Cynoscion nebulosus, the spotted seatrout, also known as speckled trout, is a common estuarine fish found in the southern United States along coasts of Gulf of Mexico and the coastal Atlantic Ocean from Maryland to the Florida. These fish are also found in estuarine locations around Cape Breton Island of Nova Scotia, Canada. While most of these fish are caught on shallow, grassy flats, spotted seatrout reside in virtually any inshore waters, from the surf of outside islands to far up coastal rivers, where they often come for shelter during cold weather. It is popular for commercial and especially recreational fishing in coastal waters of the southeastern United States. Adults reach 19-32 inches in length and 3-15 pounds in weight.
Spotted seatrout live in the top of the water column and are most numerous along the coasts of the southeastern states, such as Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. They are also common along the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia. Estuarine coasts are prime settlement areas. They are uncommonly seen north of Delaware Bay and along the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Small trout eat large amounts of shrimp and other crustaceans. As they grow larger, their diets shift toward fish, the larger, the better. Studies in Texas and Mississippi show that really big trout strongly prefer to feed on mullet; a large trout will find the largest mullet it can handle and try to swallow it. Often the mullet is half or two-thirds as large as the trout.