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Florida Fish Species

Alligator Gar
American Eel
American Shad
Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Black Drum
Blue Catfish
Blue Tilapia
Bluegill
Bowfin
Brown Bullhead
Brown Hoplo
Chain Pickerel
Channel Catfish
Clown Knifefish
Common Carp
Flathead Catfish
Flier
Florida Gar
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Goldfish
Grass Carp
Green Sunfish
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Inland Silverside
Ladyfish
Lake Chubsucker
Largemouth Bass
Longnose Gar
Longnose Sucker
Mayan Cichlid
Mozambique Tilapia
Oscar
Peacock Bass
Red Drum
Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish
Redfin Pickerel
Redspotted Sunfish
Shoal Bass
Spotted Bass
Spotted Sunfish
Spotted Tilapia
Striped Bass
Striped Mullet
Suckermouth Catfish
Sunfish (Bream)
Suwannee Bass
Threadfin Shad
Warmouth
White Bass
White Catfish
Yellow Bullhead

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FishExplorer Lakes with Atlantic Croaker
Only lakes in the Fish Explorer database are included in this listing. Lakes we feature on this website are hyperlinked.
Atlantic Croaker
Atlantic croaker is a member of the drum family and closely related to red and black drum, sea trout and weakfish. While all the drums are able to make a drumming/croaking sound, Atlantic croakers are among the loudest of the drums.  They range from Massachusetts south along the Atlantic seaboard and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. These bottom-dwelling croakers prefer shallow estuaries and bays with sandy or muddy bottoms.  They stay there through the spring and summer, and then breed offshore in the fall.

The Atlantic croaker is a silvery fish that often has a pinkish hue when inshore or golden hue during spawn. The sides may have dark oblique wavy lines.   They have inferior mouth with 3 to 5 pairs of chin whiskers. The dorsal fin is deeply notched tail slightly pointed.  Most specimens are around 12 inches or so, although larger fish reach18-20 inches with a trophy being 24 inches or more.
Prolific fish, croakers have long spawning season that runs from fall to early spring. They spawn in near-shore ocean waters.  After hatching, and around ¼ inch in size they make their way to the estuarine habitats, where the shallow marshes are utilized as their nursery area. As they mature they move from the shallows deeper estuary areas. They become sexually mature between age one and two.  Atlantic croakers may live upwards of eight years.
 
Atlantic croakers are bottom feeders where they prey on worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.



 

Atlantic Croaker in Florida

From FWC
 - Atlantic Croaker have an inferior mouth with 3 to 5 pairs of small barbels on the chin
 - They have a silver-gray or bronze body with dark oblique wavy bars or lines and are iridescent, especially on their head
 - The preopercle is strongly serrated

Habitat:
These fish are generally found north of Tampa Bay on the west coast and north of Cape Canaveral on the east coast.  Young fish found in estuaries and older fish (2 to 3 years) inhabit deep offshore waters during the winter months and move into bays and estuaries during the spring, summer and fall.

Behavior:
During spawning, Atlantick croakers become bronze or yellow in color.  Spawning apparently occurs offshore in fall.

State Record:
4 lbs 15 oz, caught near St. LucieAppearance:
Most Recent Atlantic Croaker Forum Posts
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Atlantic Croaker Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: The lady didn't fight like a lady 12.21.13 by David Coulson
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