Genus and Species: Umbrina roncador
Description: The body of the yellowfin croaker is elliptical-elongate with the back somewhat arched. The head is conical and blunt. The color is iridescent blue to gray with brassy reflections on the back diffusing to silvery white below. The sides and back have many diagonal dark wavy lines. The fins are yellowish except for the dark dorsal fins. The yellowfin croaker differs from other California croakers in having a single fleshy projection, a barbel, on the lower jaw and two heavy spines at the front of the anal fin.
Range: Yellowfin croakers occur from the Gulf of California, Mexico, to Point Conception, California. They frequent bays, channels, harbors and other nearshore waters over sandy bottoms. These croakers are more abundant along beaches during the summer months and may move to deeper water in winter.
Natural History: The diet of the yellowfin croaker consists mainly of small fishes and fish fry; however, invertebrates such as small crustaceans, worms and mollusks are also eaten in large numbers. Spawning takes place during the summer months when this species is most common along the sandy beaches. Maturity is apparently not reached until the fish are slightly over 9 inches long.
Fishing Information: Yellowfin croaker are most often taken by surf anglers using softshelled sand crabs, worms, mussels, clams or cut fish as bait.
Other Common Names: Catalina croaker, yellowtailed croaker, golden croaker.
Largest Recorded: 20.13 inches; no weight reported. However, an 18 inch yellowfin croaker weighed 4.5 pounds.
Habitat: Shallow Sandy Environment