Fish_GulfFlounder.jpg

Gulf Flounder: Paralichthys albigutta

Appearance:

  • Body is brown in color with the shade depending on the color of the bottom, with numerous spots and blotches
  • 3 prominent eye-like spots form a triangle with 1 spot on the lateral line, 1 above and 1 below
  • Numerous white spots are found scattered over the body and fins (albigutta, white spotted)
  • Strong canine-like teeth
  • The caudal fin is in the shape of a wedge

Habitat:

Gulf flounder are found inshore on sandy or mud bottoms and are often found in tidal creeks.  They may also be caught occassionally on nearshore rocky reefs.

Behavior:

Gulf flounder lie on the bottom often partially covered by sand or mud waiting for a prey to come near and then strike suddenly.  Gulf flounder hatch with a typical fish form but the right eye migrates over to the left side early in life.

 

These fish are though to spawn offshore and they feed on crustaceans and small fishes.

State Record:

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Bottom fishing with a jig and live or cut bait can be effective; remember these are ambush predators. They can also be taken with a gig in shallow waters, especially at night. Excellent table fare.

Additional Information:

Gulf flounder are similar in appearance to the southern flounder (P. lethostigma), but the southern flounder have no eye-like spots.


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
Today, smalltooth sawfish are found only in the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to the Bahamas, including southwest Florida Gulf Coast.

Learn More at AskFWC