Fish ID

ATLANTIC CROAKER – Micropogonias undulatus

Family Sciaenidae, DRUMS

Description: 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.

Similar fish: spot, Leiostomus xanthurus (has no
chin barbels and has a dark blotch on shoulder).

Size: usually less than 2 pounds.

Where found: generally found north of Tampa Bay on the west coast, and north of Cape Canaveral on the east coast; 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.

Remarks: during spawning becomes bronze or yellow in color; spawning apparently occurs OFFSHORE in fall; longevity 2 to 4 years.

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