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Caught another one I have no clue about...This one had little spikes on its gill plates and had teeth. The dorsal fin ran the length of it's back also.

 

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Sand Perch, Diplectrum Formosum, family Serranidae, Sea Bass and Groupers. Gene told me that these were not legal to use for bait, but I have never failed to catch big Grouper using them for bait. I haven't been able to get an answer from FWC one way or the other about that. I also read in one of the fish ID books that they were pretty tasty pan fried. Haven't tried one yet but with the way regulations are going , you never know.



Kim
 

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The red snapperI posted the other day ate a 13" one of those! I was told they are good to eat soI ate some. Dang good stuff, delicate meat...just be sure to take the pin bones out of the lateral line! I just may be keeping the bigger ones.
 

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When we would make special grouper charters I would take a small rod set up and try and catch perch for the live well.Well it worked and the customers always had good luck!
 

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Kim (12/8/2009)Glad you tried them so I didn't have to experiment myself. Did you fillet or fry whole?? Looks like I'll be giving them a try next time out myself.
I fileted and skined mine but I suppose you could fry it whole. i just prefer fileted.
 

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Keep those babies in good shape in case you don't use them for bait. They are good eating when you need extra fish or you're empty handed. Too bad they don't get bigger. Everybody calls them squirrelfish. Headboat charters have called them tiger grouper in other areas.

Chris
 

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Squirrelfish are something completely different. Here are some examples of real squirrelfish: Family Myripristinae, not even in the same family as Sand Perch.







Pretty little guys, that are typically found at depths 100ft or greater. Squirrelfish don't show up nearly as shallow as Sand Perch can be.



Alex
 

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Yaksquatch is correct and his pictures are the "true" Squirrelfish.



The original question was regarding the identity of a Sandperch. Sandperch are locally (but incorrectly) called Squirrelfish on the west coast of Florida
 
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