Last modified: February 21, 2021

Fish Flatfish

Longfin Sanddab

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.

SizeTo 11.4 inches; most caught from piers are under 8 inches.

Range: Costa Rica, Gulf of California, and Pacific Coast from southern Baja California, to Monterey Bay, central California. Common from southern Baja California, to southern California.

HabitatFound from moderate to deeper water, primarily over sand. Recorded to a depth of 820 feet.

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.

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