Description: Inferior mouth; 3 to 5 pairs of small barbels on chin; silver-gray or bronze body with dark oblique wavy bars or lines; iridescent especially on head; preopercle strongly serrated.
Similar Fish: Spot, Leiostomus xanthurus (has no chin barbels and has a dark blotch on shoulder).
Size: Usually less than 2 pounds.
Where Found: The Atlantic croaker is generally found north of Tampa Bay on the west coast, and north of Cape Canaveral on the east coast; young fish found in estuaries; 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.
Remarks: During spawning becomes bronze or yellow in color; spawning apparently occurs offshore in fall; longevity 2 to 4 years.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles