Weakfish - Cynoscion regalis
Diagnostic characters: A large fish, elongate and moderately compressed.Mouth large,oblique, lower jaw projecting; maxilla extending to below hind margin of eye. Teeth sharp, set in narrow bands on jaws; upper jaw with a pair of large canine-like teeth at tip, and a slightly enlarged outer-row teeth; lower jaw with a row of widely spaced inner teeth, and gradually increasing in size posteriorly. Chin without barbels or pores; snout with only 1 marginal pore. Gill rakers 14 to 17, moderately long and slender. Preopercle margin smooth. Spinous dorsal fin with 10 spines, posterior portion with 1 spine and 25 to 29 soft rays; anal fin with 2 weak spines and 11 to 13 soft rays; caudal fin truncate to slightly emarginated in adults.Gas bladder with a pair of nearly straight, horn-like anterior appendages. Sagitta (large earstone) oval elongated and moderately thin, lapillus (small earstone) rudimentary. Scales large and ctenoid (comb-like) on body, cycloid (smooth) on head; soft portion of dorsal fin covered with small scales up to 1/2 of fin height. Colour: body greenish grey above and silvery below, back with small spots forming undulating dotted lines; pelvic fins and anal fin yellowish other fins pale, sometimes with a yellowish tinge; inside of opercle dark, visible externally.
Size: Maximum 90 cm; common to 50 cm.
Habitat, biology, and fisheries: Usually found in shallow coastal waters over sand and sandy mud bottoms; relatively abundant in sounds and along beaches. During summer the fish move to their nursery and feeding grounds in estuaries. Feeds mainly on crustaceans and fishes. Caught mainly with pound nets, gill nets, seines, and bottom trawls; also by anglers.Marketed most fresh, a popular foodfish.
Distribution: Atlantic coast of North America from Nova Scotia to south Florida and western coast of Florida (uncommon).
NEAMAP Weakfish Catch By Year Maps: