Spotfin Croaker


The Spotfin Croaker, scientifically named Roncador ‍stearnsii, is⁣ a member of the Sciaenidae‍ family, commonly referred to as⁤ the‌ drum or croaker⁤ family.

Conservation Status

Currently, the Spotfin ‌Croaker ⁣is not on ⁢the verge of⁢ extinction and does not possess a ​”threatened” status according to‍ most conservation categorizations.


Parameter Average Range
Length 46⁤ cm 26 cm – 66 cm
Weight 5⁢ kg 1 kg – 8 kg
Lifespan 10 years N/A


Spotfin Croakers are widespread from Mazatlán,‍ Mexico north to Santa ⁤Cruz, California, USA. It ‍is ‌most abundant near the beaches of southern ‍California and⁢ Northern Baja California, Mexico. No significant ⁢migration patterns of this species have been defined yet.


They prefer a habitat of shallow sandy beaches and bays. Spotfin Croakers can be found at a depth ‍range‌ of 3 to 27 ‍meters, favoring‍ moderately warm temperatures ranging from 68°F to 79°F.⁢

When and Where to See

This species​ shows a strong seasonal pattern with numbers peaking during the summer months. They ⁣are more active during​ the night, staying close ‍to the seafloor.

Best Fishing ⁤Locations

  1. Newport Beach, California
  2. La Jolla,‌ California
  3. Long Beach, California
  4. Dana Point, California
  5. Malibu, California

Spotfin Croakers are ⁣known for their residence‌ on sandy ⁢beaches and bays. Therefore, focus on places with soft sandy bottoms and check out near-bottom habitats at night.

How to Catch

Commonly used baits are shrimp, clams, sand crabs and bloodworms. ​Techniques such as surf fishing and bottom fishing are quite successful. The best time to fish for​ Spotfin Croaker is in the ‌warmer ​summer months during the night.

Identification Guide

A large and elongated body ​marked with spots, a straight ​mouth with small teeth and a large black spot at the base of the pectoral fin are key ‍identifiers for the Spotfin Croaker. The Spotfin Croaker, unlike the similar Yellowfin Croaker, has a distinct spot on its dorsal fin.


Spotfin Croaker is a flavorful fish that can be grilled,​ broiled or pan fried. The flavor profile is sweet, with a medium ⁤firmness and flaky texture. Nutritionally, it is an excellent source of protein, vitamin ‌D and ⁣selenium.

Additional Information

Spotfin Croakers are observed to‌ feed on polychaetes, small benthic crustaceans, and small fishes. Predators include larger fish species and marine birds. Spotfin ⁣Croaker also faces threats from ⁤human activities like overfishing and disruption of habitats through​ coastal development.‌ Although⁢ there is no direct cultural or historical significance, the Spotfin Croaker is considered a popular recreational ‌fish‌ in​ Southern California.

References ⁤and Further Reading