Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, February 7, 2018: Porkfish & Sheepshead!
Captiva Fishing Report, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters, Wednesday, February 7: Porkfish & Sheepshead, Structure, Catch & Release; water quality in relatively good shape; (Caloosahatchee: no/little freshwater runoff impact right now; Red Tide Report, impact minimal, broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below.
Wednesday, February 7, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters: Porkfish & Sheepshead, Near-offshore, Catch & Release. Please also visit the Sanibel, Fort Myers, Florida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites. Better water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.
“Anisotremus virginicus – This small fish gets its name from the grunting noise it makes by grinding its teeth together like other grunts do. It has a tall, flat body, with yellow and blue-silver stripes and two black bars running downwards over its eyes and just behind its cheeks. Yellow also highlights its face and fins, including its deeply forked caudal (tail) fin. This nocturnal schooling fish can grow to 15 inches long and 2 pounds but usually is found much smaller. In the ocean, it is curious towards humans, and it is a popular public aquarium fish.
Order – Perciformes
Family – Haemulidae
Genus – Anisotremus
Species – virginicus
English language common names are porkfish, Atlantic porkfish, and paragrate grunt. Other common names include arroz con coco (Spanish), bandera spano (Papiamento), bonakanaal (Papiamento), burro catalina (Spanish), canario (Spanish), catalineata (Spanish), kuroobidai (Japanese), lippu rondeau (French), luszczyk wirginski (Polish), palriot (French), roncador-listado-americano (Portuguese), rondeau (French), salema (Portuguese), spaansevlag (Dutch), and svinfisk (Norwegian/Swedish).
Importance to Humans
Porkfish are of minor commercial fisheries value, however they are considered a good gamefish. Human consumption of the flesh of porkfish has been linked to ciguatera poisoning. Specimens are also collected for display in public show aquaria. In its natural habitat, porkfish are easily approached by divers.
The porkfish is not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species.
Porkfish occur in the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea as well as the Bahamas. It has also been introduced to waters off Bermuda.
Inhabiting shallow inshore waters over reefs and rocky bottoms, the porkfish is found at depths of 6-65 feet (2-20 m). It is nocturnal and often travels in large schools, occasionally swimming with white grunts. Porkfish make a grunting sound, common to all grunts, by rubbing their teeth together.
The porkfish is a deep-bodied grunt with a blunt snout and thick lips. It has a higher dorsal profile than most other grunts. The caudal fin is notched. The mouth is small and positioned low on the head.
The body has yellow and silvery-blue stripes, and two black bars. One bar runs diagonally from above the eye to the mouth while the other is more vertical, beginning at the anterior edge of the dorsal fin to the base of the pectoral fin. The fins are yellow. Juvenile porkfish have no black bars, but instead have a large dark blotch near the base of the caudal fin. Two black stripes run horizontally through the midbody and back. The head is a brilliant yellow.
The porkfish is the only grunt occurring in the Atlantic Ocean with this yellow coloration and two black stripes. It is closely related to the burrito grunt (Anisotremus interruptus) from the Pacific Ocean. This pair is referred to as germinate species, believed to have been separated millions of years ago by the isthmus of Panama.
Size, Age, and Growth
Porkfish reach a maximum length of 15 inches (38 cm) and weight of 2 pounds (9 g). This fish commonly weighs only 4 ounces (113 g).
Although the porkfish is a grunt, it lacks canines on the jaws and vomer teeth. Teeth are located on the pharyngeal bone of the jaw.
Invertebrates such as mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, and worms are preyed upon by nocturnally feeding adult porkfish. Juvenile porkfish pick parasites from the skin and scales of other species of fish, and are considered “cleaners”.
There is very little known about spawning and larval development of the porkfish. The larvae are similar in appearance to other sparids, but have a distinctive caudal fin spot. The second dorsal and anal fins are the first of the fins to begin development, a common pattern among perciform fishes.
Parasites of the porkfish include cestode larvae found in the gills and copepods found within the operculum. A dinoflagellate, Oodinium ocellatum, has been observed in the kidney and internal tissues of this fish.
Snappers, groupers, sharks and other large piscivores are potential predators of the porkfish.
This fish was originally named Sparus virginicus in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist. It was later renamed Anisotremus virginicus (Linnaeus 1758), the currently accepted scientific name. The genus name, Anisotremus, is derived from the Greek “anisos” meaning unequal and “trema” / “-atos” meaning hole. There are no known synonyms used in previous scientific literature referring to this fish.” Source: University Of Florida.
Image Credit: FWC
Scientific name: Anisotremus virginicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common name: Porkfish
Species Codes for Trip Ticket Reporting:
Food and Bait Code: 151 – Grunts *
Marine Life Code: 609 – Grunt, porkfish
License and Endorsements Required for Commercial Harvest:
SPL – Saltwater Products License
RS – Restricted Species Endorsement
M – Marine Life Endorsement
* These are unofficial designations, please see Florida Administrative Code Chapter 68B for specifics, https://www.flrules.org/.
Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658 and here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams. Wednesday, February 7, Sanibel Island Fishing Charters: Porkfish & Sheepshead, Near-offshore, Catch & Release; click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.
We’re located in Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.
After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned with sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the bayside flats and snook under and off the Blind Pass bridge. Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike.
Fair winds and following seas,
Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper right or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.