Scientific NameLeiostomus xanthurus
Market FormsWhole, dressed, fresh, and occasionally frozen.
SizeA small fish, the spot rarely reaches over a pound in size and approximately 5 inches in length. Because of its size it is rarely seen filleted.
Taste/TextureMedium-dense, lean, light meat with a light mild-to-moderate flavor.
SeasonalitySpot are available in the Chesapeake Bay from late April through early November. They migrate southward every fall to spawn in warmer waters and return to the Bay and its rivers in spring to fatten on the rich food supply of the area.
Nutritional Value118 Calories (100 grams, 3.5 oz.)
SubstitutabilityThe light flavor of the spot allows it to substitute easily for a wide variety of fish, including rainbow trout, mullet, or croaker among others.
FolkloreIt's not hard to figure out the origin of the spot's name, as this fish has a dark spot behind the gill covers, a mark which legend holds came from the fingers of St. Peter, the renowned biblical fisherman. Sometimes this is not a sufficiently distinctive characteristic, as some other small species bear similar spots, and the male spot may confuse us further by imitating his cousin the croaker. But once your customer has tasted spot's sweet, distinctive meat, they're unlikely to be confused again.The spot is considered Virginia's number one panfish.
HarvestingThe bulk of commercially caught spot are harvested by day boats with haul seines, gill nets and pound nets.
Safety/QualityVirginia’s waters and products are regulated by federal and state agencies including the FDA, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, insuring that only safe wholesome seafood reaches our customers.