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
Minimum size 15 in., maximum size 25 in., no more than 1 spotted seatrout over the maximum size may be retained per person per day, counts as part of bag limit; from FM 457 bridge in Sargent, TX and north (Galveston Bay and Sabine Lake, including Gulf waters) bag limit is 10 and possession limit is 20; south of FM 457 bridge (all other bay systems, including Gulf waters) bag limit is 5 and possesion limit is 10; Check for state record.