Mycteroperca microlepis; Color brownish-gray with dark worm-like markings on sides Bottom of preopercle (cheek) has strong serrated spur Fins are dark, with white edges on anal fin and tail Dark lines radiate from the eyes. State Record: 80 lb 6 oz, caught near Destin
Epinephelus morio; Body color is brownish-red *Tiny black dots found on snout *Mouth lined in scarlet-orange color *Sides have irregular white blotches *Second spine of dorsal fin is long *Pectoral fins are longer than pelvic fins *No large black spot on caudal peduncle. State Record: 42 lb 4 oz, caught near St. Augustine Inlet
Lachnolaimus maximus; Hogfish are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout Florida’s off-shore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. Hogfish are primarily harvested by spearfishing, and they are considered to be of excellent food quality. State Record: 19 lb 8 oz, caught in Daytona Beach
Lutjanus griseus: Also known as gray snapper, mango or black snapper. Dark brown or gray in color, with red-orange spots in bars along the sides *Two large canine teeth near front of upper jaw *Anchor-shaped vomerine tooth patch *Dorsal fins with dark or reddish borders *Young have dark stripe from snout, through eye, to upper edge of gill cover. Common to 24 inches (10 pounds)
Paralichthys albigutta: Flounder inhabit a wide variety of coastal habitats including brackish water rivers, tidal creeks, bays, estuaries, beaches, muddy or sandy bottoms and near-shore rocky bottoms. Flounder are ambush predators that feed primarily by sight - so it is often helpful to bump the bait across the bottom to make it more visible. State Record: 20 lb 9 oz, caught in Nassau County
Archosargus probatocephalus: Sheepshead are commonly found in brackish water river mouths, bays, estuaries and tidal creeks and especially near oyster bars, buoys, channel markers, piers and bridge piles where food is plentiful. Sheepshead feed primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, barnacles and small fish. The food quality of sheepshead is very good! State Record:15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa
Heaviest Mangrove Snapper Trio
Scyllarides: Also called Slipper or Bulldozer, is a masters of disguise, their spotty reddish brown shells blend right in with their surroundings. Shovelnose are usually found inside pipes or on the roofs of ledges upside down or buried in the sand on swiss cheese bottom. You can spot them by their purple antennae, using a flashlight helps to see inside dark holes. They are easy to catch, just grab them by the body. They don't have any spines so bare handed is OK.
Pterois volitans: Known to eat fish like grunts, snapper, grouper, and shrimp * Not known to have any native predators * Equipped with venomous dorsal, ventral and anal spines, which deter predators * The spines deliver a venomous sting that can last for days and cause extreme pain, sweating, respiratory distress and even paralysis *Capable of reproducing year-round (females can reproduce every 2-4 days) * Able to outgrow native species with whom they compete for food and space
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