Spotted seatrout

Cynoscion nebulosus

Family Sciaenidae - drums

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, moderately compressed; color grayish above, silvery below with small black spots on upper sides, dorsal fins and tail; lower jaw protruding, mouth supraterminal; inside of mouth orange; 2 fang-like teeth on tip of upper jaw; dorsal fin with deep notch; caudal fin truncate to emarginate in adults, pointed in juveniles; soft dorsal fin unscaled.
Similar Species
Sand and silver seatrout have similar shaped bodies but no spots, tails are S-shaped and part of soft dorsal fin is scaled.
Habitat
Bay and Gulf, common around seagrass beds and oyster reefs
Maximum Size
100 cm (3 1/3 ft), common to 60 cm (23 1/2 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XI,24-26; A. II,10-11 (explain)
Other Common Names
speckled trout; speck
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
The most sought-after fish in Texas.
State size/bag limits
Upper Texas: Minimum size 15 in., maximum size 25 in., bag limit is 5, no more than 1 spotted seatrout over the maximum size may be retained per person per day, counts as part of bag limit. South of FM 457 (Matagorda Bay to Laguna Madre), minimum length 17 in., maximum length 23 in., bag limit 3, no fish over 23 in.; Check for state record.