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Weakfish

Common Names: Weakie, Sea Trout, Gray Trout
Scientific Name: Cynoscion regalis

Fun Facts

  • The weakfish is so named because of how easily the hook tears away from the mouth since their jaw muscles are weak.
  • Males produce a croaking sound by vibrating specially adapted muscles against their swim bladder.
  • They may live as long as 17 years; however, 12 years is a more reasonable expected lifespan.

Where Are They Found?

weakfish
Weakfish have a slim body with bright yellow fins, and a
silver-colored body with multiple dark spots and speckles

Their range is from Nova Scotia, Canada to northern Florida, and at times, into the Gulf of Mexico. They are found along beaches, in the mouths of inlets, and in larger estuaries during spawning. During the fall and winter they are found offshore and in warmer waters of the South.

How Big Can They Get?

Weakfish can grow to 3 feet (91 cm) and weigh around 17.5 pounds (8 kg). The marine fishing records of New York reveal that the record weakfish caught is a 19 pound 2 ounce whopper, taken in 1984. Typically, anglers catch fish 6 pounds or less, though fish to 10 pounds are common.

What Do They Eat?

Weakfish are predatory and feed mostly on invertebrates and other fish. They will take herring, sand lance, silversides, croaker, spot, scup, killifishes, assorted shrimp, squid, crabs, worms, and clams.

Fishing Information

Before you try your luck at catching this fish, first check the recreational size and catch limits and make sure you are registered for recreational marine fishing.


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  • Bureau of Marine Resources
    Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
    205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
    East Setauket, New York 11733
    631-444-0435
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