Eli's Fish Facts - Atlantic Croaker

Mar 4, 2019

About Atlantic Croaker Fish

Atlantic Croaker, scientifically known as Micropogonias undulatus, is a popular fish species that inhabits the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. These fish are well-known for their distinct croaking sound, which they produce by vibrating their swim bladder.

Physical Appearance

The Atlantic Croaker has a streamlined body with silvery-gray coloration and a slightly compressed shape. They have a series of dark vertical bars on their sides and a silver belly. Their average size ranges from 10 to 20 inches and they can weigh up to 5 pounds. The fish have a pair of long barbels below their lower jaw, which they use to locate food.

Habitat and Distribution

Atlantic Croakers are primarily found along the eastern coast of North America, from Massachusetts down to the Gulf of Mexico. They prefer sandy or muddy bottoms in estuaries, bays, and nearshore waters. These fish are highly adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of salinity levels.

Feeding Behavior

These croakers are opportunistic feeders, consuming a varied diet that includes small fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. They use their sensitive barbels to locate prey buried in the sediment. Atlantic Croakers are known for their ability to produce drumming or croaking sounds while feeding, which can attract other fish to their location.

Reproduction and Lifecycle

During the breeding season, which typically occurs from late spring to early summer, Atlantic Croakers undertake long migrations to spawn in the estuaries and coastal areas. Females can release millions of eggs into the water, which are then fertilized by the males. The eggs hatch within a day, and the larvae go through several stages of development before maturing into adult fish.

Fishing and Conservation

Atlantic Croaker is a popular sport fish, prized for its good taste and fighting ability. They are commonly caught using a variety of fishing techniques, including baitcasting, trolling, and bottom fishing. However, it is important to practice responsible fishing practices and adhere to local regulations to ensure the sustainability of the species.


In conclusion, Atlantic Croaker is a fascinating fish species that offers both recreational and ecological value. Their distinctive croaking sound, unique appearance, and adaptability make them a subject of interest for anglers, researchers, and nature enthusiasts alike. By understanding their habitat, behavior, and the need for conservation, we can ensure the preservation of this remarkable species for future generations to enjoy.

Maree Wallis
That's fishy, indeed! 🐟
Nov 8, 2023
James Wemett
Sounds fishy! 🐟
Oct 6, 2023