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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Red Porgy

Marine Fisheries

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Red porgy

Silver Snapper

Pagrus pagrus

AKA: Pinky, pink porgy, silver snapper

Description: The fish is reddish on top and silvery-white on the bottom, highlighted by rows of small blue spots along the upper body. It has two blue streaks, one above and the other below the eye. The teeth are pronounced and the back teeth are molar-like.

Size: The average size of red porgy off North Carolina is 16 ½ inches and 2 ¼ pounds. Citations are given to fish weighing 4 pounds or more.

Habitat: Young red porgy are typically found closer to the shore at a depth of around 60 feet and are usually found in grass beds. As they mature, red porgy prefer deep, warm-water zones of the continental shelf in the western Atlantic from North Carolina to Argentina. They are found on the rough bottom at depths from 90 feet to 350 feet in the Gulf Stream waters.

Eating habits: Red porgy are carnivorous bottom feeders that use their strong teeth to eat snails, crabs and sea urchins. They tend to feed in schools and migrate looking for food. They also feed on worms and small fishes.

Life cycle: Red porgy change sex from female to male with increased size. Most fish longer than 18 inches are males. Females mature by age 4 and spawn at sea from January through April.

Fishing tips: Off the southeastern United States, the species is taken almost exclusively by hook and line using sturdy tackle. Anglers often catch red porgy while bottom fishing for grouper and other fish. This species is heavily regulated. Be sure to check the latest rules before leaving the dock.

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

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