The Fish We Cook, Sea Trout, Weakfish


The sea trout is a very popular sport fish found on the Atlantic coast from New York to the Gulf of Mexico. They are not as popular commercially. The fish is normally found under the name speckled or spotted sea trout but it actually is a member of the drum family. Like the drum, it makes a drumming sound with its air bladder during the mating season. It averages from 1 to 4 pounds but can grow to as much as 19 pounds. The smaller fish are known to be of better eating quality. It is important to keep fresh fish very cold because its meat deteriorates very quickly. They are closely related to the weakfish and are also known under different names such as, speck, speckles, spotted weakfish, spotted seateague, and salmon trout. The larger fish take on an appearance similar to a salmon. They have a dark grey or green back with silver sides. The sea trout is an oily fish with a mild flavor. The best way to cook is to bake, broil, deep fry or oven fry.


The weakfish receives its name because of its tender lips which are easily torn by fishermen’s hooks. It is a member of the drum family and like other drum it is capable of producing drum like sounds by vibrating muscles around its air bladder. However in the weakfish, only the male is able to produce these sounds. The weakfish is popular with both sport and commercial fishermen on the east coast and can be found in coastal waters from Nova Scotia to Florida. It is the state fish of Delaware. It has a dark olive-green back with tinges of purple, gold or green on its sides and a white to silver belly. Its sides have many wavy lines that are made up of dark blotches. They mature in 1 to 2 years and can live up to 17 years. The weakfish is closely related to the sea trout and averages 1 to 3 pounds and has been known to reach 17 pounds and 32 inches in length. Some other commonly used names are sea trout, gray, sand, spotted and speckled sea trout, gator trout, shad trout, summer trout, sun trout, gray weakfish, squeteague, squit and tide runner. Its tender firm flesh is mild in flavor and low in fat. The best way to cook weakfish is to saut√©, pan fry, oven fry, bake or broil.

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