- Compressed oval body shape with elevated humpback.
- Have small mouths, bulging eyes, and deeply notched dorsal (back) fin.
- Metallic silver coloration with black bar running vertically down the body.
- Juveniles have several black horizontal bars on sides, with the one vertical stripe appearing when reach 2-3 inches in length.
- They are rarely bright yellow, orange, or pure white in coloration, and are darker silver when live in bays.
- Santa Cruz, California to Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico.
- Gulf of California, Mexico.
- Uncommon north of Point Conception.
- Found inshore, in bays.
- Live in rocky areas, around pilings and similar submerged structures.
- Found from the surface to 200 feet, but most common from 0 to 40 feet.
- Sargos spawn when they are about 2 years old and 7 inches long.
- Spawning occurs in late spring and early summer.
- Bottom feeders, eat small shrimps, crabs, clams, sea snails, bryozoans.
- As juveniles (under 5 inches), they are often found schooling with young salema and black croakers, before joining adult sargo schools.
- Sargo make a piglike grunt when removed from the water.
Sources: California Department of Fish and Wildlife; KenJonesFishing.com; USGS
Photo: Herb Gruenhagen