Petrale Sole


Also called sole, California sole,

brill, petral, round-nosed sole. 


The Meat:

Petrale fillets can be sauteed, broiled, baked, etc.  A good flaky white fish.


Small petrales will be headed and gutted, big ones filleted.

Health concerns:

None that I know of.  Petrales are quite the predators though, feeding on a wide range of invertebrates during their misspent youths, and moving on to fishes as adults.

Gear and fishery info:

See “sand dab” section for more info on gear/boat. The petrale fishery is almost entirely the province of the bottom trawl fleet. Again, the only petrales you are likely to get from me will be from the Mr Morgan out of HMB.  The Mr.Morgan uses a Scottish Seine.  This net does not use the heavy doors and rollers that trawlers typcially drag across the ocean floor. It supposedly “herds” the fish into the net by a series of ropes and cables. This is thought to be a much kinder and gentler method of getting bottom dwelling fishes like petrales, dabs, chilipeppers etc. And although it probably disturbs the bottom of the ocean to some degree it is thought to be less destrutive than outright trawling.

Fish Nerdism 101:

Petrale sole have been a mainstay of the commercial fishing industry since the late 1800s. Here's a quote from Milton Love's book, (Certainly More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes Of The Pacific Coast, p. 567) taken from the infamous biologist David Starr Jordan, writing in the 1870s: 


“Great numbers {of petrale sole} are dried yearly by the Chinese who suspend them by strings on a frame placed on the roofs of the houses as they are too fleshy to dry well on tables. Here they rustle in the wind, and, striking together, produce a sound like the wind in the leaves.”

Parting Shots
  • Scientific Name:               Eopsetta jordani


  • Habitat:  Petrale Sole live on sandy bottoms, usually in deep water, down to depths of about 550 metres (1,800 ft).


  • Diet:  Juvenile petrale sole feed on cumaceans, carideans and amphipods, whilst adults will eat shrimps, crabs, epibenthos organisms and other fish, such as herring, hake, anchovy, pollock and other flatfish.


  • Size:  Males can grow to 53 centimetres (21 in) in length, females to 70 centimetres (28 in), and they can weigh up to 3.7 kilograms (8.2 lb).


  • Range:  Its native habitat is the Eastern Pacific, stretching from the coast of Baja California in the south to the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea in the north.

2010 - present

2010 - present

Petrales are occasionally caught by paty boat fishermen stopping to load up near the Farrallon islands on live sand dabs for ling cod bait.