Not all fish stories
Our stock fish are both bottom feeders and palegics. They are beautiful
specimens. Below you will find information about
the target fish located in the beautiful Gulf waters located off the
Forgotten Coast. Some even call this area "Grouper Heaven". You will see most of what we catch except, of course,
the O.T.O.! That one I will let you ask me about!
brownish gray in color with dark worm-like markings on sides; strong
serrated spur at bottom margin of preopercle, less noticeable in large
specimens; fins dark, with anal and caudal having white margin, link. Often
confused with black grouper; tail of gag is slightly concave, black is
square; gag has white margin on anal and caudal fins, black does not;
under 10 pounds, gag's spur on preopercle is distinctive, where black is
Fish: black grouper M. bonaci.
found: adults, OFFSHORE, over rocks and reefs; juveniles, INSHORE, occur in
common to 25 pounds. *Florida
Record: 71 lbs., 3 oz.
forms spawning aggregations in water no shallower than 120 feet in
Middle Grounds area, January through March; current research to identify
similar aggregations off Atlantic coast is ongoing. Young gags are
predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; feeds
on fish and squid.
color brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in
unorganized pattern; second spine of dorsal fin longer than others;
pectoral fins longer than pelvic fins; squared off tail; margin of soft
dorsal black with white at midfin; black dots around the eyes.
Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.
found: bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles
OFFSHORE along with adults greater than 6 years old; fish from 1 to 6
years occupy NEARSHORE reefs.
common to 15 pounds. *Florida
Record: 39 lbs., 8 oz.
spawns in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77
degrees F; undergoes sex reversal, young individual females becoming
males as they age; lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid,
crustaceans, and fish.
color pinkish red over entire body, whitish below; long triangular
snout; anal fin sharply pointed; no dark lateral spot.
Fish: vermilion snapper, R. aurorubens.
found: OFFSHORE on the continental shelf, more plentiful off the
panhandle than in south or middle Florida.
20 pounds. *Florida
Record: 46 lbs., 8 oz.
juveniles occur over sandy or mud bottoms and are often taken in shrimp
trawls; adults may live more than 20 years, and attain 35 pounds or
more; sexual maturity attained at age 2; spawns June to October; feeds
on crustaceans and fish.
Description: olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded preopercle.
Similar Fish: gag M. microlepis; yellowfin grouper, M. venenosa.
Where found: OFFSHORE species; adults associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young may occur INSHORE in shallow water.
Size: common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100 pounds.
*Florida Record: no Florida record because of identity confusion with gag, which are mistakenly called "black grouper."
Remarks: spawns between May and August; protogynous hermaphrodites, young predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; larger individuals generally in greater depths; feeds on fish and squid.
long, slim fish with broad depressed head; lower jaw projects past upper
jaw; dark lateral stripe extends through eye to tail; first dorsal fin
comprised of 7 to 9 free spines; when young, has conspicuous alternating
black and white horizontal stripes.
Fish: remora, Echeneis naucrates.
found: both INSHORE and NEARSHORE inhabiting inlets, bays, and among
mangroves; frequently seen around buoys, pilings, and wrecks.
common to 30 pounds. *Florida
Record: 103 lbs., 12 oz.
spawns in spring and early summer; feeds on crabs, squid, and small
The Wahoo is a long fish with very sharp teeth. The Wahoo is like the
Spanish mackerel but its tail is smaller and more upright. The Wahoo is
also rounder. They are bluish-black in color and have wavy silver
stripes along their sides.
common weight of Wahoo ranges from 10-50 lbs.
is a very good eating fish with sweet, firm, white flesh.
consists of tuna, garfish, mackerel, dolphin fish and squid.
bright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing
purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors; body tapers
sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered
over sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical;
head of females more sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from
just behind the head to the tail; anal fin margin concave and extending
from anus to tail.
Fish: pompano dolphin, C. equisetis. The pompano dolphin has square-ish
tooth patch on tongue (oval tooth patch on dolphin) and fewer dorsal
rays (48 to 55 versus 55 to 65 on dolphin).
found: OFFSHORE in warm waters.
common to 30 pounds. *Florida
Record: 77 lbs, 12 oz.
one of the fastest-growing fish, thought to live no more than 5 years;
swimming speed is estimated at 50 knots; spawns in warm ocean currents
throughout much of the year; young found in sargassum weed; feeds on
flying fish and squid.
color of back iridescent bluish green; sides silvery, streamlined body
with tapered head; no black pigment on front of dorsal fin; lateral line
starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin; young fish
often have yellow spots like those of the Spanish mackerel.
Fish: cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus.
found: NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, occasionally taken from piers running
into deep water.
common to 20 pounds. *Florida
Record: 90 lbs.
schooling fish that migrates fom south Florida waters in winter to more
northerly waters in spring; Gulf population thought to be separate from
Atlantic population, with considerable mixing in winter from Cape
Canaveral past Key West; spawns in midsummer OFFSHORE; feeds on small
fish and squid.
color of back green, shading to silver on sides, golden yellow irregular
spots above and below lateral line; front of dorsal fin black; lateral
line curves gently to base of tail.
Fish: cero, S. regalis; king mackerel, S. cavalla.
found: INSHORE, NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, especially over grass beds and
reefs; absent from north Florida waters in winter.
average catch less than 2 pounds (20 inches). *Florida Record: 12 lbs.
schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly
waters when water temperature drops below 70 degrees F; spawns OFFSHORE,
spring through summer; feeds on small fish and squid.
dark stripe (variably present) extends from nose to in front of dorsal
fin and "lights up" when fish is in feeding mode; no scutes;
soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base.
Fish: other Seriola.
found: OFFSHORE species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks,
typically in 60 - 240 feet of water; sometimes caught NEARSHORE in south
Florida; juveniles associated with floating objects and may occur in
water less than 30 feet deep.
common to 40 pounds. *Florida Record: 142 lbs.
largest of the jacks; thought to spawn OFFSHORE throughout most of the
year; feeds on squid, fish, and crustaceans.
body color brown, its shade depending on color of bottom, with numerous
spots and blotches; 3 prominent
eye-like spots forming a triangle; one spot on lateral line, one above,
one below; numerous white
scattered over body and fins (albigutta, white-spotted); strong
canine-like teeth; caudal fin in shape of
its tip in the middle.
Fish: southern flounder, P. lethostigma (no eye-like spots; color
pattern is key to distinguishing the two
found: INSHORE on sandy or mud bottoms, often ranging into tidal creeks;
occasionally caught on
common to 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.
*Florida Record: n/a
hatches into usual fish form, but right eye migrates over to left side
early in life; a bottom dweller; thought to spawn OFFSHORE; feeds on
crustaceans and small fishes.
They get their name from the dorsal fins. Unlike most fish, the trigger
has only three stiff dorsal spines and they can lock them in an upright
position. The only way to get them down is to push down on the third
spine. It acts as a "trigger" and the other two spines will
flatten into a groove in the fishes back. Their
teeth can crack open a crab shell. Their eyes are set far back from
the mouth. The skin of a trigger fish is just like that of the file
fish. I�ve been told that it was used as sandpaper in colonial days.
Found: Trigger fish are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico. They can be
found year round in our area and they live on just about any rocky or
coral encrusted bottom.
Their diet consists of crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, and mollusks
basic color dark brown or black; dorsal fin has rows and stripes of
white on black; large males have iridescent blue and ebony markings, and
fatty hump in front of dorsal fin; females may have indistinct vertical barring;
topmost ray of caudal fin much elongated in adults; caudal may be
tri-lobed; sharp spine near posterior margin of gill cover.
Fish: bank sea bass C. ocyurus; other Centropristis.
found: structure-loving fish, associated with reefs and rubble OFFSHORE;
smaller specimens often found INSHORE finger channels.
common to 1.5 pounds (13 inches). *Florida Record: 5 lbs., 1 oz.
spawns January through March; protogynous hermaphrodites, older females
becoming breeding males; omnivorous bottom feeders, diet including small
fish, crustaceans, and shellfish.
not represent any current records, or catches not officially recorded or