Texas Coastal fish species

Winter Whiting – Winter Fun in Texas

by Ed Snyder/Outdoors

Winter fishing in Texas could mean dodging 30degree snow flakes in the West Texas panhandle while fishing for “whatever” or wriggling toes in 70degree sands along the Southeast Texas Gulf waters of the Bolivar Peninsula while surf-fishing for “whatever“. My choice! Wriggling toes in the warm beach sands of Bolivar catching “whatever“.

Rigged with shrimp baited surf rods we hurled our lines just beyond calm breakers to catch our “whatevers” which resulted in hooking up with a smallish, but bullish species of fish that filled our fish fry yearnings. Within minutes those cravings were well satisfied after several brawny sized whiting began biting from the surf.

Whiting, otherwise known as southern kingfish (Menticirrhus americanus) or gulf kingfish (Menticirrhus littoralis) are mostly referred to by Texans as Whiting.

Whiting have arched backs with wide shoulders giving them bullish shapes. Silvery-gray for gulf whiting or coppery striped with dark shades on their backs for Atlantic whiting are highly sought after as table fish with their flaky white texture and sweet taste savored by most seafood lovers. Both southern, or Atlantic whiting have black tipped tails and chin barbells’ with two dorsal fins, the first being taller and pointed.

Found in the Atlantic Ocean as far north as New York and as far south as South America, whiting are also plentiful throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the Texas Gulf Coast. But gulf whiting are primarily a gulf species. Mostly found in the surf, whiting prefer water over sandy shell or muddy clay bottoms along the surf or around gulf piers, jetties, rock groins, old pilings, or boat basins. Shell banks with clayish bottoms are prime fishing areas for whiting who like to feed within a clutter of seashells.

Both species spawn anywhere from February through June, with females scattering their eggs in open waters. Hatching larvae then drift on currents to inshore waters where the young survive seeking food and protection from predators such as redfish, speckled trout, jack crevaile, shark, and just about every species that feed on other fish.
Quick Reference Publishing Saltwater Fishes of the Texas Gulf Coast: A Guide to Inshore and Offshore Species
Book (Quick Reference Publishing)
  • QRP 0119 Saltwater Fishes of Texas

2/3 of ocean predator fish gone

2011-02-21 09:29:41 by BiscuitCity


Predator fish in oceans on alarming decline, experts say
Over the past 100 years, some two-thirds of the large predator fish in the ocean have been caught and consumed by humans, and in the decades ahead, the rest are likely to perish, too.
In their place, small fish such as sardines and anchovies are flourishing in the absence of the tuna, grouper and cod that traditionally feed on them, creating an ecological imbalance that experts say will forever change the oceans


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Game and Fish notebook (Jan. 23, 2014)  — Russellville Courier
“This allows the predator fish to feed heavily on the forage fish species. Consequently, the predator fish species are fatter and healthier during the next years spawning season,” she explained.

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