Gulf kingfish

Menticirrhus littoralis

Family Sciaenidae - drums

Body elongate and moderately compressed; color silvery to gray; no darker mottling on sides; 1 barbel on chin; dorsal fin with deep notch; inside of gill plate mostly pale; scales on chest noticeably smaller than those on sides; mouth subterminal; caudal fin pointed (juveniles) or S-shaped (adults).
Similar Species
Southern and northern kingfishes have dark blotches or banding and scales on chest are not noticeably reduced in size; inside of gill plate of southern kingfish is dusky.
Gulf, sandy or muddy bottoms, common in the surf
Maximum Size
48 cm (19 in), common to 30 cm (12 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XI,23-25; A. I,7 (explain)
Other Common Names
Gulf whiting; whiting
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits