skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Pigfish

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Pigfish

Pigfish

Orthopristis chrysoptera

AKA: hogfish, grunt

Description: Pigfish are characterized by a long, sloping snout, 12 to 13 anal fin rays and the grunting sound they make when removed from the water. The fish are a pale blue-gray color at the top that shades to silver below. The cheeks and upper sides have brassy or golden variable markings that form wavy lines and the fins are yellow-bronze.

Size: Pigfish grow to 19 inches and 2 pounds. No citations are given for pigfish.

Sometimes confused with: pinfish, Atlantic croaker

Habitat: Pigfish are found in warm, temperate waters as far north as Cape Cod, Mass., but are most abundant south of the Chesapeake Bay in coastal waters over sand and mud bottom.

Eating habits: Adult pigfish are benthic carnivores that eat a variety of bottom invertebrates, such as worms, mollusks, amphipods, shrimp and crabs.

Life cycle: Spawning occurs inshore in the spring and early summer and in the open ocean just prior to migration into the estuaries. Pigfish reach maturity during the second year of life when the fish are as small as 7 inches.

Fishing tips: Pigfish can be caught in late spring and fall using a standard two-hook bottom rig baited with shrimp, squid or bloodworms. Anglers often find greater success while fishing near structures or on rough bottom.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

NCDMF logo

Print
38337 FEEDBACK

Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.