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Amber JackDark stripe (variably present) extends from nose to front of dorsal fin and lights up when fish is in feeding mode. OFFSHORE species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 - 240 feet of water. Sometimes caught NEARSHORE. Largest of the Jack. Spawns OFFSHORE throughout most of the year. Feeds on squid, fish, and crustaceans.

 Black DrumGray or black colored body in adults. Has cobblestone-like teeth capable of crushing oysters. INSHORE fish common to bays. Bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE. Size common to 30 lbs, however 90+ lbs in not uncommon. Largest member of the Drum family. NEARSHORE in winter and early spring; feeds on oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp and occasionally fish; longevity to 35 or more years

Black Sea BassBasic color dark brown or black. Structure loving fish, associated with reefs and rubble OFFSHORE. Smaller fish found INSHORE. Feeds on small fish, crustaceans and shellfish. Spawns January - March. Protogynous Hermaphrodites, older females become breeding males.

Blue MarlinColor cobalt blue on top shading to silvery white on bottom. OFFSHORE, a blue water fish. All trophy sizes are females, 1500 lbs not uncommon; males do not exceed 300 lbs; makes Trans Atlantic migrations; spawning procedures unknown; feeds on squid and pelagic fishes, including black fin tuna and frigate mackerel.

Blue FishColor blue or greenish blue on back, sides silvery; mouth large; teeth prominent, sharp and compressed. Young usually INSHORE spring and summer, moving OFFSHORE to join adults fall and winter; strong migration of northeast Atlantic stock to Florida east coast in winter. Travels in large schools, following schools of bait fish; cannibalistic; all member of a given school are about the same size. Spawning occurs OFFSHORE in spring and winter.

CobiaLong, slim fish with broad depressed head. Dark lateral stripe extends through eye to tail. Both INSHORE and NEARSHORE. Inhabits inlets and bays; frequently seen around buoys, pilings, and wrecks. Spawns in spring and early summer. Feeds on crabs, squid, and small bait fish.

CroakerSilver - gray or bronze body with dark oblique wavy bars or lines. Young fish found in estuaries; older fish (2-3 yrs) inhabit deep OFFSHORE waters during the winter months and move into bay and estuaries during spring, summer and fall. Size usually less than 3lbs. VA record in 2007 8lbs. Spawning occurs OFFSHORE in fall. Longevity 2-4 years.

DolphinBright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide variety of colors. OFFSHORE in warm waters. Size common to 30 lbs. One of the fastest growing fish, thought to live no more than 5 years; swimming speed is estimated at 50 kts; spawns in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year. Feeds on flying fish and squid.

Jack CrevalleColor bluish - green to greenish - gold back and silvery or yellowish belly. Common in both INSHORE waters and open sea. Size usually 3-5 lbs. Tolerates a wide range of salinities; schools corner a schools of bait fish at the surface and feed with commotion that can be seen at great distances. Feeds mainly on small fish. Spawning occurs OFFSHORE from March - September.

King MackerelColor of back iridescent bluish green, sides silvery, streamed line body with tapered head. NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, occasionally taken from piers running into deep water. Spawns in midsummer OFFSHORE. Feeds on small fish and squid.

Red DrumCopper bronze body, lighter shade in clear waters; one too many spots at base of tail (rarely no spots). Size one of 27inches weighs approx. 8lbs. Red drum are an INSHORE species until they attain roughly 30 inches ( 4 years) then they migrate to join the NEARSHORE population. Spawning occurs from August - November in NEARSHORE waters; sudden cold snaps may kill Red drum in shallow water. Feeds on crustaceans; fish and mollusks. Longevity to 20 years or more.

Sailfish: Color dark blue on top, brown blue laterally, silvery white underbelly. OFFSHORE species. Size common to 7 feet. Rapid growing species, reaching 4-5 feet in a single year. Swims at speeds up to 50 kts.  Feeds on the surface and mid depths on smaller pelagic fish and squid.

SheepsheadBasic silvery color, with 5-6 distinct vertical black bands on sides, not always the same on both side; prominent teeth, including incisors, molars, and rounded grinders. Strong and sharp spines on dorsal fins. INSHORE species around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks; moves NEARSHORE in late winter and early spring for spawning, gathering over debris, artificial reefs and around navigation markers. Size INSHORE, 1-2 lbs, OFFSHORE, common to 8lbs. Feeds on mollusks and crustaceans, fiddler crabs, and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying that "Anglers must strike just before the bite".

Spadefish: Silvery with 4-6 black vertical bands on each side which sometimes become obscure in larger fish; deep, flattened body. INSHORE and NEARSHORE, around natural and artificial reefs, and navigations markers in 15-20 feet of water. Size: most catches less than 2 lbs, known to reach 15 lbs. Spawns in spring and summer. Feeds on crustaceans, small encrusting vertebrates, and may feed on tentacles of jelly fish. Travels in large schools, small juveniles almost totally black, known to drift on their side and mimic floating debris.

Spanish MackerelColor of back green, shading to silver on sides, golden yellow irregular spots above and below lateral line. INSHORE, NEAR SHORE and OFFSHORE, especially over grass beds and reefs. Average catch less than 2 lbs ( 20 inches). Schooling fish that migrates nothward in spring, returning to southerly waters when temps drop below 70 degrees. Spawns OFFSHORE, spring - summer. Feeds on small fish and squid.


Striped Bass: Striped bass spawn in freshwater and although they have been successfully adapted to freshwater habitat, they naturally spend their adult lives in saltwater. Four important bodies of water with breeding stocks of striped bass are: Chesapeake Bay, Massachusetts Bay/Cape Cod, Hudson River and Delaware River. It is believed that many of the rivers and tributaries that emptied into the Atlantic, had at one time, breeding stock of striped bass. One of the largest breeding areas is the Chesapeake Bay

WhiteMarlinColor of body dark blue to chocolate brown, shading to silvery white underbelly; noticeable spots on dorsal fin. OFFSHORE, a blue water fish. Size common to 8 feet. Uses it bill to stun fast moving fishes, then returns to consume them; spawning procedures unknown; ranges throughtout the Atlantic and Caribbean; feeds on squid and pelagic fishes.










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