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Spotted Seatrout illustration

Spotted Seatrout

World Record ~ 17Lbs. 7 oz. Caught at Ft. Pierce, FL on May 11, 1995 by angler Craig F. Carson

Scientific name ~ Cynoscion Nebulosus

Other names ~ Seatrout, Speckled Seatrout, Spotted squeteague, Spotted Trout,Trout, Gator Trout, Spotted Weakfish, Black Trout, Salmon Trout, and Winter Trout.

Identification ~  Dark gray or bluish tinges along back shading to silvery and white below. The dorsal fin is dusky while other fins pale are to yellowish in color. This fish may be confused with others of its genus, especially the weakfish. However, the Spotted Seatrout has a distinctive pattern of black spots scattered along the upper body and extending into the caudal and dorsal fins. The Spotted Seatrout has an elongated, somewhat compressed body with a slightly elevated back. The head is long with a pointed snout and large oblique mouth. The dorsal fin is continuous or slightly separate.

Size ~ The angler caught Spotted Seatrout commonly measures between 12 and 24 inches with a weight of about 4 pounds. The Spotted Seatrout can grow to 4 feet and 16 pounds, but catches over 9 pounds are rare.

Habitat ~ The Spotted Seatrout is found in coastal ocean waters and brackish water in salt marshes and tidal pools. It is found in water tempatures between 58 F and 81 F. It has been observed in shallow coastal and estuarine waters over sandy bottoms and seagrass to depths of 33 feet. During the warm summer months, spotted seatrout associate with seagrass beds, moving to deeper pockets of water in estuaries during the cooler months. They rarely migrate far from estuaries where they are spawned. With a range limited to the western Atlantic Ocean, the Spotted Seatrout is found from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to southern Florida and throughout the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Feeding Habits ~ Spotted Seatrout are found in small schools with incoming tides and move into shallow areas to feed. Spotted Seatrout are ambush predators, making short lunges to grab prey with their front canine teeth prior to swallowing it whole. The Spotted Seatrout feed on shrimp and small fish which include anchovies, pinfish, silversides, mullet, croaker, menhaden , silver trout, snapper, gobies, sheepshead , grunts, toadfish, mojarras, and the occasional seatrout.


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