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A Look at the Weakfish

The weakfish is a beautiful marine species, but is it really a “weak fish?”

According to fishers up and down the East Coast, that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Weakfish are known as strong fighters and give the most advanced fishers a challenge in hooking and landing them. The most challenging part of catching them is not to rip the hook out of their soft mouths.

They resemble and are often confused with the spotted sea trout. In North Carolina, this species is also known as either a gray trout, or just plain trout because of the similarity to the spotted sea trout, which is a completely different fish.

“Weakfish are most common along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to New York. The fish migrate seasonally, moving generally south and more offshore in the fall and winter months, and inshore and north in the spring and summertime,” said Tracey Bauer, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries weakfish biologist.

Weakfish have a dark olive-green coloration on top and are silvery on the bottom half of their bodies. Their backs and sides may have purple, lavender, green, blue, golden or copper colors mixed in. The sides are reflective with dark blotches that look like wavy lines running down the side of the fish, but not into the fins, which are yellow. They have two large canine-like teeth in the upper jaw.

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