Weakfish, northern weakfish, common seatrout, northern seatrout, gray trout, summer trout, tiderunner, yellowfin, weakie; French: acoupa royal; Portuguese: pescadaamarela; Spanish: corvinata real.
The body of the weak fish is slender and resembles that of a trout. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. The upper jaw has two large protruding fangs, and the chin barbs are absent. Coloration is dark olive or greenish-blue on the dorsal surface and blue, green, purple, and lavender with a golden hue on the sides. Numerous small black spots dot the upper part of the body, sometimes forming wavy diagonal lines. The tip of the tongue sometimes has a black border. Its spots do not extend to the tail or second dorsal fin and are not widely spaced. The scales also do not extend to the fins.
Weakfish inhabit the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Massachusetts, with some populations even north of Nova Scotia. They are most abundant from North Carolina to Florida in winter, and from Delaware to New York in summer.
Preferring sandy and sometimes grassy bottoms, weakfish usually inhabit shallow waters along shores and in large bays and estuaries, including salt marsh streams and sometimes in river mouths, although they do not enter fresh water. In winter, they can be found at depths of up to 55 fathoms.
In southern waters, weakfish weigh an average of 1 to 4 pounds. In the upper mid-Atlantic, they usually weigh 4 to 7 pounds. The record weight of all fish species is 19 pounds 2 ounces, and the maximum possible height is believed to be higher. The average life span is about 10 years, but some individuals live twice as long.
Life history and Behavior
The age of sexually mature weak fish is 3–4 years. Spawning occurs in coastal and estuaries zones along the coast from May to October. The fish migrate north in spring, spend the summer in the coastal zone, and then move south again in late fall.
Food and feeding habits
Weakfish eat crabs, shrimp, other crustaceans and mollusks as well as herring, menhaden, silversides, killifish and butterfish. Because of their varied diets, weakfish forage at different levels and adapt to local food conditions.
|Life span, years||12|
|Maximum body weight, kg||8.16|
|Maximum length, cm||45.72|
|Sailing speed, m/s||No information|
|Threat to people||Edible|
|Way of eating||Predator|