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.
INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms;
move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather.
common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast.
Record: 15 lbs., 6 ozs.
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 F and
may be killed if trapped in shallow water during cold
weather; longevity 8 to 10 years.
Florida records quoted are from the Department of
Environmental Protection's printed publication, Fishing
Lines and are not necessarily the most current ones. The
records are provided as only as a benchmark.
Limits: Not less than
15" or more than 20" (statewide) except one fish over 20"
N.W. Regions: Feb. S. Region: Nov. and Dec.
Daily Rec. Bag
Limit: N.E. &
N.W. Regions: 5 per person per day
S. Region: 4 per person per day