Know Your Sportfish

Fin identification helps to correctly identify your catch. *Click to enlarge.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: MyFWC.com A great many kinds of fish are protected by conservation laws that may include licenses, daily bag limits, possession limits, minimum and maximum size limits, permitting and other legal requirements. Many different jurisdictions and agencies are involved in managing the fisheries—at least a half-dozen in Florida alone, to say nothing of other countries—and their regulations sometimes conflict.

In Florida, information is available from such sources as Florida Sportsman Magazine, county courthouses and many tackle shops. Visitors to Florida or the Islands usually are able to get the needed information from their travel agents, resorts, fishing camps or charter captains. Visit www.myfwc.com www.myfwc.com or www.floridasportsman.com for the most current fisheries regulations.



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The Southern Kingfish (Whiting), Menticirrhus americanus

Large head with one barbel at tip of lower jaw. Flattened belly. Overall silvery color, tan- nish on top. Indistinct dark blotches on side.

SIZE: Usually less than a pound. Sometimes 2 pounds. World record 2 pounds, 13 ounces.

FOOD VALUE: Bland but good.

GAME QUALITIES: Runs well against very light tackle.

TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning, casting and surf tackle. Best baits are sand fleas and pieces of shrimp or squid. Readily hits small jigs and flies. On bright, calm days,Whiting can be sight-fished at the very edge of the surf along many beaches.

FISHING SYSTEMS: Still Fishing; Casting.


Southern Kingfish

Southern Whiting

King Whiting 

RANGE: All Florida coasts; more common in Atlantic.

HABITAT: Roams sandy bottom. Abundant surf fish.