Picture of fish species that are typically caught in the Destin, Florida...Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay area.
Pictures provided by Division of Marine Fisheries. Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles
Wide-ranging in OFFSHORE waters, not a common catch; young are associated with Sargassum. Usually less than 20 pounds.
OFFSHORE species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 - 240 feet of water; sometimes caught NEARSHORE in south Florida; juveniles associated with floating objects and may occur in water less than 30 feet deep. Common to 40 pounds.
Common in both INSHORE waters and the open sea. Usually 3 to 5 pounds.
INSHORE species around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks; moves NEARSHORE in late winter and early spring for spawning, gathering over debris, artificial reefs and around navigation markers. Size: INSHORE, 1 to 2 pounds; OFFSHORE, common to 8 pounds.
Juveniles are an INSHORE fish, migrating out of the estuaries at about 30 inches (4 years) and joining the spawning population OFFSHORE. One of 27 inches weighs about 8 pounds.
INSHORE fish common to bays and lagoons; bottom dweller often found around oyster beds; also OFFSHORE. Common to 30 pounds.
Adults OFFSHORE over rocks and reefs; juveniles occur in seagrass beds INSHORE. Common to 25 pounds.
Bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles OFFSHORE along with adults greater than 6 years old; fish from 1 to 6 years occupy NEARSHORE reefs. Common to 15 pounds.
NEARSHORE reefs off the northeastern coast, and on OFFSHORE reefs in the Gulf. Generally smaller than gags or blacks.
Structure-loving fish, associated with reefs and rubble OFFSHORE; smaller specimens often found INSHORE finger channels. Common to 1.5 pounds (13 inches).
OFFSHORE in deep water with rocks and reefs. Usually 0.3 pound (8 inches).
Both INSHORE and NEARSHORE inhabiting inlets, bays, and among mangroves; frequently seen around bayou, pilings, and wrecks. Common to 30 pounds.
NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, occasionally taken from piers running into deep water. Common to 20 pounds.
INSHORE, NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, especially over grass beds and reefs; absent from north Florida waters in winter. Average catch less than 2 pounds (20 inches).
INSHORE and NEARSHORE waters, especially along sandy beaches, along oyster banks, and over grassbeds, often in turbid water; may be found in water as deep as 130 feet. Usually less than 3 pounds.
OFFSHORE on wrecks and debris, INSHORE on grass flats, sand flats, and in channels; most abundant in south Florida, with smaller specimens from every coastal county. Common to 25 pounds.
INSHORE on sandy or mud bottoms, often ranging into tidal creeks; occasionally caught on NEARSHORE rocky reefs. Common to 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.
INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms; move into slow-moving or still, deep waters in cold weather. Common to 4 pounds on west coast, larger on east coast.
Gulf species that may occur in the Atlantic waters of extreme south-eastern Florida; adults predominantly found INSHORE residing in bays and inlets but may move OFFSHORE during winter months; young occur INSHORE in shallow bays. Less than 1 pound (10 to 12 inches).
Young usually INSHORE spring and summer, moving OFFSHORE to join adults fall and winter; strong migration of northeast Atlantic stock to Florida east coast in winter. Most west coast catches under 3 pounds, much larger on east coast.
Found: deeper part of continental shelf, but young occur in water as shallow as 18 m (60ft.). Size: to 91 cm(3 ft.)
Coastal waters to 45 m (150 ft.)., R.I., Bermuda, and n. Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Size: To 60 cm (2 ft.) and 3.6 kg (8 lbs.).
OFFSHORE in warm waters. Common to 30 pounds.
OFFSHORE fish often seen near the surface. Commonly 6 to 8 feet (200 to 300 pounds).
NEARSHORE fish typically found at depths ranging from 60 to 200 feet. Common to 6 feet.
Both OFFSHORE and INSHORE. Common to 6 feet and can reach 14 feet.
Picture of fish species that are found in Florida waters.
Pictures provided by Division of Marine Fisheries.
OFFSHORE except during late winter spawning run into east coast rivers, notably the St. Johns River. Most catches 2 to 3 pounds; common to 5 pounds.
OFFSHORE, a blue water fish. Largest of the Atlantic marlins, common to 11 feet, known to exceed 2,000 pounds.
Juveniles found OFFSHORE; adults NEARSHORE in schools, but sometimes ranging INSHORE as well. Usually less than 1 pound (11 inches).
Primarily INSHORE fish inhabiting shallows of the Florida Keys; found in shallows often less than 1 foot deep, usually over lush grass flats, occasionally over white sand. 3 to 5 pounds.
INSHORE species found in bays and estuaries. Commonly 3 to 4 feet.
NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE fish occurring mainly in south Florida, especially over coral reefs and wrecks. Common to 5 pounds.
INSHORE, occurring along beaches in the fall. Small mullet, less than 1 pound.
NEARSHORE often around docks, in deep holes, and on ledges; young often occur in estuaries, especially around oyster bars; more abundant in southern Florida than in northern waters. Largest of the groupers.
OFFSHORE in deep water. Relatively small species.
Range limited to south Florida; somewhat site specific; smaller individuals NEARSHORE, adults OFFSHORE on rocky reefs. Most catches under 10 pounds.
Found in seagrass beds, bridges, piers, marker pilings, and around natural and artificial reefs; spawn offshore. Usually less than 8 inches.
OFFSHORE; differs from other sea basses in that it is often found on sandy or muddy bottoms. Small species rarely more than 10 inches.
Most common over sand or sandy mud bottoms OFFSHORE along both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida; migrates into bays during cold months. Usually no more than 1/2 pound (less than 10 inches).
INSHORE in seagrass beds, tidal creeks and rivers, and marshes. Small, not exceeding 9 inches.
INSHORE. Roe mullet common to 3 pounds but in aquariums known to reach 12 pounds or more.
OFFSHORE species worldwide in temperate and tropic waters; known to frequent depths of 400 to 500 fathoms; also has been seen basking at the surface. Commercially caught swordfish to average of 48 inches.
An Atlantic coast fish, possibly found in the extreme southeastern Gulf; adults move INSHORE and north during warm months inhabiting the surf, inlets, bays, channels and estuaries; adults move OFFSHORE and south during cold months; juveniles inhabit estuaries which serve as nurseries. 2 to 3 pounds
Found: from SHORE to the outer reef edge or on OFFSHORE hard bottom to 115 feet; most abundant in water less than 80 feet deep; juveniles INSHORE. Most catches 1.5 pounds (15 inches).
OFFSHORE, a blue water fish. Common to 8 feet.
OFFSHORE over reefs and rocks; not as common as scamp in the Gulf; range limited to southern Florida. Common to 15 pounds.