West Hueneme Jetty 4/26

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#1
I went to the west jetty of Hueneme Harbor on Friday. While walking out to the jetty, I tossed a swimbait and a camo sandworm into the surf on Silver Strand Beach, without a nibble. Using mussel on a #8 baitholder, on a dropper loop, my bait was getting stripped by nibblers. I switched to a #10 circle hook (which looked huge for a #10), and caught two blacksmiths (about 5 & 6") and a bright red giant kelpfish (about 12").

These were the second and third blacksmiths for me (the first was also caught here). Pictures don't do these fish justice. It was also my first giant kelpfish. As I held it by the lower jaw to get the hook out, I became very aware of numerous small, sharp teeth in the jaw. This would suggest a piscivorous diet to me (sharp teeth to grab slippery prey). Does anyone have have any information about their diets? I am also curious about the advantage of being a bright red fish in shallow water.
 
#2
Kelp fish tend to want to blend in with the kelp in the area. So if they're bright red, it means there are bright red seaweed underneath. Cool fish, but bad attitude sometimes. The have a pretty pointy spine on their dorsal if I remember correctly.
 

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#3
Kelp fish tend to want to blend in with the kelp in the area. So if they're bright red, it means there are bright red seaweed underneath. Cool fish, but bad attitude sometimes. The have a pretty pointy spine on their dorsal if I remember correctly.
There is some coraline algae on the harbor side of the jetty, but what I have seen is more pink than bright red. Of course I can't see what's growing on the exposed wreckage of the La Janelle, so yo may be right.
 

Makairaa

Active member
#4
They definitely change colors based on the plant growth around. Kelp ones are brown or red. The ones in eel grass are green or yellow. They are definitely predatory. Small fish and shrimp are their main food sources.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Four different kelpfish species (striped, spotted, crevice and giant) are discussed and shown on the fish pages. Have you looked at them?
 

SC McCarty

Well-known member
#6
They definitely change colors based on the plant growth around. Kelp ones are brown or red. The ones in eel grass are green or yellow. They are definitely predatory. Small fish and shrimp are their main food sources.
Thanks

Four different kelpfish species (striped, spotted, crevice and giant) are discussed and shown on the fish pages. Have you looked at them?
It was definitely a giant kelpfish, by size, large mouth and sharp, elongated rostrum. I previously caught a spotted(?) kelpfish on the inside of the same jetty.

Steve