Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are set closely together, making it look as if this fish has three tails. It is usually mottled shades of brown and has a concave head and small looking mouth.
Size: A maximum length of around 45”and averages from 2-12 pounds.
Age at Maturity: 7-13 years old
Range: May be found at sea as far north as Massachusetts but inshore around Florida.
Habitat: Drifts with the ocean currents and might be found anywhere along the Atlantic Coast, usually around weedlines or alongside floating debris, lying on their sides and resembling floating leaves. In Florida, and occasionally in other South Atlantic waters, they can also be found close to shore or even in large bays, usually hanging around navigation markers or trap floats.
Bait and Tackle: Among the best natural baits are live fish or shrimp. Cut baits and dead shrimp can also work. Spinning and baitcasting tackle work the best but saltwater gear also can be used. Fly fishing is also a possibility. Jigs, plugs, and streamer flies work well for artificial lures.
Fishing Method: Drifting, casting, still fishing
Food Value: Excellent
Daily Limit: 2
Minimum size: 18″ TL
No Federal Regulation