January-April

May

Sea Bass, Blue Line Tile fish, Golden Tile Fish, Grouper, Taug Red and Black Drum, Bluefish, Croaker, Trout, Flounder

June

July

Cobia, Red and Black Drum, Bluefish, Croaker, Trout, Flounder Croaker, Spot, Trout, Taug, Spadfish, Spanish Mackeral Cobia, Red and Black Drum, Bluefish, Croaker, Trout, Flounder Croaker, Spot, Trout, Taug, Spadfish, Spanish Mackeral

August

September

Cobia, Red and Black Drum, Bluefish, Croaker, Trout, Flounder Croaker, Spot, Trout, Taug, Spadfish, Spanish Mackeral Sea Bass, Taug, Flounder, Croaker, Spot

October

November

Sea Bass, Blue Line Tile fish, Golden Tile Fish, Grouper, Black Belly Rose Fish, Dolphin (Mahi), Tuna, and Swordfish Sea Bass, Blue Line Tile fish, Golden Tile Fish, Grouper, Black Belly Rose Fish, Dolphin (Mahi), Tuna, and Swordfish

December

Sea Bass, Blue Line Tile fish, Golden Tile Fish, Grouper, Taug

Bluefish

Description: Long body is bluish green in coloration, fading to a light colored belly; tail is sharply forked and the mouth features razor sharp teeth.Size: up to 313⁄4 pounds; average size is 1 – 15 pounds.

Croaker, Hardhead

Description: Silvery color overall with a white belly; often has a faint bronze or golden cast, with yellowish fins; back often has small brassy spots, that align into wavy lines down the fish’s sides; underslung jaw features 3 to 5 pairs of barbels under the chin; caudal fin is convex in shape; gill cover is hard and sharp.Similar Fish: Spot 

Size: up to 6 pounds; average size is 6–12 inches (1⁄2 lb. – 2 lbs.).

Dolphinfish, Mahi

Description: The dolphin fish has bright turquiose, green and yellow patterns. Dolphin are fast growing, prolific and have a short life span – an average of 5 years. Dolphin are attracted to Sargassum, a floating brown alga, which serves as a hiding place and source of food. Other sources of food associated with the Sargassum includesmall fish, crabs, and shrimp. Dolphin may also pursue fast -swimming fish, such asflying fish or mackerels.Size: Dolphinfish that school together range in size from 1-20 pounds while larger individuals live alone or in pairs. Some reach a maximum of 6 feet in length, but morecommonly to lengths of 3 feet. This fish commonly weighs up to 30 pounds with a maximum of more

 

Flounder, Fluke

Description: Rounded, flat body is brown on one side (the left side) and white on the other side; both eyes appear on the brown (left) side of the fish; caudal fin is convex and the mouth features sharp, cone-like teeth; summer flounder feature five ocellated spots on their brown side, three tending to form a triangle just above the base of the tail. 

Similar Fish: closely related and similar in appearance to the Southern Flounder; distinguishable by the presence of ocellated spots on the back of the summer flounder (southern flounder may have blotches and/or spots but lack the conspicuous ocellated spots found on summer flounder); Gulf Flounder, which are not common north of Cape Hatteras, are similar in appearance, but feature only three ocellated spots – one above the lateral line, one below it and one touching it, and these spots may become indistinct in larger fish.

 

Grouper

Description:The most classic bottom fish for most anglers is the grouper. Whether red, gag, black, yellowfin, or Warsaw, a good grouper in the ice chest means a successful day for lots of folks.Grouper and the entire grouper family have become probably the most popular saltwater food fish in the United States. While there are Pacific varieties, the largest fishery is in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast.  Grouper are a bottom fishing charter boat captain’s big ticket item.Sized: Most catches are over ten pounds with some well over 100 pounds.

Blow Toad, Blowfish, Swell Toad

Description: Blunt, “boxlike” body shape, which can rapidly be altered by swelling of the belly with air or water into a spherical shape; mouth features large, “rabbitlike” incisor teeth; coloration is light brownish on the back and sides with a white belly; several dark vertical bars run down the sides; fins have a yellowish or yellowish orange tinge; skin is tough and coarse, similar to sandpaper. 

Similar Fish: Southern Puffer (rare north of Florida); Smooth Puffer, which has a very smooth skin and attains a larger size; Burrfish, which have pronounced spines protruding from the skin. 

Size: up to 2 pounds; average size is under a pound.

Rosefish, Blackbelly

Description: Found in soft bottom areas of the continental shelf and upper slope. Feed on crustaceans, fish, cephalopods, and echinoderm. Rosefish breed in March – July and there Larvae and juveniles are pelagic.Rosefish have 12 dorsal spines, about 12-13 dorsal soft rays and 2 Anal spines. They have pinkish, faint dusky bars and Y-shaped dark bar between soft dorsal and anal fins, thus called a Rrosefish”.Size: Up to 3 pounds and around 12 to 18 inches.

Seabass, Black Will

Description: Coloration is black to a very dark brown on the back and sides; the belly and fins also tend to be dark in color; females have a uniformly curved slope from the top of the back to the head, while large males have a pronounced hump forward of the dorsal fin; individual fish may exhibit a pronounced iridescent aquamarine to bluish coloration with some highlights of red in the area forward and below the dorsal fin, behind the head and especially on males on and around the hump, which may be associated with spawning activity; a long filament extends from the upper part of the caudal fin.Size: up to 10 pounds; average size ranges from 1⁄2 – 3 pounds.

 

Spadefish

Description: Deep bodied fish with pointed second dorsal and anal fins, which give the fish an almost triangular shape; coloration is silvery gray with 4 to 6 prominent black bars running down the sides; juveniles are very dark in color; the mouth is noticeably small relative to the overall size of the fish and lacks teeth.Size: up to 15 pounds; average size ranges from 1 – 6 pounds.

Spiny Dogfish

Description: Long, slender body with two dorsal fins of nearly equal size; pelvic fin on the underside of the fish is positioned between the two dorsal fins and anal fin is absent; jaw is filled with small teeth with points bent toward rear of the mouth, positioned closely together to form a continuous cutting edge; a spiracle (airhole) is positioned behind the relatively large eye; coloration is gray along the back fading to pale gray with a white belly; young spiny dogfish have numerous white spots along the back. 

Similar Fish: closely related and similar in appearance to the smooth dogfish; distinguishable by lack of anal fin (smooth dogfish has an anal fin) and the presence of spines at the start of each dorsal fin (smooth dogfish lack spines). Also, spiny dogfish may appear similar to Atlantic sharpnose sharks, which have small white spots along the back. However, the two species are easily distinguishable by size of dorsal fins (spiny dogfish have fins nearly equal in size, while the sharpnose shark has a first dorsal fin substantially larger than the second); presence of an anal fin on sharpnose shark (none on spiny dogfish); presence of spines at start of dorsal fins on spiny dogfish (none on sharpnose shark), and presence of distinct individual teeth in sharpnose shark.Size: up to 30 pounds, average size 5 – 15 pounds.

Spot

Description: Silvery color overall with a white belly; a prominent black spot is present behind the gill cover and above the base of the pectoral fin; several wavy lines, brassy in color, extend down the back; caudal fin is slightly concave; larger individuals in the late summer often exhibit a distinct yellow coloration on their bellies. 

Similar Fish: Atlantic CroakerSize: up to 21⁄2 pounds; average size is 5 – 10 inches (under)

Swordfish

Description: Swordfish have the widest temperature range of any billfish and migrate seasonally to warmer waters in winter and cooler waters in summer. This highly migratory species can often be found where ocean currents meet and productivity is high. Although the swordfish is typically found in shallow waters, they are thought to swim as deep as 650 m. They are uniquely adapted to cold, deep waters by the presence of specialized tissue near the eyes that heats the brain through the tissue’s blood supply, which is a vascular system similar to that used to heat and cool the bodies of other large pelagic fish species such as tuna. These adaptations help the fish move quickly through rapid temperature changes in the water column.Size: Swordfish reach a maximum length of about 4.5 m and a maximum weight of 650 kg. Females are typically larger than males. Atlantic swordfish reach about 320 kg in weight and adult swordfish in the Mediterranean typically weight less than 230 kg.

Tautog, Blackfish, Chub, ‘Tog, White Chin

Description: A thick-bodied fish characterized by thick lips, blunt snout, and large, irregular teeth (incisors in front, molars in the rear); coloration is varied from a chocolate brown, to gray or a blackish olive on the back and sides with a white belly; some fish have irregular blotches on the side, but this mottling pattern, often associated with spawning activity, is not present in all individuals; males have a more blunt head, a more pronounced white chin, and a distinct white spot on their side. 

Similar Fish: closely related to and similar in appearance to the Cunner; distinguishable by lack of scales on the gill cover (cunner have scales on their gill covers) and by size (cunner rarely achieve weights of 1 pound).Size: up to 25 pounds; average

Tilefish

Description: Tilefish (Golden and Blueline) are bottom dwellers found in water ranging from 240-780 feet deep, from Virginia to the Campeche Banks of Mexico. They are frequently found in the same habitat as groupers and snappers, preferring irregular bottom with sand, mud and shell hash. They is usually are found in bottom water temperatures of 59°F to 73° F. They have been found to burrow head first in cone-shaped sand piles. 

Tilefish feed on bottom creatures, such as crabs, shrimp, snails, worms, sea urchins and small fish.Size: They may grow to be 32 inches and live

Triggerfish

Description: Deep bodied fish with a large first spine in the first dorsal fin; grayish overall in color, some individuals may show some darker mottling; mouth features pronounced lips and large teeth; body is covered with tough skin.Size: up to 12 pounds; average size 1 – 5 pounds.

Trout

Description: Grayish silver back (often with a bluish, iridescent tint) fading to silver sides with a white belly; distinct round black dots are present on back and sides, and they extend onto second part of the dorsal fin and the caudal fin; body is long and slender; upper jaw possesses two large canine teeth. 

Similar Fish: closely related and similar in appearance to the Weakfish or Gray Trout; distinguishable by the black dots which extend onto second dorsal fin and caudal fin (gray trout lack any black markings on these fins).Size: up to 17 pounds; average size is 11⁄2 – 4 pounds.

Tuna

Description: Found in open waters of tropical and subtropical seas worldwide. It is an epipelagic fish ranging in the top 330 feet of the water column. Also known as ahi tuna, from its Hawaiian name ʻahi, yellowfin is becoming a popular replacement for the severely depleted supplies of bluefin tuna.The second dorsal fin and the anal fin are both bright yellow, thus the common name, and can be very long in mature specimens, as are the pectoral fins. The main body is very dark metallic blue, changing to silver on the belly, which has about 20 vertical lines.

Similar Fish: Little Tunny and Atlantic Bonito; distinguishable by location and placement of stripes on body.Size: Reported sizes have ranged as high as 94 inches in length and 440 lb in weight. However, it is more common off of the mid-atlantic to see up to 40 pounds; average size ranges from 5 – 15 pounds.

Wreckfish

Description: The combination of a sea-bass-like body with a very rough head having a prominent ridge and strong spines on each gill cover, and a bony protuberance over the eye and on the nape, give the wreck fish an aspect so different from that of similar fish like its close relative, the sea bass. It is strongly flattened sidewise, about 2½ to 3 times as long as deep (to origin of tail fin), with large mouth. And the lower jaw projects considerably beyond the upper.  The color is Grayish or blackish brown, the caudal fin edged with white. Young fish are mottled above with gray and cream on head and body. Small wreck fish are most likely to be found under floating logs or wreckage, as the common name implies.Similar Fish:  Sea BassSize:  The fish can reach an upper length of 4½ to 5 feet at least, and a weight of more than 100 pounds