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Atlantic Croaker

Micropogonias undulatus

Appearance

Illustration of an Atlantic croaker
  • Body is silvery-gray or bronze, iridescent on head
  • Indistinct wavy bars or lines on upper sides
  • Strongly serrated preopercle (bone on cheek)
  • Small barbels on lower jaw

Similar Species: Spot, L. xanthurus (caudal fin is forked and preopercle is smooth)

Size: Up to 20 inches (4 pounds)

Habitat

Generally found north of Tampa Bay on the west coast and north of Cape Canaveral on the east coast. Young found in estuaries and 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.

Behavior

Become bronze or yellow in color during spawning. Spawning occurs offshore in fall. Feeds on fishes and invertebrates.

Additional Information

State Record: 4 lbs 15 oz, caught near St. Lucie

Fishing Tips and Facts: Longevity is 2 to 4 years.

Recreational Regulations