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Spotted Seatrout

Cynoscion nebulosus

Appearance

spotted sea trout

Also known as speckled trout.

  • Back is dark gray or green, fading to a silvery or white belly
  • Several black spots on back extend to dorsal fins and tail
  • Pair of large canine teeth at tip of upper jaw
  • Lack barbels on lower jaw

Similar Species: Weakfish, C. regalis (has irregular wavy lines instead of spots)

Size: Up to 39 inches (17 pounds); common to 14 inches

Habitat

Coastal waters over sand bottoms or seagrass beds

Behavior

Spawning occurs inshore from March through November. Move into deeper, still waters during colder months.  Feed on baitfish, mullet, shrimp and crabs.

Additional Information

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.

Recreational Regulations