Species Info

Posted on July 21st, 2007 in Species Info by captdkf



Cobia are a migratory species.  The record for Cobia is over 100 lbs., but the average fish weighs 15-40 lbs.

Cobia feed on small fish and crabs.  They are very strong fighters and must be handled with care once they are brought onboard.  

Cobia can be found cruising open waters in the Gulf and bays and hanging out near bouys and structure, such as channel markers.  They are often mistaken for sharks when first sighted.  Cobia are good eating too.



Redfish are mostly an inshore species.  The larger spawners do move offshore and are frequently caught by Grouper fisherman in depths of 60 feet or greater.

In West Central Florida, we catch them on grass flats, near mangrove shorelines, oyster bars, and structure such as residential docks.

Once a Redfish reaches about 5 lbs., they put up a tremendous fight…they don’t like to give up easily.   A 30″ Redfish, on 10 lb. test, is one of the most exciting fish to land.

Redfish are mostly crustacean eaters, but can be caught on a variety of live and cut baits, as well as atrificials.  Redfish are good table fare.



Speckled or Spotted Sea Trout are found in nearshore and inshore waters near the Gulf of Mexico.  Grassy, sandy and mixed grass/sand bottom areas are the best place to fish for Trout.

Trout are one of the most sought after species along the Florida Gulf Coast. In early spring, trout numbers increase.  

Light tackle, in the 6-10 lb. test range, is used.  Live bait, including shrimp, pinfish and sardines, as well as a variety of artificials, will catch Trout.

Only the coldest weather and water temperatures slow the Trout action.  Trout are great to eat….very mild tasting fish.



Jack Crevalle are a species found offshore and inshore, as well as fresh-water rivers.

Jacks of 2-12 lbs. are common, with some 20 lb. fish on occassion.  A fight with a 20 pounder will require some rest and a bottle of water afterward!  

Jacks roam in schools, attacking schools of bait, and will bite anything thrown at them under these conditions.  They are a fun, hard-fighting fish but are not good to eat.



Spanish Mackerel are a migratory species that migrate north in the spring and move south when the water temperature drops below 70 degrees.

They move into the Tampa Bay area in early spring and stay through the summer and early fall, usually into November.

Spanish Mackerel can be caught on live bait such as sardines, threadfin herring, as well as on artificials, such as silver spoons or others resembling small bait fish or shrimp.

Using light wire leader will help prevent cut off’s from their sharp teeth.  I prefer using 40 lb. test mono and long shank hooks for more strikes.  On light tackle, Spanish Mackerel offer lightning fast drag-screaming runs, and the action is usually very dependable. Catches of 20-40 fish are common.

Spanish Mackerel are an oily fish, but they are good to eat either smoked, cooked on the grill or broiled.



Snook are an inshore species, found mostly in bays and rivers.  They will move into passes and beaches to spawn.  They spawn on the new and full moon phases, usually from May through September.

Snook are tremendous fighters.  Initial runs of fish, in the 30″ range, will take 50 yards of line or more.  They put up a tremendous fight.  Thirty-pound leader is the norm.  Their mouth is rough like sandpaper and the gill plates are razor sharp.

Snook like to feed on moving water, usually an outgoing tide is the best.  They are finicky eaters and can frustrate even the most patient angler.  But, the fight is well worth the wait for the hardcore angler.

Snook become lethargic in cold weather, sometimes dying if water temperatures drop below 60 degrees. 

Snook are make great table fare…beautiful white meat.



Tarpon are found inshore, except when migrating offshore to spawn.  They also migrate north and south along the coast, depending upon water temperatures.

Juvenile Tarpon stay in brackish (fresh/saltwater combination) waters, such as rivers and canals.  The larger Tarpon move into Tampa Bay as the water temperature nears 70 degrees, usually in April or May.

Tarpon also have a lung and can be seen gulping air on the surface of the water. 

They are one of the toughest fighting game fish.  They will take live bait, dead bait, cut bait, and artificial baits.   A favorite bait is a small blue crab.

Most Tarpon caught weight between 60 – 150 lbs., although the world record exceeds 240 lbs.  They can be caught along Gulf beaches and in the bays and rivers along the coast.

 Tarpon are a game fish only.



Blue Fish are found along the coast and in the bays during the spring and summer. T hey migrate offshore to spawn.

Blue Fish have sharp teeth similar to Spanish Mackerel.  They are sometimes caught along with Spanish Mackerel, using the same baits and tackle.

They are great fun to catch.



Another inedible species, but they are very acrobatic and fun to catch.



We don’t generally pursue sharks, but they are a common, incidental catch that put up a great fight.


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