Spotted seatrout are captured using hook-and-line and electrofishing gear. Red drum are captured using gill nets, electrofishing and longlines. Southern flounder are captured by hook-and-line, gillnets, electrofishing and pound nets. Lastly, striped bass are captured by electrofishing and hook-and-line. Only healthy fish, captured with no bleeding, are tagged, to minimize post-release mortality.
All species are tagged with either wire core internal anchor tags (Floy FM-95W), steel dart tags, or Floy cinch up tags. Internal anchor tags are inserted into a small incision made by a scalpel approximately 20 millimeters posterior to the pectoral fin, steel dart tags are inserted near the dorsal fin, and cinch up tags are inserted through the fish body, just forward of the tail fin. All attempts are made to ensure tags are distributed throughout the state’s coastal areas. This gives individuals throughout the state an equal chance of catching tagged fish.