Posted by: socalsalty | March 9, 2011

New Species: Ocean Whitefish and Blue Rockfish

Ocean Whitefish (G&G = gut & gilled)

I mentioned there was a lot of variety of fish on the Channel Islands trip.  I wasn’t able to add 2 that I was hoping to get…a white seabass aka WSB or simply “ghost” and a sheephead.  However, I did get 2 new species for me, the ocean whitefish, and the blue rockfish.

The ocean whitefish aka blanquillo in Mexico or Caulolatilus princeps is a part of the tilefish family.  I had seen them before on a recent Daily Double trip in San Diego.  Deckmate Jason referred to them as the ‘razor gill bottom dorado’…razor gill because they have extremely sharp serrated gill plates (removed on the one to the right) and bottom dorado because Jason was trying to lighten the mood after the fishing that day.

Liked the red's cheeks and collar better than the whitefish

The ones in San Diego weren’t this size though.  The one pictured above, all dressed out, was 2 lbs, 9 oz.  Their flesh is extremely meaty…not tough, just dense and not a lot of fat.  I tried to bake it, and it wasn’t the best outcome.  I’m thinking grill or maybe even add some crab for a heartier crab cake.  The baked meat (deboned etc.) made for a nice sandwich though (tuna salad style).

Image courtesy of

The blue rockfish, or Sebastes mystinus was also referred to by Pacific Islander deckmates Bryan and Teddy as a blue bass.  I think it must get this name because they are fighters for their relatively small size…more typical of bass than rockfish.  They are a schooling rockfish and never get bigger than 18 inches.  I saw one pulled in that might’ve been in the 1-2 lb. range, but most were in the under 1 lb class.  When they come out of the water, they are an intriguing blue/black color.  The picture here really doesn’t do them justice.  Neither does the little bit of skin left over on the filets that I had in my bag.  I cooked the filets in my Simple Way To Cook Fish style and they were typical, tasty rockfish…mild, white meat…YUM

The 2 darker skinned filets are the blues



  1. Those little bits of skin are required by the California fish cops. It’s been that way for a long time. Learn the regulations in the waters you fish and you’re less likely to have your gear confiscated for violating fishing laws.

    • Yup, I know. All I said was the little tab of skin (as it related to the blue rockfish) didn’t do justice in describing what it looked like coming out of the water.

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