Lefteye Flounders: Family Bothidae
Species: Citharichthys xanthostigma (Gilbert, 1890); from the Greek word citharichthys (a fish that lies on its ribs or side) and xanthostigma (yellow colored with a pointed bone—referring to the long fins).
Alternate Names: Sanddab, soft flounder, Catalina sanddab. Called lenguado alón in Mexico.
Identification: Sanddabs are in the left-eye flounder family. Longfin sanddab have very long pectoral rays—longer than the head. Their coloring is brown with a black pectoral fin.
Size: To 10 inches; most caught from piers are under 8 inches.
Range: Costa Rica to Monterey Bay.
Habitat: Found from shallow to deeper water, primarily over sand.
Piers: Usually found in deeper water. Best bets: Balboa Pier, Newport Pier, Redondo Beach Pier, Redondo Sportfishing Pier and the Port Hueneme Pier.
Shoreline: Rarely caught from shore.
Boats: A small sanddab sometimes taken from boats
Food Value: Limited because of their small size.
Bait and Tackle: Use light tackle and fish on the bottom with small size 8 hooks. Longfin sanddab will hit most baits but prefer small strips of squid, pieces of anchovy, or worms.
Comments: Longfin sanddab are a small species that is infrequently taken. However, at times schools will appear near a pier and a considerable number will be taken in a short time.