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Spotted Seatrout: Cynoscion nebulosus

Appearance:

  • 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 fin and tail
  • No barbels and no scales on the soft dorsal fin
  • 1 or 2 prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw

Habitat:

Seatrout found inshore and nearshore in and around seagrass meadows, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels and above oyster bars.

Behavior:

Spawning occurs inshore from March through November.  Spotted setrout move into deeper, still waters during colder months.  They feed on baitfish, mullet, shrimp and crabs.

State Record:

17 lb 7 oz, caught near Ft. Pierce

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Free-line live shrimp or small pinfish or pigfish (grunts) near the bottom to entice trout out of grass-bed holes. Attaching a float will allow these baits to drift over the grass beds as you search for trout. Casting with soft-bodied jigs, top-water poppers and spoons can be effective. Trout are very delicate, so returning unwanted or illegal fish promptly to the water is necessary to maintain a healthy population. Spotted seatrout are a good eating fish.

Additional Information:

Spotted seatrout reach 3 feet and 15 pounds but are common in the 4-pound range.


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



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