croaker, member of the abundant and varied family Sciaenidae, carnivorous, spiny-finned fishes including the weakfishes, the drums, and the whitings. The croaker has a compressed, elongated body similar to that of the bass. The name describes the croaking or grunting sounds produced by members of most species, chiefly during the breeding season. Croakers are found in sandy shallows of all temperate and warm seas. They range in weight from the 1-lb (0.5-kg) Atlantic croaker to the 150-lb (68-kg) common drum. The Atlantic croaker, common from Cape Cod to Texas, is an important food fish. The spot-fin croaker is found in the Pacific. The drums, the largest and noisiest croakers, include the red drum, or channel bass, of which over 2 million lb (900,000 kg) are taken per year off Florida; the common, or black, drum, found from New England to the Rio Grande; and the freshwater drum, found in central North America. The whitings, or kingfishes, include the Northern, or king, whiting, or sea mink; the Southern kingfish, or king whiting; and the surf whiting and its Pacific counterpart, the corbina. All average 3 lb (1.4 kg) in weight and 2 ft (60 cm) in length.