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Discussion in 'ALL OTHER FISH' started by Mr Phatkat, Oct 19, 2005.
What is a spot? Is it the same as a pinfish?
I thought spot was a dog. Lol, just kidding. Here is what I found when I googled it:
Spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) belongs to the family of fishes called Sciaenidae. Spot plays a key role in the trophic dynamics of the Chesapeake Bay, as a predator of benthic invertebrates and as a prey species for striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, shark and flounder. Like croaker, spot are opportunistic bottom feeders that consume polychaetes, crustaceans and mollusks, as well as plant and animal detritus. Although both spot and croaker have similar diet and habitat, they are able to coexist without directly competing with one another.
Mature spot are easy to recognize by their physical characteristics: they have a relatively deep, short, compressed body; a short head with a small, mouth; and a large, black shoulder spot. Other distinguishing characteristics include an absence of teeth from the lower jaw, a long pectoral fin extending beyond the tip of the pelvic fin, and a strongly notched but continuous dorsal fin.
Spot swim in coastal and estuarine waters from the Gulf of Maine to the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. The area of greatest abundance occurs from the Chesapeake Bay to South Carolina. They have been collected from the mainstem and all tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and have one of the most extensive distributions of any marine-estuarine fish species in the Bay. They are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and have been collected in waters from 34-98 degrees.
Adult spot migrate into estuarine areas in the spring but are not as widely distributed as juvenile spot. They are generally found in the Chesapeake Bay from April through October.
They are relatively short-lived; it is rare to find a f5 year-old. Ages 0 to 2 dominate the catch from populations along the Atlantic coast. Spot reach sexual maturity at ages two and three. Minimum size at maturity ranges from 186 to 214 millimeters.
When the water temperature starts to decrease in the fall, adult spot move offshore to spawn. The spawning season extends from late fall to early spring. Spawning occurs over a broad area, and data indicate that they use deeper areas further offshore than other sciaenids.
Fertilization is external, occurring at night in surface waters. Larvae grow rapidly in the warm offshore waters, but growth slows as they move into the cooler inshore and estuarine areas. This movement into colder water is a critical point in spot year class success, due to thermal stress at temperatures less than 10 degrees.
Low salinity areas of bays and tidal creeks comprise the primary nursery habitat for spot. They are also associated with eelgrass communities.
Young-of-the-year spot generally reside in tidal creeks and shallow, estuarine areas during the summer. When the water temperature begins to decrease in the fall they move to deeper estuarine waters or the ocean. There is some evidence that juvenile spot overwinter in the Chesapeake Bay in deep water. They are similar to adults in their ability to tolerate a wide range of salinities and temperatures.
Commercial landings for spot exhibit year-to-year fluctuations, which are attributed to the fishs life history of spot and annual environmental differences on the spawning grounds. There are no apparent long-term trends. Within the Chesapeake Bay, the commercial harvest of spot usually begins during April or May and continues until September or October. The largest commercial catches are reported during fall when spot are migrating out of the Bay, and most spot are landed as bycatch from the pound net fishery in the lower Bay. In Maryland, commercial catches have ranged from 590,000 pounds in the 1950s to less than 100,000 pounds by 1990. Landings in Virginia have historically been higher than those in Maryland, ranging from 8 million pounds in the 1950s to approximately 150,000 pounds by 1990.
In Maryland, spot are one of the species most frequently caught by recreational fisherman. Spot ranked third in a 1980 recreational fishing survey with an estimated catch of more than 1.3 million fish. In Virginia, spot are generally larger, more abundant, and targeted by recreational anglers. Scrap catch, bycatch and discard mortality significantly affect the spot population.
This is probably more info than you needed, but you never know. Hope that helps!
You can see a picture of a spot here:
WillisJJ, that is good information.
Phatkat, the spots are just starting to bite good up in the Murrels Inlet area, and inlets around Winyah Bay. The are migratory, fun to catch, and good to eat. I don't usually fish solely for them, but if I get into them while fishing inshore, I certainly don't through them back. They bait of choice is bloodworms, but they can be caught on shrimp, too, and ever plain old redworms work pretty good. I spoke with someone yesterday that had caught quite a few in the Winyah Bay area, and we caught a lot of smaller ones while cast netting for shrimp yesterday - a few were large enough to eat, but we already had 40+ whiting, so I threw the spots back. Maybe we can get together later this week and try them, if the weather holds. We will probably get effects from Hurricane Wilma late this weekend into next week. Yesterday was the first day of good weather we've had in a while.
Very good info willisjj..thanks. BWkatz, I think those fish i was catching at the old navy base pier were pinfish then. Anybody ever use them(pinfish) for catfish bait? Im gonna give em a shot next time i go cattn. Do those whiting and spots get into that area of the cooper river? Anybody know what's there to be caught? Its the old naval base in Charleston. I think its called river run park or something. Its not too far from the Cooper River bridge. Anyhow, ill probably be goofin off out there a little more this afternoon. Well, thanks again for the info Willisjj. Oh, bwkatz did u get into the shrimp yesterday?
You bet. I learned something myself and glad I could help you out while sitting here at work, lol.
Phatkat, the spots probably do go up in that area, though they are usually found near ocean inlets. The pinfish would do the same: they are usually quite small 3-4", but do grow up to 6-8". We also have a spotted pinfish, or Sailor's Choice, which grows a little larger. Both are good for bait. I've included photos of the Spot, and both pinfishes. The spots grow to around 1/2# or so on average, I guess, though larger ones are caught. They are very good eating when freshly caught, fried up crispy. I don't know of anyone that eats the pinfishes, but I've heard the Sailor's Choice is edible.
A friend and I got our 48 quart limit of shrimp in addition to the whiting I mentioned. Yesterday was a good weather day.
If you aren't busy Friday, and the weather forecast stays as is, we could try to catch some fish and maybe a few shrimp. Let me know. All you would need is a saltwater fishing license if you don't already have one.
bwkatz, I sent you a pm regarding the outing friday. I just wanted to add though, If for some reason you dont go out, my friday night is open, so if u wanna hit Short stay we can. Thanks again for the invite. I really appreciate it.
Ok, Phatkat. I probably won't go in saltwater Friday, since you can't make it, but I may take you up on the night trip, will take a look and get back to you.
Some friends and I had made plans to meet up tomorrow with 2 boats and try the shrimp and fish again. I'll be keeping any menhaden we catch in the cast nets, never have frozen any before, but I'll find out how they keep.
Mr Phatkat, if you are still going out tonight, I think I may be able to join you, if the offer still stands. Contact me if you are going, I need to find out from you exactly what I should take with me for fishing that area.
Some friends and I went out again yesterday, but the shrimp weren't running as well as the previous trip, and were smaller, too. We got about 1/2 of a cooler of shrimp, then quit and fished for the whiting. My partner & I ended up with 36, the other boat probably had more whiting than we did, but less shrimp (they stopped shrimping & started fishing before we did).