Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout and Spotted Weakfish)

Other Names

Speckled trout, spotted weakfish.

Appearance

This spiny-rayed, fusiform-shaped fish is most immediately recognized by its irregular spotted color pattern on the two dorsal fins, caudal fin, and silvery upper body. Well-developed canine teeth are present; the lower jaw projects.

Maximum Size

IGFA world record of 17 pounds 7 oz (7.92 kg), though spotted seatrout over 10 pounds (4.5 kg) is uncommon

Geographic Range

U.S. coastal waters from Massachusetts to Texas (and into Mexico). The center of abundance is in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Florida.

Habitat

Spotted seatrout prefer brackish shallow water habitats with extensive submerged vegetation, such as turtle grass and shoal grass adjacent to deep waters that can be used as refuges from the cold and during low tides in the winter. Estuaries are also a common home for the spotted seatrout.

Food

Crustaceans, shrimp, and predominantly fish as trout grow larger.  Large fish feed almost exclusively on other fish.

Spawning

The time o f spawning is controlled largely by temperature and salinity. Depending on area, spotted seatrout spawn anywhere between early spring to early fall.

Predators

Striped bass, barracuda, croaker, and tarpon.

Information courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.


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