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Home / Fishing / Fish Species

FISHING
FISH SPECIES

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Fish Species brought to you in association with Wickstrom Publishers Inc.
Excerpts from the book Sport Fish of Florida a must for every tackle box and boat in and around Florida waters!!! Get your copy now!! Other great titles include Baits, Rigs & Tackle!
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sheepshead.gif (58201 bytes)

SHEEPSHEAD
(Archosargus probatocephalus)
OTHER NAMES: Convict Fish Bait-stealer
RANGE: All Florida salt waters.
HABITAT: Areas of rocky bottom, from far up coastal creeks and rivers, to well offshore. Loves dock and bridge pilings, artificial reefs and any other structure that wears barnacles and/or harbors crabs. Forages for crustaceans, at times, on shallow soft-bottom flats in the manner of Redfish or Bonefish.
DESCRIPTION: Black vertical bands stand out against dull white, gray or yellowish background. The mouth is full of massive, protruding teeth that give the fish its name, and distinguish it from the juvenile Black Drum , the only fish with which it is likely to be confused. Spines of the dorsal and anal fins are heavy and sharp.
SIZE: Common from less than a pound to 4 pounds. Fairly plentiful at 57 pounds. Fish approaching 10 pounds, and occasionally surpassing 10, are taken each year in North Florida, especially from offshore wrecks and navigation markers in late winter and spring. World record 221 pounds, 4 ounces; Florida record 15 pounds, 2 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: One of the best, thanks in great part to its shellfish diet.
GAME QUALITIES: Not an aggressive strike; very tough on light tackle. Pulls hard and uses flat shape to advantage.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning and baitcasting tackle are tops for sport, but rodtip should not be too soft, as the tough and toothy mouth makes it hard to set a hook. Best baits are fiddlers or other small crabs; cut pieces of blue crab; live or fresh-dead shrimp (threaded on the hook); pieces of oysters and clams. Sheepshead will readily hit slow-moving jigs tipped with these baits and, occasionally, will take the bare jig.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Still Fishing.

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pinfish.gif (45257 bytes)

PINFISH
(Lagodon rhomboides)
OTHER NAMES: Spanish Porgy, Shiner, Sargo, Chopo Sina
RANGE: All Florida coasts.
HABITAT: Small pinfish swarm over inshore grass flats in warm or temperate weather, retreating to deeper water with dropping temperatures. They also can be found around other cover, such as rocks and bars.
DESCRIPTION: Silvery with many narrow longitudinal yellow lines and, sometimes, dim vertical bars. Dark patch just behind gill cover. Spines of dorsal and anal fin are sharp, hence the name.
SIZE: Most run 3-6 inches, but may range as high as a pound or more. World record 3 pounds, 5 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Only the largest are really suitable for the table; small ones have excessive and tiny bones.
GAME QUALITIES: An aggressive striker and zippy fighter, much like a small Jack.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Bits of cut shrimp, fish, or bacon, fished on tiny hooks with canepoles or spinning outfits, will catch the most.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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spottailpinfish.gif (57338 bytes)

SPOTTAIL PINFISH
(Diplodus holbrooki)
OTHER NAMES: Spot Porgy, San Pedra
RANGE: All Florida coasts.
HABITAT: Seems to roam farther
offshore than the Pinfish, although the two often mix around shorelines.
DESCRIPTION: Somewhat rounder in shape than the Pinfish. Color is brownish above, silvery below. The name comes from a black patch on caudal peduncle.
SIZE: Averages 6-8 inches; grows to a pound or so.
FOOD VALUE: Often large enough to make a decent panfish but watch those bones!
GAME QUALITIES: A good fighter for its size.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning outfits with cut shrimp, squid or fish.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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silverporgy.gif (57523 bytes)

SILVER PORGY (Diplodus argenteus)
RANGE: More common in the Bahamas, but also found in Florida, especially Southeast Florida.
HABITAT: Likes reefs or rocks in clear, shallow water. Many are taken from Bahamas shorelines.
DESCRIPTION: Confused with the Spottail Pinfish because both have a black spot on the caudal peduncle. However, the Silver Porgy's spot is both lighter and proportionately smaller. This fish is also lighter in color and has thin yellowish stripes and, often, dark vertical bars.
SIZE: Averages 6-8 inches; rarely exceeds a pound.
FOOD VALUE: Good but bony.
GAME QUALITIES: Strong and fast for its size.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Ultralight or light spinning tackle, baited with bits of cut fish or shellfish.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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seabream.gif (56517 bytes)

SEA BREAM
(Archosargus rhomboidalis)
OTHER NAMES: Golden Pinfish, Golden Shiner, Chopa Amarilla, Salema
RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Likes rockier bottom than the Pinfish. Common around jetties, and around rocky areas of surf and shorelines.
DESCRIPTION: Silvery color with numerous yellow stripes that give it a golden sheen. Deeper bodies than the Pinfish, and usually larger.
SIZE: Average is 8-12 inches; maximum about 14 inches.
FOOD VALUE: Good but bony.
GAME QUALITIES: A cooperative biter and good tussler for its size.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning and baitcasting outfits. Live or dead shrimp and cut fish or squid.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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grassporgy.gif (54076 bytes)

GRASS PORGY
(Calamus arctifrons)
OTHER NAMES: Grass Bream, Shad Porgy
RANGE: Both coasts of Florida.
HABITAT: Grass beds in up to 20 feet or so of water.
DESCRIPTION: Upper body greenish; silvery sides with dark blotches over sides and tail, often resembling a camouflage pattern. Dark vertical bar through eye.
SIZE: Averages around 1 pound; seldom grows larger.
FOOD VALUE: Good.
GAME QUALITIES: Strong for its size.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning and baitcasting tackle, with live or dead shrimp and various cut baits. Usually taken when fishing for Snapper or Seatrout.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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knobbedporgy.gif (50455 bytes)

KNOBHEAD PORGY
(Calamus nodosus)
OTHER NAMES: Key West Porgy
RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Usually caught over coral reefs or patchy bottom in 70 feet of water or more.
DESCRIPTION: Color is a silvery with reddish tint. Head is steeply sloped and front edge is purple.
SIZE: Common up to 4 pounds; occasionally larger.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent.
GAME QUALITIES: A strong if unspectacular fighter.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Most are caught deep by anglers seeking Grouper and Snapper; thus, the usual gear is fairly heavy ocean tackle. Stout baitcasting or spinning outfits are better suited to the task, however. Cut pieces of fish or squid are preferred baits.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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whiteboneporgy.gif (51702 bytes)

WHITEBONE PORGY
(Calamus leucosteus)
OTHER NAMES: White Porgy, Silver Porgy, Silver Snapper
RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Usually in fairly deep water, 15-100 feet, over rocks, reefs or patchy bottom.
DESCRIPTION: Color is a silvery white, sometimes with dark blotches or patterns. Blue lines on head.
SIZE: Common up to 4 pounds; occasionally larger.
FOOD VALUE: Very good; bones can be filleted out.
GAME QUALITIES: Close to Snappers of similar size.
TACKLE AND BAITS: As with other reef Porgies, most are caught by anglers seeking Grouper and Snapper with fairly heavy ocean tackle. Stout baitcasting or spinning outfits are better suited to the task, however. Cut pieces of fish or squid are preferred baits.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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joltedporgy.gif (53510 bytes)

JOLTHEAD PORGY
(Calamus bajonado)
OTHER NAMES: Bajonado
RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Found over inshore grass flats as well as on offshore reefs and patches.
DESCRIPTION: Head is more sharply sloped than that of other Porgies. Color is silvery with blue highlights. Brownish pattern may be evident in fish caught over dark bottom, but most are light.
SIZE: One of the largest Porgies, it averages a couple of pounds and sometimes more. World record 23 pounds, 4 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Very good, if large enough to fillet.
GAME QUALITIES: Unspectacular but strong.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning and baitcasting outfits, with any sort of cut fish, shrimp or squid.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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saucerye.gif (55912 bytes)

SAUCERYE PORGY
(Calamus calamus)
OTHER NAMES: Big-eye Porgy, Pez De Pluma
RANGE: Both Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Usually in fairly deep water, up to 100 feet.
DESCRIPTION: The Saucereye's name is derived from a blue line below the eye that causes the eye to appear larger. Color usually is silvery, with the blue streaks that are common to several of the Porgies.
SIZE: Common at 2-3 pounds; reaches perhaps 7 or 8.
FOOD VALUE: Very good.
GAME QUALITIES: A strong puller.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Most are caught deep by anglers seeking Grouper and Snapper with heavy tackle. Stout baitcasting or spinning outfits are better suited, however. Cut fish or squid.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.

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redporgy.gif (48834 bytes)

RED PORGY
(Pagrus pagrus)
OTHER NAMES: Guerito
RANGE: Offshore depths of Florida and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Dropoffs in at least 200 feet; also far deeper.
DESCRIPTION: Light, reddish silver overall, with pinkish tail.
SIZE: Averages 2-10 pounds; may reach 20 or more. World record 17 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent.
GAME QUALITIES: Not much, considering gear used.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Heavy bottom rigs, preferably with electric reels. Cut baits.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting.

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