Vero Beach Fish Species
Tarpon, Snook, Trout, Redfish
The Indian River estuary is the most diverse in all of North America. With more than 300 species of fish, our options are many. It is not uncommon for us to catch more than ten different species on a single day of fishing. However, when it comes to excitement and action we focus in on the species below.
The Atlantic Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) inhabits coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and rivers. It feeds on various fish and crabs. It is capable of filling its swim bladder with air and absorbing oxygen from it. Specimens have been recorded at up to 8 ft in length and weighing up to 350 lbs. The Atlantic Tarpon is also known as the “Silver King.”
The common Snook (Centropomus undecimalis) is a species of marine fish in the family Centropomidae of the order Perciformes. This species is native to the coastal waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, from southern Florida to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.Occurring in shallow coastal waters (up to 66 ft depth), estuaries, and lagoons, the fish often enters fresh water. It is carnivorous, with a diet dominated by smaller fishes, and crustaceans such as shrimps, and occasionally crabs.
Spotted Sea Trout males average 19 inches in length. Females are 25 inches long on average. Males and females weigh 2 to 3 lbs. Distinguishing characteristics include a dark gray or green back and silvery-white below, with distinct round spots on back, fins and tail; black margin along the edge of tail; soft dorsal (back) fin with no scales; and one or two prominent canine teeth usually present at the tip of the upper jaw. Spotted Sea Trout prefer shallower bays and estuaries with oyster beds and sea-grass beds that attract prey species. They are most common in the shallow bays during spring and summer. The world record is 17 lbs 7 oz. and was caught in local waters.
The Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), also known as channel bass, Redfish, puppy drum or just red, is a game fish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Northern Mexico. It is the only species in the genus Sciaenops. Red Drum usually occur along coastal waters. Three year-old red drum typically weigh 6 to 8 lbs. The largest one on record weighed just over 94 lbs. Mature Red Drum spawn in near shorelines. Juvenile red drum typically inhabit bays and coastal marshes until they reach maturity between 3 and 6 years of age.