Family Centropomidae, SNOOK Centropomus undecimalis
Description: distinct lateral line; high, divided dorsal fin; sloping forehead; large mouth, protruding lower jaw; grows much larger than other snook; pelvic fin yellow.
Similar Fish: other Centropomus.
Where found: from central Florida south, usually INSHORE in coastal and brackish waters, along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges; also on reefs and pilings NEARSHORE.
Size: most catches 5 to 8 pounds.
Florida Record: 44 lbs., 3 oz.
Remarks: spawns primarily in summer; cannot tolerate water temperatures below 60 degrees F; can tolerate wholly fresh or saltwater; schools along shore and in passes during spawning season; feeds on fish and large crustaceans.
Distribution: Tropical waters on both shores of the Americas; in U.S. distribution chiefly Florida, Texas, and lower California.
General: A belligerent fish with a temperament mush like that of the muskellunge of freshwater habitats. It is usually found close inshore around sandy beaches, flats, and bays, and often near bridges and pilings in tidal brackish waters. Food consists of shrimp, crabs, and small fish. Throughout its distribution it is an exceedingly popular light-tackle sport fish. Landing the fish requires some care owing to the sharp-edged gill covers. It is rated an excellent table fish.