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Sportsman Guide to Fishing | High Quality Inflatable Boats, Canoes & Kayaks available online | Fishing clearance at | Modells Fishing site | Fishing | SportsChalet Fishing | REI Outlet for fishing

Shiner Surfperch

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surf perch
Image and information California Department of Fish & Game

#1: Two morons go fishing. They catch a lot of fish and return to the shore. 1st moron: I hope you remember the spot where we caught all those fish. 2nd moron: Yes, I made an 'X' on the side of the boat to mark the spot. 1st moron: You idiot! How do you know we'll get the same boat?

I catch a lot of these with Brandon.

Description: The body of the shiner surfperch is elongate oval and compressed. The head is short and the mouth is small. The body is gray to greenish above with vertical lemon yellow cross bars in the shape of a "711" and eight horizontal sooty lines along the sides. During courtship and breeding the males are dark gray, almost black, in color and have a black spot on each side of the snout. The island surfperch is a close relative found around the channel islands off southern California. This species is much more slender than the shiner surfperch. 

Range: Shiner surfperch occur from San Quintin Bay, Baja California, to Port Wrangell, Alaska. They prefer calm water and are most abundant in bays around eelgrass beds and the pilings of wharfs and piers. They have been captured in trawl nets fishing in 350 to 480 feet of water and have been observed by divers at depths as great as 120 feet, but are more numerous in shallow inshore waters. 

Natural History: The diet of shiner surfperch consists mostly of small crustaceans and other invertebrates. They are frequently observed around pier pilings nipping off the appendages of barnacles. Mating takes place during the summer months in most localities, and the young are born the following spring and summer. During courtship, the male closely follows the female, their movements remarkably well synchronized. He will leave her side frequently to chase off other fish, many of which are not the least bit attracted to his mate. They are apparently short-lived as a 6 inch female (large for shiner surfperch) was only 3 years old. 

Fishing Information: Shiner surfperch are caught from shore, docks, piers, rocks, and almost any other fishing area. They are probably the number one fish caught by youngsters along the California coast. They can be taken on almost any type of bait and any type of fishing equipment from handline to spinning gear so long as the hook on the end of the line is small enough for the fish to get in their mouths. 

Other Common Names: shiner perch, shiner, shiner seaperch, yellow shiner, bay perch, seven-eleven perch. 

Largest Recorded: 7 inches, reported to 8 inches; no weight recorded; however, a pregnant female 6.75 inches long weighed just under 3 ounces. 

Habitat: Bay Environment 

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