White Croaker

From 5th Trip: Cabrillo and Belmont Pier

White Croaker

Family: Sciaenidae (Croakers)

Genus and Species: Genyonemus lineatus

Description: The body of the white croaker is elongate and somewhat compressed. The head is oblong and bluntly rounded, with a mouth that is somewhat underneath the head. The color is incandescent brownish to yellowish on the back becoming silvery below. The fins are yellow to white. The white croaker is one of five California croakers that have mouths located under their heads (subterminal). They can be distinguished from the California corbina and yellowfin croaker by the absence of a single fleshy projection, or barbel, at the tip of the lower jaw. The 12 to 15 spines in the first dorsal fin serve to distinguish white croakers from all the other croakers with sub- terminal mouths, since none of these has more than 11 spines in this fin.

Range: White croakers have been taken from Magdalena Bay, Baja California, to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but are not abundant north of San Francisco. White croakers swim in loose schools at or near the bottom of sandy areas. Sometimes they aggregate in the surf zone or in shallow bays and lagoons. Most of the time they are found in offshore areas at depths of 10 to 100 feet. On rare occasions they are fairly abundant at depths as great as 600 feet.

Natural History: White croakers eat a variety of fishes, squid, shrimp, octopus, worms, small crabs, clams and other items, either living or dead. While the ages of white croakers have not been determined conclusively, it is thought that some live as long as 15 or more years. Some spawn for the first time when they are between 2 and 3 years old. At this age they are only 5 to 6 inches long and weigh less than 0.10 pounds.

Fishing Information: These fish can be caught on almost any kind of animal bait that is fished from piers or jetties in sandy or sandy mud areas. In fact, they are so easily hooked that most anglers consider them a nuisance of the worst sort. If a person desires to fish specifically for white croakers a tough, difficult-to- steal bait, such as squid, is recommended. When hooked, they put up little or no fight. Fishing and catching is good throughout the year.

Other Common Names: kingfish, shiner, Pasadena trout, tommy croaker, little bass.

Largest Recorded: 16.3 inches; no weight recorded; however, a 14.5 inch white croaker weighted 1.41 pounds.

Habitat: Shallow Sandy 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.