The gafftopsail catfish, Bagre marinus, is found in the waters of the western central Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It has long venomous spines which can cause painful wounds. It feeds on crustaceans and other fish. The male of the species fertilizes the eggs of the female, and broods them in his mouth until they hatch. Unlike many other catfishes which are primarily bottom feeders, the gafftopsail feeds throughout the water column. This fish is a common catch in the Southeastern US, although it may be found as far north as New York. They are strong fighters. They are taken from piers, jetties, reefs, and the surf, as well as bottom fishing or flats fishing. They are caught with lures, cut bait, and shrimp as well as soft plastics. Some fishermen use traps for catfish, which is regulated by some states. Gafftopsail catfish are good eating (filet them and cut the red lateral line out of each filet to prevent "muddy taste").
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