Embiotoca lateralis; from the Greek root words embios (living)and tocos
(to bring forth) and the Latin word lateralis (lateral, due to their
Alternate Names: Striped surfperch, rainbow perch or blue perch.
Identification: Striped seaperch have narrow orange and blue
longitudinalstripes. Their dorsal spines are low and their body is deep
Size: To 15 inches; most caught off piers are 9-13 inches long.
Range: Point Cabras, Baja California, to Port Wrangell, southeastern
Habitat: Shallow-water, rocky-shore areas.
Piers: Common at central and northern California piers situated
near rocks.Best bets: Cayucos Pier, Santa Cruz Wharf, San Francisco
Municipal Pier, ElephantRock Pier, Point Arena Pier, Trinidad Pier,
and Citizens Dock in Crescent City.The Point Arena Pier is undoubtedly
the top pier in the state for striped seaperch;late winter to spring
will almost always yield perch and most are fairly large fish.
Bait and Tackle: A high/low rigging is most commonly used for
these largeperch. Use a size 6 or 4 hook, a weight heavy enough to keep
your bait stationary,and fish on the bottom near the pier. Striped perch
most commonly travel in schools;if one is caught more are probably around.
These perch will often make a sharp firststrike without hooking themselves.
Be patient, they will return and often keep peckingat the bait until
hooked. The best bait depends on location. North of San Franciscothe
best bait is fresh mussels, raw shrimp (small pieces), live rock crabs,
livepile worms, tube worms and crab backs; in the Bay Area live grass
shrimp and freshmussels are the top baits.
Food Value: Large enough to eat but the flesh is only fair. Generally
Comments: Although these perch are often large, some anglers
do not like tofish for them. In the spring, the largest perch will often
be females loaded withlive young; when landed, the fish will start to
give birth and the angler will befaced with the question of what to
do with dozens of small live baby perch. A fewanglers save them as bait,
many throw them in the water, and some simply refuse tokeep the mother
perch preferring to let nature work its answer to the question of survival.