Alternate Names: Ladyfish, mullet, o'io, bananafish, ratfish.
Identification: Elongate, torpedo-shaped body; snout cartilaginous, conical; mouth small. Gray above, silvery below; base of fins yellowish.
Size: In eastern Pacific to 17.5 inches, 1 lb. 13 ounces.
Range: Worldwide, in all warm seas; in the eastern Pacific from San Francisco to Peru; uncommon north of Baja California. Reaches over 3 feet in length and over 20 pounds in some parts of the world.
Habitat: Shallow waters, including bays and estuaries.
Piers: Rarely encountered at California piers although many catches reported in 1999; one from the shallow-water area of Balboa Pier, and quite a few from the Embarcadero Marina Park Pier in San Diego Bay.
Bait and Tackle: Landed by anglers fishing on the bottom; best bait reported to be ghost shrimp although some have been taken on shrimp/squid slowly pulled along the bottom.
Food Value: Reported to be decent flavored but contains many small bones.
Comments: This is the same fish that sportsmen travel thousands of miles to catch in tropical areas. Even small specimens put up a powerful fight and since they generally are in schools, if you catch one you may catch more.