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

It is one of the smallest and prettiest of the porgies, and is called Little¬head in contradistinction to the jolt-head or big¬head porgy. It is almost identical in shape to the saucer-eye porgy, both in head and body. The same tackle will answer as for the others, or more especially that mentioned for the Saucer¬eye, and the same baits can be employed.
The Littlehead Porgy Fishing Littlehead Porgy - Calamus proridens, also known as Daubenet Titete in French, Plumajoroba in Spanish, are found in the western Atlantic from northeastern Florida to the Bay of Campeche (Mexico) on the southern side of the Gulf of Mexico.

Littlehead porgy have a compressed, deep body that is somewhat circular in shape. They have a distinct hump on the back just before the dorsal fin. The tail fin is deeply forked, and the head, as their name suggests, is small and ends in a short snout. They have a small mouth, a fairly long pectoral fin and two, connected dorsal fins, the first with spines and the second with soft rays. They have 11 – 12 (usually 12) dorsal fin rays, 10 – 11 (usually 10) anal fin rays and 13 – 15 (usually 14) pectoral fin rays. Their lateral-line has 52-57 (usually 54-56) scales and 11-13 (usually 11) in total gill rakers in first gill arch.
Fourth canine tooth from symphysis of upper jaw enlarged and strongly outcurved in adults (enlargement begins at about 10 cm and is apparent at sizes at least as small as 15 cm); a group of small, molariform teeth medial and toward the front of the three rows at sides of upper jaw, forming a partial fourth row at front half of sides of jaw; pectoral fins long, 2.5 - 3 in; eye small; suborbital depth relatively great; body depth approximately 2 in; longest dorsal fin spine 6 - 9 in; prefrontal tubercle above posterior nostril not well developed; largest molariform tooth usually smaller than fleshy width of maxillary tubercle; dorsal profile of head steep and relatively straight. The Porgy is less then 18 inches in length and averages less then 1 pound.
They are brighter in color than the other porgies, being quite silvery with copper or brass iridescent reflections around the edges and throughout the body, especially on the fins. There also are unconnected vertical copper bars on the side. The snout and cheek have horizontal, wavy stripes of violet-blue; they are bluish-gray and some blue coloring may be present throughout the body (this is distinguish it from knobbed porgy). The scales of the upper part of the body have violet spots, forming longitudinal streaks; those on the lower part have pale orange spots. The dorsal fin is violet, with orange border; the anal fin is blue; the caudal fin has an orange band.

Littlehead porgy are an inshore and near shore species that are mostly found over sponge and coral bottom, usually hugging close to the bottom. Though young Littlehead porgy are found in shallow waters near shore, adult Littlehead porgy are almost always located further out to sea. They seek warm waters at 62 F or above.
Littlehead porgy are carnivores with a diet consisting mainly of invertebrates. They are not huge eaters, consuming only four times their body weight per year. Littlehead porgy feeding intensity varies over the year, with major feeding concentrated around the spawning and postspawning periods. Primary feeding grounds on Campeche Bank are the inshore parts of the plateau. At the outer edge of the bank, intense feeding, as measured by mean index of stomach fullness, was noted only in the period just prior to spawning.

Littlehead porgy have a long spawning period lasts from summer into winter, with maximum spawning intensity in winter. Spawning occur from December to August with a peak from January to March. Based on visual inspection and histological examination of ovaries, individuals are apparently partial spawners, and may spawn more than once a year.
Spawning areas of Littlehead porgy along the coast of the United States are not well known. Juveniles are found in relatively shallow water. Spawning of Littlehead porgy on Campeche Bank is temperature dependent, beginning with the appearance of cold-water inflows onto the eastern bank in December. Plankton productivity is also temperature-dependent, with maximum productivity in January through August. High plankton productivity at the time of spawning assures that larval stages will have adequate food supply.
Eggs of Littlehead porgy are known to be pelagic. Developing eggs are probably pelagic, also they are known to have pelagic larvae. They are known to be egg scatterers and to fertilize these eggs externally. After hatching, young stay in shallow, productive waters for the first year of life. Between ages 1 and 2, there is a gradual movement offshore toward the northeast and east, where small fish become recruited to the commercial stock.

Fishing Methods include Drifting or Still Fishing with light spinning and baitcasting tackle and multiplying reel, with live or dead shrimp and various cut baits. Littlehead porgy are known for their good fighting qualities despite their relatively small size. They are also known to be quick to take a hook, though most are caught accidentally while fishing for other species. Like most porgies, they are usually caught with bottom fishing techniques. A two- or three-hook bait rig using worms (either sand or blood), squid, shrimp or clams as bait is a common and effective approach.
The little-head porgy, though small in size, is equally as voracious as the other porgies, and is well worth catching if only to admire its beauty. It is of similar habits to the other porgies, and found with them, but is less common. It is a good pan¬fish, growing only to 6 or 8 inches in length.
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