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The Grass Porgy fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods

Grass Porgy - Calamus arctifrons, Family Sparidae, PORGIES, also known as Grass Bream, Shad Porgy, daubenet cendre in French and pluma negra in Spanish. They inhabit near shore (inside of 50 feet) and inshore shallow waters (in up to 20 feet), in grass beds and around the reefs, from southern Florida to Louisiana in the USA, also in eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The Grass Porgy Fishing The grass porgy and the Iittlehead porgy are two common porgies of the western Atlantic Ocean. The grass porgy is essentially restricted to the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and is fairly abundant in shallow water off the northwest coast of Florida.

They are characterized by a deep, compressed body, humpbacked, with a large head and deep snout, and with a knob in front of the small eye. Grass porgies are relatively flat from side to side and deep from top to bottom. Their suborbital depth is moderately great, 6.6-7.8 in; body depth 2.0-2.5 in (depth relatively less in adults than juveniles).
They have a long, spiny dorsal fin with 11 to 13 (usually 12) rays, long secondary dorsal fin length 6.4-8.9 in and anal fin with 10 or 11 (usually 10) rays. They have usually 16 (seldom 15) rays on short (3.0-3.6 in) pectoral fin. Their lateral-line scales 43-49 to base of caudal fin, they have 10- 12 (usually 10) total gill rakers in first gill arch. The mouth is small, with strong, canine¬-like teeth in front of jaws about equal in size and molars teeth medial to the 3 rows at sides of upper jaw. The general outline of the grass porgy is very similar to that of the saucer-eye and little-head porgies, though the back is not quite so elevated; the profile is unevenly curved, being quite convex in front of the eye. The mouth is slightly larger than in the saucer-eye. It is the smallest of the porgies, grows up to 8 inches in length. Averages around 1 pound; seldom grows larger.
They are greenish dark olive above; pale tan to silvery with dark blotches on body over sides and tail, in about 5 vertical and 4 horizontal series, suggesting interrupted bars and stripes; dark bar across nape extends through eye to corner of mouth; blotch near front of lateral line most prominent; dark V at base of caudal fin; lobes of caudal fin with dark bars; many of the scales have pearly spots; there are several yellow spots along the lateral line; the cheeks are brownish, with yellow shades; the upper fins are barred or spotted; the lower fins are paler. Grass porgy identification is that they usually have black spot larger than pupil right on lateral line just behind gill opening.

These fish are found in shallower water, along grass flats and bottoms, in sea grass beds from near shore to at least 22 m. Small individuals have been known to form small aggregations. The grass porgy is omnivorous, feeding on algae, invertebrates and smaller fish.

Spawning areas are probably northeastern Gulf of Mexico, at 50 m deep. Juveniles are often found in shallow seagrass beds. Spawning season most common is in winter and early spring. Eggs of Grass Porgy are probably pelagic with little or no pigment. Developing eggs are probably pelagic. Young of Grass Porgy are difficult to distinguish.

Fishing Methods include Drifting or Still Fishing with light spinning and baitcasting tackle, with live or dead shrimp and various cut baits. Stronger fighters than you would expect for its size, more fight for it size than other porgies. They usually are taken when fishing for Snapper or Sea Trout. The usual fishing techniques are drifting and still fishing using light spinning and baitcasting tackle. The best natural bait to use is live or dead shrimp peaces, cat baitfish or squid. The artificial bait is not normally used in targeted fishing. Fishermen look for porgies at the shallow edges or reefs and shellfish beds.
In the United States the albacore is probably the most valuable white meat tuna in terms of quality and profit. The Albacore caught off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California has low mercury levels, and it is high in Omega 3's.
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