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The Schoolmaster Snapper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods

The Schoolmaster Snapper has a robust slightly compressed moderately deep body, with a pointed head and large mouth. Its color varies from silvery to bronze. Fins and tails are yellow and some blue stripes are on the snout. This fish is an excellent fighter and can be caught on shrimp, cut ballyhoo, cut mullet, sea-crawfish or anchovies. They can grow up to 8 pounds, 24 inches in length (62 cm), commonly to 35 cm. Lives in groups of dozens of subjects. They spawn from July to August; slow grower; feeds on crustaceans, small fishes, and gastropods. The Schoolmaster Snapper considered as a good food fish and is marketed fresh and frozen.
The Schoolmaster Snapper Fishing The Schoolmaster Snapper, Lutjanus apodus, also known as Vivaneau dent-chien, Pargo amarillo, Schooly is a member of the Lutjanidea or Snapper Family, which are known in English as snappers, and in Mexico as pargos. Its range extends from Massachusetts, New England and Bermuda to northeastern Brazil and Trinidad, including the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, but is common in southern Florida and Eastern Atlantic: Côte d'Ivoire to Equatorial Guinea.

The Schoolmaster Snapper have a robust slightly compressed moderately deep body, with a pointed head. Greatest depth is more than 1/3rd of its standard length. The head is large, as long as the depth of the body; the profile is straight from snout to the nape, thence regularly arched to the tail. Their triangular snout is long and pointed, with a large mouth. Preopercular notch and knob are weak. One of the upper pairs of canine teeth is distinctly larger than anterior teeth in lower jaw, visible when mouth is close. Vomer and palatines both have teeth. There are no teeth on ectopterygoids. In addition to an anchor-shaped tooth patch on vomer with a median posterior extension, 5 to 7 gill rakers on the first arch on upper limb and 11 to 15 on lower limb, total 17 to 22.
    Single dorsal fin has 10 spines and 14 soft rays, spinous portion of fin not deeply incised at its junction with soft portion. Anal fin with 3 spines and 8 soft rays is rounded posteriorly. Last soft ray of both dorsal and anal fins is not elongated. Caudal fin is emarginated. Pectoral fins with 16 or 17, usually 17, rays are longer than distance from tip of snout to posterior edge of preopercle, reaching the level of anus (3.0 to 3.5 times in standard length). Membranes of soft dorsal and anal fins are with scales. There are 40 to 45, usually 42 to 44 tubed scales in lateral line. Interiorly scale rows on back parallel to lateral line. Maxilla is without scales.
    Color is olive gray to brownish on upper back and upper sides, with yellow to reddish tinge around head. Lower sides and belly are lighter; no dark lateral spot below anterior part of soft dorsal fin. There are 8 narrow, pale vertical bars on the side of the body which may be faint or absent in large adults. A solid or broken blue line runs on head beneath eye which may disappear with growth. From upper jaw near to tip of fleshy opercle, line often broken into dashes and spots. All fins and tails are bright yellow, yellow green, or pale orange, snout contains blue stripes.
    The schoolmaster is very similar to the dog snapper in its general shape, but differs very much in coloration. Its body is quite deep and compressed; its back is more elevated than in the dog snapper. They grow usually from 8 to 10 inches, to about the same size as the dog snapper, sometimes to a foot in length, and a pound or two in weight.

The schoolmaster snapper inhabit shallow, clear, warm, coastal waters over coral reefs, vegetated sand, and mud in mangrove areas, or other reef-associated bottom types. Juveniles are stay over sand bottoms with or without sea-grass, and over muddy bottoms of lagoons or mangrove areas. The young occur typically in littoral areas, grass flats and from time to time enter brackish waters. They may be seen in forms resting aggregations during the day. Adults usually stay nearshore depth range 0 to 200 ft (2 - 60 m.) especially near the shelter around elkhorn coral reefs and gorgonians. Large adults sometimes found on continental shelf. Typically could be found at an altitude of 0 to 12 ft (up to 3 - 4 m).
    They feed on other fish, crabs, worms, amphipods, octopi, squid, and various types of gastropods and cephalopods. They primarily feed at night, preferring to rest during the day.

Schoolmaster snappers are gonochorist, they exists as separate males and females. They spawn over most of the year with the pick from July to August. They reproduce nearshore and oceanic habitats off Jamaica in February-June and August-November, some occurrence of ripe males and females happened in September. They spawn during April-June off Cuba. They reproduce by spawning in open water with both male and female fish releasing their gametes simultaneously. The fertilized eggs then settled to the bottom where they remain unguarded by the parents until they hatched.

Fishing Methods. Schoolmasters are also reef-line snapper, they also love shallow wrecks and can be found in canals and mangroves. Their habits are much like the mangrove snapper. They spawn in late summer and early fall. They love chum, and are aggressive eaters. Schoolmaster snapper are excellent fighters and can be caught on shrimp, cut ballyhoo, cut mullet, sea-crawfish and anchovies. They will also eat jigs. For the most fun, use light tackles, snappers fight with vigor and considerable resistance. It is a fairly good game-fish and it is a good food-fish. They caught mainly with beach seines, gill nets, traps, and hand lines.
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