Ice Fishing for Panfish: A Great Winter Family Activity
Florida Fishing in Winter: 6 Species to Target
Select a state to find fishing and boating information:
Get A Fishing License
Get started fishing today, purchase your fishing license online, check regulations and more.
Register A Boat
Register your boat today. Learn how to register your vessel, boating laws and more.
Home > Learn to Fish & Boat > Fish Species
Spot croaker, or spot, are one of the most abundant fishes in North American coastal waters
Spot croakers are a moderately deep-bodied, compressed fish with an elevated back. They are typically bluish-gray in color on their backs, which fades to golden yellow or yellow-tan on their underside. They have 12-15 dark streaks that run from the tops of their bodies down past their lateral line but these streaks tend to fade as the fish gets older. The fins are pale yellow in color and their head is short compared to their bodies. There are 9-11 dorsal spines and 29-35 soft rays on the backs of the fish and the anal fin has two spines and 12-13 rays. The caudal peduncle is fairly deep and the tail is slightly notched. The most prominent feature that can distinguish this species is the telltale black spot that is found on the upper edge of the gill covers.The spot will grow to approximately 11 inches in length and rarely reaches a pound in weight. Average size for most spots is about six to eight inches.
Spot can be found on the Atlantic coast from Maine southward throughout the Gulf of Mexico. It is an important bait fish as well as an important commercial fish throughout its range. They prefer estuaries and bays through the spring and summer months, then travel offshore to deeper waters in the fall to breed. A highly prolific species, these spot may remain in offshore waters and repeatedly spawn for several weeks.These fish are extremely common in the surf and are also widely distributed in bays and estuaries. They can also be found along piers, bridges and other man-made structures. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
A highly sought after species, the spot can be easily taken from shore, boat, dock or pier using natural baits such as shrimp, clams and squid as well as artificial baits such as jigs and spoons. Light tackle is the most popular choice for most anglers and small hooks and baits will typically be the most successful method. Spots make for excellent table fare and are often cooked whole as panfish. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
Easy Fish Recipe: Blackened Fish Bites
6 Tips for a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle
A Quick Guide for Beginners: How to Fly Fish for Trout
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more.
Please complete the following fields to subscribe to our newsletter.
What information would you like?