COMMON GAME FISH


Snook

Tarpon

Redfish
Description: distinct lateral line; high, divided dorsal fin; sloping forehead; large mouth, protruding lower jaw; grows much larger than other snooks; pelvic fin yellow. Where found: from central Florida and South Texas south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings nearshore.
Size: most catches 5 to 8 pounds. *Florida Record: 44 lbs., 3 ozs.
Description: last ray of dorsal fin extended into long filament; one dorsal fin; back dark blue to green or greenish black, shading into bright silver on the sides; may be brownish gold in estuarien waters; huge scales; mouth large and points upward.
Where found: primarily INSHORE fish, although adult fish spawn OFFSHORE where the ribbon-like larval stage of the fish can be found. Size: most angler catchs 40 to 50 pounds. *Florida Record: 243 lbs.
Description: 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 openng downward; scales large. Where found: juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population OFFSHORE.
Size: one of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds. *Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Permit


Sea Trout




Bonefish
Description: color gray, dark or iridescent blue above, shading to silvery sides, in dark waters showing golden tints around breast; small permit have teeth on tongue (none on pompano); no scutes; dorsal fin insertion directly above that of the anal fin; 17 to 21 soft anal rays.
Where found: OFFSHORE on wrecks and debris, INSHORE on grass flats, sand flats, and in channels; most abundant in south Florida, with smaller specimens from every coastal county.
Size:
common to 25 pounds. *Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.
Description: 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.
Where found: INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms; move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather. Size: common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast. *Florida Record: 15 lbs., 6 ozs.
Description: silvery color with bluish or greenish back; slender, round body; snout long, conical, aiming downward and overhanging lower jaw; dark streaks between scales on upper half of body and faint crossbands extending down to lateral line; extremities of dorsal and caudal fins shaded with black. Similar Fish: ladyfish, Elops saurus
Where found: primarily INSHORE fish inhabiting shallows of the Florida Keys; found in shallows often less than 1 foot deep, usually over lush grass flats, occasionally over white sand. Size: 3 to 5 pounds. *Florida Record: 15 lbs., 6 ozs.


Jack
.


Black Drum


Grouper
Description: color bluish-green to greenish-gold back and silvery or yellowish belly; soft dorsal and anal fins almost identical in size; prominent black spot on operculum (gill cover); black spot at the base of each pectoral fin; no scales on throat.
Where found: common in both INSHORE waters and the open sea.
Size: usually 3 to 5 pounds. *Florida Record: 51 lbs
Description: 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.
Where found: INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE.
Size
: common to 30 pounds. *Florida Record: 93 lbs.
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.