Saltwater Game Fish

Saltwater fish species spend the majority of their life in saltwater. They live in oceans, seas, bays, tributaries and rivers. Saltwater fish include anadromous fish that are born in freshwater but spend most of their lives in the sea, only returning to freshwater in order to spawn. Below you’ll find the most popular saltwater game fish in North America, along with fish species you’re likely to encounter when saltwater fishing.

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African Pompano

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Albacore

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Almaco Jack

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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American Shad

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
South

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Arctic Char

Habitat
Ocean, River, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Atlantic Angel Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Atlantic Angelfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Atlantic Bonito

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Atlantic Chub Mackerel

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Atlantic Cod

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Atlantic Croaker

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Atlantic Cutlassfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, West

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Atlantic Halibut

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Atlantic Mackerel

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
Northeast

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Atlantic Salmon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
Northeast

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Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region

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Atlantic Spadefish

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Atlantic Sturgeon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
South, Northeast

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Atlantic Torpedo Ray

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Banded Rudderfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Bar Jack

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Barndoor Skate

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Bigeye Trevally

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Bigeye Tuna

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Black Drum

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Black Grouper

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Black Marlin

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Black Sea Bass

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Black Skipjack

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Blackfin Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Blacknose Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Blacktip Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Blue Marlin

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Blue Runner

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal

Region
South, Northeast

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Blue Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Bluefin Trevally

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Bluefin Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Bluefish

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Blueline Tilefish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Bluntnose Stingray

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
Northeast, South

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Bonefish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, West

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Bonnethead Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
South

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Broomtail Grouper

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Bull Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters, Bay, River

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Bullnose Ray

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Butterfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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California Corbina

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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California Halibut

Habitat
Ocean, Bay Coastal Waters

Region
West

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California Yellowtail

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
West

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Cero Mackerel

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Chum Salmon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
West

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Clearnose Skate

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
South, Northeast

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Cobia

Habitat
Lake, Ocean, Stream

Region
West

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Coho Salmon

Habitat
Lake, Ocean, Stream

Region
West

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Conger

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Cownose Ray

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
Northeast, South

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Crevalle Jack

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Cubera Snapper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South

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Cunner

Habitat
Ocean, Creeks, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Dog Snapper

Habitat
Ocean, Estuary

Region
Northeast, South

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Dogtooth Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Dolly Varden

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
West

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Dolphinfish (Mahi Mahi)

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Dusky Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Escolar

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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False Albacore

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Florida Pompano

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, South

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Flounder

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
Northeast, South

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Four-spot Flounder

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Gafftopsail Catfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary, Canal

Region
South

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Gag Grouper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Giant Trevally

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Golden Tilefish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Goosefish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Gray Snapper

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Gray Triggerfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
Northeast, South

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Great Barracuda

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Great Hammerhead Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Greater Amberjack

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Hammerhead Shark

Habitat
Bay, Coastal Waters, Ocean

Region
South, West

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Hickory Shad

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, River

Region
South, Northeast

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Hogfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Horse-eye Jack

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
South, Northeast

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Inshore Lizardfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Kelp Bass

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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King Mackerel

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, South

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Chinook (King) Salmon

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, River

Region
West

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Ladyfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
South

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Leather Jack

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, River

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Lemon Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, River

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Lesser Amberjack

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, River

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Lingcod

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Little Skate

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, South

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Little Tunny

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Longbill Spearfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Lookdown

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Mako Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Mangrove Snapper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South

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Mutton Snapper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Northern Kingfish

Habitat
Ocean, River, Creek

Region
South, Northeast

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Northern Puffer

Habitat
Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Northern Searobin

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Northern Stargazer

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Nurse Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Wes

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Ocean Triggerfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Ocean Whitetip Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Oyster Toadfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Pacific Bonito

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Water

Region
West

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Pacific Cod

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Pacific Crevalle Jack

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Pacific Halibut

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
West

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Pacific Sierra Mackerel

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
West

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Palometa

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Permit

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Pigfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Pinfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Pink Salmon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
West

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Pollock

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Pompano

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South

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Porbeagle Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Rainbow Runner

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, South

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Red Drum

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Red Grouper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
South

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Red Hake

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Red Porgy

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Red Snapper

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Remora

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Rock Hind

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Roundscale Spearfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Sailfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Sand Tiger Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, South

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Sandbar Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, West

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Scamp Grouper

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters, Estuary

Region
South

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Scup

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Sea Bream

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Sea Raven

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast, West

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Sea Trout

Habitat
Ocean, River

Region
Northeast

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Sheepshead

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Shortbill Spearfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Shortfin Mako Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Silky Shark

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Silver Hake

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Silver Perch

Habitat
Tidal Creeks, Rivers, Marshes

Region
South, Northeast

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Skipjack Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Smooth Butterfly Ray

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Smooth Hammerhead Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Smooth Puffer

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Smoothhound

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Snook

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South

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Snowy Grouper

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Sockeye Salmon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
West

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Southern Kingfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Southern Stingray

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Spanish Mackerel

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Spinner Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Spiny Dogfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Spot

Habitat
Ocean, Bay, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Spottail Pinfish

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Spotted Hake

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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Spotted Seatrout

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South

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Steelhead

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, River

Region
South

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Striped Marlin

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Striped Searobin

Habitat
Ocean, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Summer Flounder

Habitat
Ocean, Estuary

Region
South, Northeast

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Swordfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South

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Tarpon

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Tautog

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Thresher Shark

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Tiger Shark

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Tope Shark

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
West

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Tripletail

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South

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Wahoo

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Warsaw Grouper

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Weakfish

Habitat
Ocean, Bay

Region
South, Northeast

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Whalers Shark

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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White Grunt

Habitat
Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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White Marlin

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
South, Northeast

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White Seabass

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
West

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White Shark

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Windowpane Flounder

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
Northeast, South

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Winter Flounder

Habitat
Ocean, Estuary

Region
Northeast

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Witch Flounder

Habitat
Ocean

Region
Northeast

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Wreckfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Yellow Jack

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast

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Yelloweye Rockfish

Habitat
Ocean

Region
West

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Yellowfin Tuna

Habitat
Ocean

Region
South, Northeast, West

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Yellowtail Flounder

Habitat
Ocean, Coastal Waters

Region
Northeast

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Yellowtail Snapper

Habitat
Bay, Ocean

Region
South