About This Fish


The weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) is a marine ray finned fish in the family Sciaenidae under order Perciformes of class Actinopterygii. It is found in coastal waters from Nova Scotia to northeast Florida but is more abundant between New York and North Carolina. It occurs usually in shallow coastal waters over sand and sandy mud bottoms.

The weakfish has a large slender body with moderately pointed snout. The head and back is dark brown in color with a greenish tinge. The sides have a faint silvery hue with dusky specks and the belly is white. Numerous spots are present above and below the lateral line. The caudal fin is olive or dusky with its lower edge yellowish at the base. The pelvic and the anal fins are yellow while the pectoral fin is olive on the outer side but usually yellow on the inner side. Mouth is large with large canine teeth on upper jaw while lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw. The first dorsal fin is triangular in shape with 10 spines. The second dorsal fin is longer than the first dorsal fin and it is roughly rectangular in shape with 26 to 29 rays. The caudal fin is moderately broad and slightly concave in outline. The anal fin consists of 2 very slender spines and 11 or 12 soft rays. The pelvic fin is located below the pectoral fin with moderate size and pointed outline. The weakfish feeds on a wide variety of animals including crabs, amphipods, mysid and decapod shrimps, squid, shelled mollusks and annelid worms but chiefly on smaller fish, such as menhaden, butterfish, herring, scup, anchovies, silversides and mummichogs. It reaches sexual maturity at the age between 1 and 2 years. It spawns during the spring and summer in near shore and estuarine waters. It grows up to 100 cm in length and 9 kg in weight. It can live up to 17 years.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island