Saltwater Fish
Scientific name: Seriola rivoliana

Appearance:
The Almaco jack is a game fish belonging to the family Carangidae, along with the yellowtail and amberjack. Its body is less elongated and more flattened compared to the other jack species. Its dorsal fin and anal fins are high and elongated, with sickle shaped outer edges. Generally, the Almaco is darker in color with a light tint of amber stripes down to its sides. Its upper body and lower fins are commonly dark brown or dark blue-green. The belly is much lighter and looks brassy. The caudal peduncle has no bony scutes.

Habitat:
The pelagic Almaco jack can be found in small groups on slopes and off of reefs at depths from 5 to 160 meters. They visit wrecks more often than most of the other jacks. They are found in offshore waters and are not common. They spawn offshore in other seasons except winter.

Florida locations:
They are found in offshore waters and are not a common catch.

2. American Shad
Other common name: Atlantic shad
Scientific name: Alosa sapidissima

Appearance:
The American shad, a specie belonging to the Clupeidae family, has a green or greenish blue black with silver on its sides, and is white underneath. Its colors darken when it enters fresh water to spawn. Its belly has scutes which form a distinct keel with one or more dark spots in a row behind the operculu. Its lower jaw has a pointed tip.

Habitat:
American shad spends most of its life offshore, but swims to fresh rivers to spawn. During late winter, spawning run into east coast rivers, especially the St. John’s river in Florida.

Florida locations:
The fish are found in St. John’s River during later winter when the fish spawn.

3. Atlantic Croaker
Scientific name: Micropogonias undulatus

Appearance:
Its inferior mouth has 3 to 5 pairs of small barbels on its chin. Its silver-gray or bronze body has dark oblique wavy bars or lines which are iridescent, especially on the head. The croaker’s preopercle is strongly serrated.

Habitat:
The older fish live in deep offshore waters during winter and move into bays and estuaries during spring, summer, and fall. The young fish are found in estuaries.

Florida locations:
The fish are commonly found north of Tampa Bay and north of Cape Canaveral.

4. Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Scientific name: Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Appearance:
The Atlantic sharpnose shark possess a flattened and long snout. The young has a dorsal and caudal fins which are black-edged. Small whitish spots can be seen on its sides. There are furrows in lips at the corners of the mouth, and the outer margin of its teeth are notched. Second dorsal fin originates over the middle of its anal fin. The slender body of the shark is brown to olive-gray in color with a white underside.

Habitat:
The shark thrives at depths from surf zone to 280 m (920 ft). It prefers the shallow coastal waters (less than 12 m) during the late spring and summer months, and seems to prefer the deeper offshore (deeper than 90 m) waters during the winter months.

Florida locations:
They are found all year round from the Carolina coast southward to Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

5. Atlantic Spadefish
Other common names: angelfish, white angelfish, three-tailed porgy, ocean cobbler, and moonfish.
Scientific name: Chaetodipterus faber

Appearance:
This spadefish is characterized by a deep, compressed, and round body and a blunt snout. The second dorsal and anal fins of an adult spadefish have long and trailing anterior lobes, which gives it an “angelfish-like” appearance. This silvery fish has 4 to 6 black vertical bands on each side which gradually fade as the fish ages.

Habitat:
The fish live inshore and nearshore, and are found around natural and artificial reefs.

Florida Locations:
They are common off the coast of Florida.

6. Banded Rudderfish
Scientific name: Seriola zonata

Appearance:
Fish that are less than 11 inches long have a dark band from the eye to the first dorsal fin and six prominent bars located on the body. Larger fish are either bluish, greenish, or brown in color. The soft dorsal base is about twice the length of the anal fin. Tips of the tail-lobe are white. This fish is the second smallest Amberjack.

Habitat:
They are are found nearshore and offshore, usually in shallower water than the other amberjacks. The young fish are associated with floating debris and may follow sharks and large fish.

Florida Locations:
The banded rudderfish are found throughout Florida around natural or man-made reefs, rock outcrops and wrecks.

7. Bank Sea Bass
Scientific name: Centropristis ocyurus

Appearance:
It is pale olive or brassy brown in color, and has indistinct black blotches that form vertical barrings. The fish is also characterized by the wavy blue lines on the head and purplish-blue lips. The adult fish has a tri-lobed caudal fin, and the edge of the nape is unscaled.

Habitat:
Bank sea bass are found offshore in deep water.

Florida locations:
Bank sea bass are found offshore in deep water.

8. Black Drum
Scientific name: Pogonias cromis

Appearance:
The fish is characterized by its high arched back, 10 to 14 pairs of chin barbels and large scales. The adults are often gray or black in color, while the young have 4 to 6 vertical dark stripes over their gray bodies. Their teeth are rounded and their jaws are capable of crushing oysters.

Habitat:
Black drum is usually found in or near brackish waters. The larger, older fish are more commonly found in oyster beds, while the juvenile fish are found in less salty areas. The fish can also be found offshore.

Florida locations:
Fernandina Beach, Orlando (Banana River Lagoon, Mosquito Lagoon, and Indian River Lagoon)

9. Black Grouper
Scientific name: Mycteroperca bonaci

Appearance:
The black grouper is olive or gray with black blotches and brassy spots. The preopercle is gently rounded. Its appearance is similar to the gag and yellowfin groupers.

Habitat:
These fish can be found offshore. Adults are found in rocky bottoms and/or coral reefs. Young black grouper are found inshore in shallow waters.

Florida locations:
Florida Keys

10. Black Sea Bass
Scientific name: Centropristis striata

Appearance:
The fish is generally dark brown or black. Its dorsal fin has rows and stripes of white on black. The large males have markings of iridescent blue and ebony, and a fatty hump in front of the dorsal fin. The females, on the other hand, may have barings which are indistinctly vertical. The top ray of the caudal fin of an adult is elongated and may be tri-lobed. It has a sharp spine is near the posterior margin of the gill cover.

Habitat:
The black sea bass can be found offshore in reefs and rubbles. Smaller species are often found inshore.

Florida location:
Black sea bass inhabits the coasts in Northeast Florida.

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