Convict Fish, Bay Snapper, Sea Bream
Distinct silver body with vertical black bars. Have unique teeth that resemble a human's or sheep's; have large incisor-like teeth in the front of their mouth and large molars in the rear of their mouth. Average size is 2 to 6 pounds. Often confused with small black drum. (Black drum have chin barrbles and lack incisor-like teeth.)
Range and Habitat
Found from Nova Scotia to Brazil. Common in estuaries and inshore waters near structure such as pilings, piers, and rock jetties.
Spawn after 2 years of age. Adults travel to deep water to form spawning aggregations. Females found further offshore tend to produce more eggs than those that stay closer inshore. Juveniles move inshore, living in grass beds and over soft muddy flats. As they age, they move further out to structure. Use their large incisors to clip barnacles and shellfish off structures. Use their large molars to crush the shells and consume the soft parts, discarding the shell. Average lifespan is between 10 and 15 years.