Halfmoon Perch

From 27th Trip: Native Sun 3/4 Day Trip 12/21

Family: Scorpididae* (Halfmoons)

Genus and Species: Medialuna californiensis
* Kyphosidae (American Fisheries Society)

Description: The body of the halfmoon is oval and compressed. The head is blunt and rounded and the mouth is small. The color is dark blue above, shading to blue gray on the sides and becoming white below. The tail is halfmoon shaped. The soft rays of the dorsal and anal fins are nearly hidden by a thick sheath of scales. The halfmoon most closely resembles the blue rockfish, but lacks the 5 spines on the front section of the gill cover, which are common to all rockfishes.

Range: Halfmoon occur from the Gulf of California, Mexico, to the Klamath River, California. They are most common in southern California, particularly around the Channel Islands. Halfmoon occur over shallow rocky areas and in kelp beds. They have been observed as deep as 130 feet, but are most commonly taken by anglers from waters from 8 to 65 feet deep.

Natural History: Halfmoon feed on a variety of plant and animal matter such as red, green and brown algae, and sponges. In the turbulent areas of the rocky coasts they have been seen catching bits of upsurging seaweed. Spawning takes place during the summer months. Ripe adults are taken from July through October. The eggs and young are free floating and the young, like opaleye, are found some distance from shore. One inch halfmoon, are found at the outer edges of kelp beds. Only adults are commonly found in the inshore area. They reach maturity when about 7.5 inches long.

Fishing Information: Halfmoon are abundant throughout the year. They are scrappy and are good eating. Anglers, fishing from the rocks, have good success using mussels and shrimp; opaleye anglers occasionally catch them on moss bait. Anglers, fishing offshore, are most successful using fresh cut bait such as anchovy, sardine or squid.

Other Common Names: Catalina blue perch, blue bass, black perch.

Largest Recorded: 19 inches; 4.75 pounds.

Habitat: Shallow Rocky Environment

About the Author

Sean loves to fish in Southern California and this site is his journal of his adventures in fishing. He started fishing when he was a little guy with his dad David, and has continued to this day with his family. In his day job, Sean has been a graphic designer for over 15 years, designing everything from in-store displays and signage for supermarkets to e-commerce auction sites for an online consumer electronics company. He was a web and graphic designer then later an art director for McMullen Argus Publishing (Primedia), building and working on sites for Lowrider Magazine and Super Chevy, plus 30 other automotive magazine sites. Sean seized the opportunity to teach other aspiring designers - a passion that took him first to Learning Tree University and then to Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA, where he has been an integral part of the renowned digital arts department for more than ten years. Throughout his teaching career, Sean maintained a freelance business, designing for clients including the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards), Image Comics and many more. See his work at http://www.glumace.com.