Tarpon are found throughout Florida’s coastal environment during the summer months. During the winter months, coastal water temperatures in much of the state drop significantly and cause tarpon to concentrate in South Florida.

Gag Grouper

Born as females but can later become male. Gag and red grouper are the most widely distributed of the Florida groupers. Spawn between January and May with some of the more tropical species spawning year-round. They feed on fishes and invertebrates.

Red Grouper

Bottom-dwelling fish found over hard and muddy bottoms. Juveniles found offshore along with adults greater than 6 years old.  Spawn in April and May. Prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F.

Scamp Grouper

Found on nearshore and offshore reefs, ledges and rocky bottoms.Spawn in late spring. Young undergo a sex transformation from female to male as they become older. Feed on small fishes and invertebrates.

Red Snapper

Found 50+ miles offshore near structure. Juveniles are found over sand or mud bottoms. Spawn from June to October. Adults can live more than 20 years, possibly even up to 60 years.Feed on crustaceans and fish

Mangrove Snapper

Found in coastal waters near structure such as reefs, mangroves and seagrass. Spawn June through August.  Feeds on crustaceans and small fish. Mangrove snapper caught offshore are commonly 8 to 10 pounds.

Lane Snapper

Coastal waters near structure. Most common in south Florida. Juveniles found inshore over grass beds or shallow reefs. Spawn March to September. Feed on the bottom, eating crustaceans, mollusks, and fish.

Yellowtail Snapper

Found in coastal waters, mainly near coral reefs. Found mainly in tropical waters. Spawn in mid-summer. Feed on fishes and invertebrates.

Vermillion Snapper

Found offshore over structure. Spawns April to September. Females mature at 3 to 4 years of age. Grows slowly. Feeds on fishes, mollusks and small, swimming crustaceans.

Blackfin Tuna

A pelagic species found in coastal to offshore waters. Feed on small fishes, invertebrates and plankton.


Offshore near structure. Spawning occurs primarily in early summer and again in fall. Permit have a specialized plate at the back of their mouth that helps them crush hard-shelled animals such as clams and crabs. Feeds on small fishes and invertebrates.


Cobia are frequently found around buoys, pilings and wrecks in these areas. They spawn in spring and early summer. Feeds on crabs, squid and small fishes.


Range inshore to offshore. Young found inshore in seagrass beds. Top predator in reef areas, consuming fishes, squid and shrimp. Consuming larger barracuda may cause ciguatera poisoning.


Coastal to offshore waters. Can occasionally be found in deep water. Spawn offshore in mid-summer. Schooling fish that migrate from south Florida waters in winter northward in spring. Feed mainly on fishes.

Spanish Mackerel

Prevalent throughout Florida offshore and nearshore. Frequently found over reefs. Schooling fish that migrates northward in spring. Spawn offshore from spring through summer. Feeds on baits.