1 - 5 pounds
5" - 19"
Kingcroaker is an inshore bottom fish with elongated bodies and a downward pointing mouth. Their snout extends beyond the mouth. They have a single rigid barbel under the chin. The Kingcroaker has a silvery grey, paler below, and may have coppery sheen. They often have seven or eight dusky bars along the sides of the body. The dorsal fin is divided into two sections. Male and female fish are similar in appearance.
The croaker can vary in length from 6 inches to 16 inches with a max of 19 inches. The average weight of the species is from 2 to 4 pounds.
Kingcroaker is common from southern New England to the southern tip of Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and southward along the east coast of South America to Argentina
Kingcroaker will be found in sandy bottoms, mud bottoms, and grass beds. They inhabit coastal waters and offshore waters to a depth of about 30 feet. They are common on shallow coastal waters like sandy beaches where wave action dislodges small crabs and crustaceans. Juveniles tolerate low salinity levels and are often found in estuaries.
They are predators and mostly feed on shrimp, small fish, and crustaceans. Kingcroaker also eats amphipods, polychaetes worms, mollusks, and small fish. The chin barbel is used to locate prey on the bottom.
Kingcroaker is a popular fish for anglers fishing from piers and beaches. Considered to be excellent table fare, with a firm, mild-flavored white flesh. Larger fish can be easily filleted, while smaller fish are typically cleaned and cooked whole.