Sand seatrout illustration. Copyright Diane Rome Peebles
This species occurs only in the Gulf of Mexico. It is however closely related to the weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) and studies have indicated that these may be slightly different versions of the same species. The sand seatrout is commonly found over muddy or sandy bottoms of estuaries, bays, lagoons and nearshore waters. Spawning occurs from early spring through the summer months within deeper waters of these habitats. These fish exhibit rapid growth reaching maturity by the end of their first year. The maximum life span of sand seatrout has been estimated at up to three years.Male sand seatrout produce a “purring” sound, similar to that of the weakfish, used during courtship and spawning. These sounds are produced by vibrating the sonic muscle against the membrane of the swim bladder. Sound production begins near dusk each night during the spawning season and lasts for several hours.