Abundant in Early 1900s, an Unusual Fish Returns to Cape Cod Waters

May 17, 2013

Weakfish, or Squeteague
Credit Diane Rome Peebles


For anglers fixated on the arrival of striped bass, cool temperatures slowed the start of this year's fishing - especially when compared to the last few years with their above-average warm spring seasons. But the fish that's caught a lot of attention this spring is an unusual visitor to our waters - the weakfish. The Fishing News looks at the strange historical cycle of weakfish in Cape Cod waters.

Audio of the conversation posted above.

Here's a few weakfish facts:

  • It's also known as a sea trout, or a squeteague.
  • The current MA limit is one fish per day, 16" minimum.
  • The name is said to derive from the ease with which fishermen's hooks tear out of their mouths.
  • In 1981 Delaware adopted the weakfish as its state fish.

More weakfish information can be found on this website from the University of Rhode Island.