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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found out the wrong way that weakies spawn this time of year. When does the spawning end. I caught a nice size fish last night and since it was dark I did not realize it was pregnant. It was the perfect dinner size, and it was my first weakie on the fly rod, so I kept it. Came home to clean it and saw it had eggs in her. I feel bad but all I can do is learn there spawning times and release them during that phase.
 

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They spawn from late May until about now. You caught a late bloomer. Take one fish full of eggs, no biggie. If you go out and target them when they're full of eggs like some guys do, then we might have some words... ;)
 

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Breeding habits?
On the middle Atlantic coast the weakfish spawn from May to October, with the chief production of eggs between mid-May and mid-June.[76] The eggs have been taken in tow nets at various localities in temperatures ranging from 60° to 70°, in salinities of 28.01 to 30.9 per mille. And it is probable that weakfish spawn locally around the shores of Cape Cod Bay in years when the fish are plentiful there, as they do regularly about Woods Hole, if the summer temperature of the surface is high enough. Spawning takes place chiefly in the larger estuaries or close to their mouths, usually at night. The eggs are buoyant, spherical, 0.74 to 1.1 mm. in diameter, usually with one, rarely with as many as four, oil globules that coalesce into one large one as development progresses. Incubation occupies 36 to 40 hours at a temperature of 68° to 70°, and the newly hatched larvae are 1.75 mm. long.

At 30 mm. the young weakfish have attained most of the structural characters of the adult. But they continue much deeper and more flattened sidewise until they are 6 to 8 inches long; the head and eyes are relatively larger; and their caudal fin is obtusely pointed with the center rays much the longest, instead of concave. The smaller fry (1½ to 3 inches) are marked with four dark, saddle-shaped patches extending downward on the sides to a little below the lateral line, which are not lost until a length of about 4½ inches is reached. As the young fish grow, other bands of pigment are interpolated below the lateral line, the adult coloration not being fully developed until they are 7 to 8 inches long.

Here is a good link http://www.gma.org/fogm/Cynoscion_regalis.htm
 

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Funny thing, baby weakfish look like stickleback minnows. Baby drum look like croakers. Nothing is really as it seems...
 

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No problem taking weakies if you want to eat them. No rule says you have to release them all. The few you take are not going to effect the population. It just makes you feel good to enjoy the fight and know you are helping to do your part for the future. Males seem to all make a croaking sound when you are unhooking them. Makes it easier to tell in the dark. Nice report and enjoy your catch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll keep the croaking tip in mind. I will just be careful next time if I want to keep one. She certainly won't be wasted.
 
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