Surf Fishing for Croaker and Spot

Outdoor USA Site Index

Atlantic Croaker

Micropogonias undulatus

Other common names; Croaker, Hardhead
Named for the croaking sound it makes out of the water.
Description: Fish is silvery in color with faint broken diagonal stripes leaning toward tail. Tail fin is somewhat squared off. 3 to 5 pairs of very short barbels under chin.
Croakers are very temperature sensitive and sudden decreases in water temperature can cause mass croaker kills Best season for fishing - Summer to Fall
Croakers have small mouths use hooks 1/0 or smaller.
Average size - 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds
Largest expected size 6 pounds

Spot

Leiostomus xanthurus

Other common names ; Norfolk Spot, Yellow Belly
Description: Silvery body with brass colored bars slanting backward. Black spot behind gill cover. Tail fin is slightly forked. No chin barbels are present
Natural Baits: Bloodworms, squid, peeler crabs earthworms, nightcrawlers
Average size - under a pound
Largest expected size 2 1/2 pounds

Pompano

Trachinotus carolinus

Description: Pompano are usually caught in the surf on a rising tide. They feed off of the bottom and will tend to run with the bait before biting down on it so that it is generally best to close the bail and let the fish set the hook.

Mole crabs are generally considered to be the best bait for Pompano although success may be had with other baits. Best season for fishing - Spring to Fall
Average size 1 to 3 pounds
Largest Expected Size 7 pounds
Natural Baits : Mole Crabs, bloodworms,cut mullet, shrimp

Spanish Mackerel

Scomberomorus maculatus

Spanish Mackerel are a schooling fish that favors warm water that is clear and not turbid. They feed primarily on small fish and are very predatory. Preferred lures for mackerel are silvery lures such as spoons or jigs weighing two ounces or less. Light lines should be use in order to cast beyond the breakers. The usual rig is 3 foot leader of heavy monofilament line and 10-15 pound line on the reel. Best fishing is at dawn or dusk when there is a rising tide. Average size - 1 to 3 pounds Largest expected size 13 pounds Best Season for fishing summer through fall