificial reefs; spawn offshore.
Size: Usually less than 8 inches.
Remarks: Popular live bait, notorious bait stealers.
Description: The only American porgy with a near nostril that is round (not slit-like); head and body silvery red, with many tiny blue spots.
Where found: Deeper part of continental shelf, but young occur in water as shallow as 18 m (60ft.)
Size: to 91 cm(3 ft.)
Description: basic silvery color; with 5 or 6 distinct vertical black bands on sides, not always the same on both sides; prominent teeth, including incisors, molars, and rounded grinders; no barbels on lower jaw; strong and sharp spines on dorsal and anal fins.
Similar Fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis; Atlantic spadefish, Chaetodipterus (black drum have barbels on lower jaw, sheepshead do not; vertical barring on sides of black drum and spadefish disappear as fish mature; spadefish have small, brush-like teeth).
Where found: INSHORE species around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks; moves NEARSHORE in late winter and early spring for spawning, gathering over debris, artificial reefs and around navigation markers.
Size: INSHORE, 1 to 2 pounds; OFFSHORE, common to 8 pounds.
Remarks: feeds on mollusks and crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying that "anglers must strike just before they bite."
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