Put shoulders on a small Red Drum, and you get Atlantic Croaker. These were the hardest-fighting fish of my first Florida experience.

Species: Atlantic Croaker (Micropogonias undulatus)
Location: Graffiti Bridge, Pensacola, FL
Date: August 1, 2017

Here’s the unsung hero of my Pensacola trip. These things fought like crazy, and I could always tell I’d hooked another Atlantic Croaker if it fought like crazy and made my imagination run wild.

All of the Atlantic Croaker I caught were less than 14 inches long and none weighed more than a pound and a half, but they were bright spots between the Pinfish.

I’ve only caught one since that first day in Pensacola, and it, too, hit a shrimp-tipped No. 8 Sabiki that was mostly only being considered by Pinfish in the waters of Corpus Christi, Texas.

They don’t get much bigger than five pounds, but you can bet I’d be over-the-moon to catch a five-pounder even though that’s almost four pounds shy of the 8 pound, 11-ounce All-Tackle World Record.

How that fish must’ve fought on light tackle…

#SpeciesQuest // #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #98 — Frillfin Goby.

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