Atlantic Croaker

The Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) is very similar in appearance to a small black drum. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the barbels (whiskers) on the drum’s chin are pronounced, while on the croaker’s they are very tiny. They are also called chut, grunter, corvina, crocus and rocodina. They are great bait for grouper and many other fish when they are fished from a still boat - they don't troll well at all. You will find that most baits that live primarily on the bottom will not be suitable for trolling, but will be good for bottom fishing or even mid-water fishing if the boat is at anchor or drifting slowly. Croakers usually reach about a pound in size, but we generally see them from three to eight inches in our area of the state. We catch them in cast nets at certain times of the year, most frequently fall and winter. I have read that they are an important commercial species, with high quality flesh, and mostly exported out of the country (of course) - but in my book they are only high quality grouper bait.

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