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The Spottail Pinfish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods

The Spottail Pinfish Fishing Spottail pinfish, Diplodus, family Sparidae, Porgies, occupy from the Chesapeake Bay to northeastern Mexico. Areas with the greatest concentration of spottail pinfish are the coasts of Florida, the Florida Keys and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.

Although spottail pinfish are one of over 100 species of the porgy family, the prominent black band that runs around their caudal peduncle easily identifies them. They are small fish with a round profile, more circular in shape than a typical pinfish. Dark saddle on caudal peduncle sometimes forms a complete ring around peduncle in adults.
There is an area of brownish color on the back, but most of the body is silvery in color. There are up to 8 light black long and short bars or stripes, which are more noticeable in young. The edgess of the gill covers are blackish. The body is slim and round. They have small mouths, but have extremely strong flat teeth. The large eyes are located relatively high on the head. The dorsal, ventral and pectoral fins all have sharp spines and the pelvic and anal fins have a dusky brown, dorsal fin less dark. The second dorsal and anal fins are relatively large.

Spottail pinfish reside in shallow coastal areas especially bays with sea-grass beds, docks, bridges and rocks. Generally, they will go farther offshore than pinfish, though the two species can often be found traveling together. Their preference is for flat areas with vegetation and they are seldom found in brackish water. They occupy water from 10 to 120 feet in depth, shallower during warm seasons, deeper during cold seasons.
Spottail pinfish are an omnivorous species, meaning they eat both plants and animals. For the most part they feed on small fish, shrimp and plants. They eat up to 16 times their body weight each year.

Spawning in the early spring at offshore positions, pinfish eggs float and are unguarded. As the eggs hatch, the young swim into bays and estuaries.

Fishing Methods.
Spottail pinfish are sufficient in size to make a good panfish and they have a tasty white meat, though it is bony. Their shape and behavior are quite similar to the freshwater bluegill sunfish and they are a common inshore catch. They are also often used as bait for larger game fish, whether live or cut into chunks.
They are most often encountered around bridges, docks, rocks and grass beds. Drifting and stillfishing are the most common methods used to fish for spottail pinfish. Since it is a small fish, very light tackle is the logical choice, most often baited with shrimp or squid. Although they are small fish, they offer a relatively good fight when hooked.
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