Adults manifest demersal behavior, inhabit coastal waters down to about 100m depth but more common in shallow waters. Found in the littoral zone on various kinds of bottoms on estuaries, lagoons and occasionally rivers. They enter coastal waters and river mouths in summer, but migrate offshore in colder weather and occur in deep water during winter in the northern range. Young fish form school, but adults appear to be less gregarious. Feed chiefly on shrimps and mollusks, also on fishes. Juveniles feed on invertebrates, taking increasingly more fish with age. Adults piscivorous. Spawn in batches. Spawning takes place in the spring near the British Isles, and earlier in its southern range. Eggs are pelagic. Marketed fresh or smoked. Highly sought by sport fishermen.
Depth rangeDepth rangeDE20 - 100 m.
Common lengthCommon lengthDE20 - 55 cm.
Common weightCommon weightDE200 - 1200g.