Paralichthys albigutta





6. Flounder: Best numbers usually are taken in December and January throughout the inlet, but mostly west of the SR-A1A bridge by shoreline and boaters. Live finger mullet is the choice bait, but they'll also take live shrimp and other small baitfish. Sliding-sinker bottom rigs should be used. Slack tide usually brings the better catches. Daily limit is 10 and minimum size is 12 inches.

Description: body color brown, its shade depending on color of bottom, with numerous spots and blotches; 3 prominent eye-like spots forming a triangle; one spot on lateral line, one above, one below; numerous white spots scattered over body and fins (albigutta, white-spotted); strong canine-like teeth; caudal fin in shape of wedge, its tip in the middle.

Similar Fish: southern flounder, P. lethostigma (no eye-like spots; color pattern is key to distinguishing the two species).

Where found: INSHORE on sandy or mud bottoms, often ranging into tidal creeks; occasionally caught on NEARSHORE rocky reefs.

Size: common to 2 pounds, generally smaller than southern flounder.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: hatches into usual fish form, but right eye migrates over to left side early in life; a bottom dweller; thought to spawn OFFSHORE; feeds on crustaceans and small fishes.