"Blanquillo", aka Ocean Whitefish
Season: Though we get them rearely they are fished year round in So. Cal
Also known as blanquillo - "whitey", Caulolatilus princeps
This is a really awesome flaky white fish, but not reminiscent of rockfish lingcod or truecod. It’s really it’s own thing. The fillets often seem to be thicker or maybe meatier is a better word. Although unrelated, the ocean whitefish is much closer in flavor and texture to white seabass than it is to rockfish or lings.
Your ocean whitefish fillets will usually come skin-on. You can watch this VIDEO to see how to easily remove it.
I do not have any health info on this species, but I do not see why it would be problematic in any way since it is short-lived (compared to other California species), has a wide ranging diet (including fish, copepods, snails, crabs, squid, clams and scallops), and occupies a medium-low tier on the food chain.
Gear and fishery info:
The only ocean whitefish we get are caught by hook and line. Or occasionally by bottom longline. This is a southern California/Mexico fishery and as such is typically caught by artisanal fishermen operating small boats in nearshore waters. Blanquillo is a very important (and popular) food fish in the markets of Baja.
We don’t get a whole lot of blanquillo in this area but when we do it’s a big deal. It has become one of the most popular fish that we sell. If you ever want to see live ones go check out the main tank at the Cal Academy in Golden Gate Park, there are a lot of them swimming around in there!
Scientific Name: Caulolatilus princeps
Habitat: Over reefs, in eelgrass, on sandy bottom or even kelp canopy
Diet: They feed upon fish, copepods, snails, crabs, squid, clams and scallops.
Size: Most of the ones we get are between 4 and 9 pounds
Range: Vancouver to Chile, but most commonly caught off Mexico and So. Cal
2010 - present
2010 - present