Calico Surfperch


Calico ‌Surfperch,‍ scientifically known ​as Amphistichus koelzi, belongs to the family Embiotocidae.

Conservation Status

The Calico Surfperch is an abundant species, and considered to be of ‘Least Concern’ according to the IUCN Red List.


Statistic Value
Average Length 11 inches
Length ⁣Range 7-15 inches
Average ⁣Weight 3 pounds
Weight Range 1-5 pounds
Average Lifespan 10 years


Calico Surfperch are ⁣native to Pacific coastal waters of North America, from Vancouver Island, ​Canada, to southern Baja‌ California, Mexico. They are non-migratory, preferring⁤ to stay in warm, shallow waters.


Calico Surfperch prefer sandy or rocky bottoms near shore. They are found at depths ranging from 3⁤ to 30 feet and can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures: from 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

When and Where ​to See

They are a year-round species with high activity during spring and summer months. The best time to observe Calico Surfperch is ​during high tide when they come into ‍shallow⁢ waters to feed and spawn.

Best Fishing Locations

Though they can be found along large portions ‍of the ⁢west coast, some‍ of the most popular spots for Calico Surfperch Fishing include:

  1. Newport Pier, California
  2. Santa⁢ Cruz Municipal Pier, California
  3. Monterey Wharf II, California
  4. Seacliff State Beach Pier, ​California
  5. Del Mar Jetty, California
  6. San ‍Simeon State Park Pier, California
  7. Half Moon Bay, California
  8. Laguna Beach,‌ California
  9. Pismo Beach, California
  10. Redondo Beach, ⁤California

How to Catch

‍Preferred bait for Calico Surfperch⁢ often includes sandworms, shrimp, and ‌mussels. Fishing techniques include bottom fishing or​ casting with a ‌bait and hook. The best time to fish for‍ this species is during high tide and throughout the spring and summer seasons.

Identification Guide

The⁤ Calico Surfperch is a strikingly marked fish. Its characteristic features include a silvery-bronze body with reddish bars and ⁣a silver underbelly. Their dorsal and anal fins are usually deep red or orange.


Calico surfperch is a popular catch​ among recreational anglers for its fine taste and ⁣flaky white flesh. It is often pan-fried or grilled, but can‌ also be used in ⁤fish stews or soups. There is⁣ currently no ⁣specific information on nutritional content, but it is a good source ⁢of‌ protein like other fish species.

Additional Information

Calico Surfperch are daytime feeders, primarily eating various crustaceans, worms, and mollusks. They are known to ​be territorial and demonstrate breeding behaviors in which males court females with special swimming ⁢patterns. Their predators include sea lions, larger fish, ​and birds.

References and​ Further Reading

For more ‍information on Calico Surfperch, check⁤ out the following resources: