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Fish We Catch

Gulf of Mexico, Florida

Many of the images and descriptions of the fish featured are courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Size and bag limits, as well as open and closed seasons on certain species, are subject to continual change as per national marine fisheries guidelines. We enforce all changes to these regulations as they occur and we are made aware of the changes.

Gray Snapper (Key West Snapper) 

Description: Brownish gray with blue stripes across top of head. Bright orange around mouth, white belly. Average size 1-2 lbs. They offer a great little fight and are extremely fun for Kids to catch.

Table Fare: Outstanding! White flaky fillets offering a light to mild fish taste. While fillets are small, usually large numbers of these fish are caught on a trip. Makes great Fish nuggets.

Current Florida Record: 16 lbs. 8oz.

a close up of a fish

Mangrove Snapper (Mango) 

Description: Dark brown and gray with reddish stripes along the sides; two outstanding canine teeth at front of upper jaw; Average size 3-5 lbs. commonly caught over 8 lbs.

Table FareExcellent. Fillets are white and flaky when cooked and offer a light to mild fish taste. Best prepared broiled, baked, or deep fried.

Current Florida Record: 17 lbs. 

a close up of a fish

Lane Snapper 

DescriptionColor silvery-pink to reddish with short, irregular pink and yellow lines on its sides; diffuse black spot, about as large as the eye; the dorsal fin centered above the lateral line; outer margin of caudal fin blackish. Usually less than 1 pound.

Table Fare: Very good! White filets, flaky when cooked offering a light fish taste.

Current Florida Record: 6 lbs. 6 ozs. 

a close up of a fish

Yellow Tail Snapper

Description: Grey with yellow spots on back. Distinctive yellow stripe through center of body, with a “yellow tail” and white under belly. Average sizes 2-4 lbs.

Table FareExcellent. Fillets are white and flaky when cooked offering a light to mild fish taste. 

Current Florida Record: 10 lbs.

a hand holding a fish

Red Snapper (American Red)

Description: Color reddish pink over entire body. Lower portion of body off-white in color. Red Snapper are fierce fighters and offer a great challenge to land. Average size 5-15 lbs.

Table Fare: Outstanding. Fillets are white and flaky when cooked offering a very light fish taste with a sweet flavor

Current Florida Record: 46 lbs. 8oz.

a close up of a fish

Red Grouper (Red, Fire Truck)

Description: Brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in unorganized pattern. Average size 8-15 lbs, commonly caught over 20 lbs.

Table fareOutstanding. Fillets are white and flaky when cooked. Very light fish taste

Current Florida Record: 42 lbs. 4oz.

a close up of a fish

Gag Grouper (Gag)

Description: Brownish gray in color with dark patch patterns on the sides. Tail fin is wide and often refffered to as a broom tail. The Gag Grouper is commonly confused with the black grouper darker skin tone and more pronounced patch patterns. Average size 10-25lbs.

Table FareOutstanding! White flaky fillets offering a light to mild fish taste. One of the most sought after food fish in Florida. 

Current Florida Record: 80 lbs. 6oz.

a close up of a fish

Black Grouper

Description: Olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded preopercle fin.

Table Fare: Outstanding! White flaky fillets offering a light to mild fish taste. One of the most sought after food fish in Florida.

Current Florida Record: 113lbs 6oz

a close up of a fish

Scamp Grouper

Description: Light brown, with reddish brown spots on the sides. Tail tips have distinctive plumes that extend from both ends. Average size 5-10lbs. Commonly caught over 10lbs.

Table Fare: Excellent. White flaky fillets offering a light to mild fish taste when cooked.

Current Florida Record: 28 lbs. 6 oz.

a close up of a fish

Sea Bass

Description: Black and dark brown skin with black on white stripes. Distinctive hump on the top of their head. Average size 1-2 lbs.

Table Fare: Excellent. Very white, flaky meat offering a light fish taste when cooked.

Current Florida Record: 5 lbs. 1oz

a close up of a fish

Gulf Flounder

Description: Body color brown, its shade depending on color of bottom, with numerous spots and blotches; 3 prominent eye-like spots forming a triangle; one spot on lateral line, one above, one below; numerous white spots scattered over body and fins. 1- 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.

Table Fare: Excellent. Very white, flaky meat light to no fish taste. Best pan fried or broiled.

Current Florida Record: 20 lbs 9oz

a close up of a fish

Porgy

Description: Silverfish in color with some species having bluish tinted stripes. Jolt head version has sharply sloped blunt head. Average size 1-2 lbs.

Table Fare: Excellent. White flaky fillets when cooked. Mild fish taste.

Current Florida Record: This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

a close up of a fish

Gray Triggerfish

Description: Entirely olive-gray with marbled Dorsal and anal fins, blue spots and short blue lines in dorsal fin and on upper half of body, becoming white below anal fin. Commonly catch 2 to 4 pounds.

Table Fare: Good. Filets are white and flaky when cooked. Considered a delicacy by many.

Current Florida Record: 12 lb 7 oz

a close up of a fish

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Description: Torpedo shaped body Silver color on the side of body, with a greenish blue color on their back. A hard fighting fish, known for long, steady, high speed runs. Average size 10-40lbs. commonly caught up to 60 lbs.

Table Fare: Excellent. Fillets or Steaks are delicious either cooked rare, or eaten as sushi. Tuna has a very distinctive flavor and is considered a delicacy worldwide.

Current Florida Record130 lbs. 1oz.

a close up of a fish

Greater Amberjack

Description: A distinctive dark stripe that extends from the nose to in front of dorsal fin and “lights up” when fish is in feeding mode. Average Size is 25-35 pounds and are commonly caught on our trips in the 15-50 lb range.

Table Fare: Fillets are thick and white in color with a mild to strong fish taste depending upon how they’re cooked. Served as a premium fish entrée’ at many local restaurants. Also a popular ingredient in Fish Spread.

Current Florida Record142 lbs.

a close up of a fish

Banded Rudderfish

DescriptionFish less than 11 inches long have dark band from eye to first dorsal fin and six prominent bars on body; larger fish are bluish, greenish, or brown; soft dorsal base about twice the length of the anal fin; tail-lobe white tipped. Usually less than 10 pounds.

Table FareVery Good. Thick white meat. Can be pan fried, broiled, smoked, baked, deep fried, broiled or cooked in chowder.

Current Florida Record: This species not currently eligible for state record.

a close up of a fish

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Description: Bright greenish blue above, yellow on sides, with capability of flashing purple, chartreuse, and a wide range of other colors; body tapers sharply from head to tail; irregular blue or golden blotches scattered over sides; anterior profile of head on adult males is nearly vertical; head of females more sloping; the single dark dorsal fin extends from just behind the head to the tail; anal fin margin concave and extending from anus to tail. Common to 30 pounds.

Table Fare: Outstanding! Often referred to as “Chicken of the Sea” Thin white flaky filets with a very light fish taste

Current Florida Record: 81 lbs.

a close up of a fish

Black Tip Shark

DescriptionThe most common shark to West Florida. Brownish skin tone with distinctive black tips at the end of each fin. Average size 50-125 lbs.

Table Fare: Excellent! One of the more tasteful of the shark family. Mild to strong fish taste. Outstanding if marinated and cooked on the grill.

Current Florida Record: 152 lbs.

a close up of a fish

Cobia

Description: Long, slim fish with broad depressed head; lower jaw projects past upper jaw; dark lateral stripe extends through eye to tail; first dorsal fin comprised of 7 to 9 free spines; when young, has conspicuous alternating black and white horizontal stripes. Common to 30 pounds.

Table FareGood if cooked properly. Filets are grayish in color, offering a medium to strong fish taste. Can be grilled, smoked, broiled or used in fish spread.

Current Florida Record: 103 lbs., 12 ozs.

a close up of a fish

Sailfish (aka Sail)

Description: Grey with yellow spots on back. Distinctive yellow stripe through center of body, with a “yellow tail” and white under belly. Average sizes 2-4 lbs.

Table Fare: N/A. All Sailfish caught from a Cortez Deep Sea Fishing will be released. Have your cameras ready to capture your fish when it is brought boat side.

Current Florida Record116 lbs. Size & Bag Limit Regulations

a close up of a fish

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