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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone please tell me the difference between the two because I always thought it was the same fish. According to MDDNR the weakfish reg. has changed to 13" and creel limit of 8 but the sea trout is 14" and a limit of 10. I have been transferred to 3 different people at the DNR and they aren't sure. Whats the deal?
 

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There are two different species..at least that's what I was told..
I was also told that weakfish really isn't true trout..all I know is that there are not same fish...Speaking of trout..where are all big boys these days....?:D
 

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It's all about speckled vs. grey trout. Greys get bigger and are also known as weakies in the northeast. Specks stay a little smaller and are primarily a Southern fish. In this region you can catch both.
 

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*sigh* Husky, you dingus, you set the time to any time you want in your profile. That way people who are anywhere in the world will have the time set to their time. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So can you easily tell the difference between the two or is it safer to just stick with 14" rule. If your familiar with the oyster bay updates, I saw pictures of 7 & 6 pound trout caught in OC. They also noted the change in size and creel limit. Just curious of what you may think.
 

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Not this again :)

Ok, here is the deal, it's really understandable how confusion arises;

For any fish, there are three names:

1) The Latin scientific name

2) The "official" NMFS Federal "common name" used by states when they publish regulations for the public. This is the same all over the country, pretty much.

3) The "common" name which local fishermen call something, which can instantly change if you drive 10 miles, and one species may have 5+ different names in different parts of the country.

A) CYNOSCION REGALIS, official common name "Weakfish"

These are the common fish with the tiny shimmering spots.

In universal common ANGLER and tackle shop parlance in Maryland and Delaware,

WEAKFISH ARE CALLED SEA TROUT OR JUST PLAIN "TROUT." They are the same species.

In VIRGINA, weakfish are called "Gray Trout."

Thus WEAKFISH ARE SEA TROUT ARE GRAY TROUT. They are all the same species.

The ONLY people that use the term "weakfish" in Maryland or Delaware are tourists from Pennsylvania or New Jersey or people that grew up in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York.

The Federal "Official" common name for these for the entire coast is "Weakfish." So unfortunately in their brochures and on their website, MD DNR doesn't use the term "Sea Trout" as almost everyone in MD does, they use "Weakfish."

As an aside, a tiny handful of ancient oldtimers around here call these fish "Yellowfin trout" and an old dead term for weakfish from New England is "Squeateague."


B) CYNOSCION NEBULOSUS official common name "Spotted Sea Trout."

These are the much rarer and harder to catch fish (in MD especially, I've never caught one) with the really big dark spots.

NOBODY in MD, DE, or VA ACTUALLY ever calls these "Spotted Sea Trout" or "Sea Trout," the universal common term around here is "speck" or "Speckled Trout."

HOWEVER, in states like South Carolina and some parts of the Gulf, since they don't have any Weakfish at all, many people call Specks "Sea Trout." These are NOT the same Sea Trout as what people and Maryland call Sea Trout, which are Weakfish, and if you read or post on a national fishing board this can lead to infinite amounts of confusion.

Unfortunately, once again MD DNR on their website and in brochures uses the "Spotted Sea Trout" term which nobody around here actually uses.

Hope this helps :).
 

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And one more thing...

Dj,

Don't worry too much about catching a Speckled trout; unless you're really fanatical and spend most of your time fishing, the chances of a Maryland or Delaware pier or surf angler catching a Speck, while clearly not zero, are pretty small...they improve the farther south you go, though, maybe Point Lookout might give you the best pier chance, but I've never fished there.

Your chances rise dramatically in Virginia.

There are almost no specks caught in Delaware at all, and what ones are caught in Maryland are primarly caught by boating anglers in fairly remote shallow grass beds. Even then the fishery is erratic and some years they never show up.

I do believe a wade fishermen putting in time could catch some Specks, but it's a question of access and where to go which I haven't quite figured out, somewhere in south Dorchester or Wicomico or Somerset counties I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks fellas for clearing that up, I should be able to get a better nights sleep now :) .
 

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JK - If I might respectfully say, I've been fishing both the DeBay and ChesBay for over 4 decades and it's less common that I hear somebody refer to a Weakfish as a "Sea Trout", which surely leads to confusion when referring to the regulations. Maybe I've been hanging in the wrong circles lately. It's been my experience to hear:

Weakfish=Gray Trout=Trout=Tiderunners, and sometimes even Yellowfin Trout

Sea Trout=Spotted Trout=Spotted Sea Trout=Speckled Trout=Specks

Some states' regs list the two different species this way:

MD - Sea Trout and Weakfish.

DE - Spotted Seatrout and Weakfish.

NC - Spotted Sea Trout(Speckled) and Gray Trout(Weakfish)

VA - Speckled Trout(Spotted Seatrout) and Grey Trout(Weakfish)

No need to get into a debate. This has just been my experience over the years, and I certainly don't doubt your observations.

In their attempt to alleviate any confusion, the regs from the states I've listed avoid using the term "Sea Trout" in reference to a "Weakfish".

Peterson's Field Guide lists the two different fish as "Spotted Seatrout" and "Weakfish".

Easy to see why there is still confusion today if folks continue to affectionately refer to a Weakfish as a Sea Trout!
 

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HuskyMD I agree GMT?????????
Sandflea Remember what I said About old dogs and new tricks,
w
Well I checked out what you told Husky but can't find the right buttons to push ???????????????:confused:
 

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Setting time

oldsalt, click "My Account" then "Edit Options" then scroll down to "Time Offset." Select the time zone you're in and save.
 

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Sand flea you got through thanks, now I don't have to -5huors
guys I learned a new trick.:D
 

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Wrong Circles? :)

Will,

Hmm...seems we have this discussion going on tidalfish too.

I've been fishing Delaware and Maryland now heavily for 6 years and fished prior to that as a child.

I personally have never caught a speckled trout or been present when one has been caught.

But in terms of "weakfish" every single charter and headboat captain, every single mate, every single tackle owner I've talked to, uses the term "Sea Trout" or "trout" for "weakfish" in both the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, without exception.

If they don't they're not native to the area.

Obviously, the term weakfish is well known enough that all of the above people will know what it means, but in their natural conversation they will never use the term.

And on Delaware charter and party boats and piers, there's such a heavy presence of PA tourists that also spend time in NJ that you'll hear the term weakfish a lot.

Picking up my latest copy of "The Fisherman" magazine, every single fishing report for Delaware uses term "trout" exclusively; there isn't a single mention of "weakfish."

The only use of "weakfish" is in the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay reports.

And while I haven't personally been around one I've NEVER heard or read locally any other term for spotted sea trout other than "speckled trout."
 

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Yes John, we have it going on two boards. I don't doubt or disagree with what you say about folks calling these two fish by different names. It's been going on for the 40+ years I've fished both bays. I've observed many of the same things you say - except for the term "Seatrout" being used when referring to a "Weakfish". Maybe that's because I fish mostly out of my own boat and don't fish a lot of (MD) charters - and I was born on the Eastern Shore! You'll need to see my reply on the other board for who I think should be careful, and why. For my money, it's not about who calls what fish what, rather it's about clearing up the confusion in the general public about which fish is really which fish.
 
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