Atlantic croaker

Micropogonias undulatus

Family Sciaenidae - drums

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate and moderately compressed; color silvery to golden; irregular streaks on upper body formed by spots on scales; mouth subterminal; 3-5 pairs of small barbels on chin, many times worn away; dorsal fin with deep notch; tail is double emarginate (concave above and below), with longest rays just below middle of tail fin; lateral line extends onto caudal fin.
Similar Species
Spots don't have the golden color, body is deeper, have a dark spot on their shoulder, tail is truncate to emarginate.
Habitat
Bay and Gulf, sandy and muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
61 cm (24 in), common to 30 cm (12 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XI,24-26; A. II,10-11 (explain)
Other Common Names
croaker; golden croaker
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
The most common bottom-dwelling estuarine species.
State size/bag limits