Flat Fish ID Help

Bpresby

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Aug 19, 2020
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Bob presby
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Good Afternoon,

The first two are Fantail Sole caught on the backside of Catalina about a month ago (dropper loop and strip squid). The third one was caught on the same rig on the east end. At first I thought it was a small halibut, but it didn't have the teeth or the same look. To be safe and even though it is on the cutting board, it was released (along with the sole) to fight another day. Can anyone confirm it was a halibut or a different species of flatfish? I do see a bigmouth sole in the guidebooks, but cannot confirm.

Thanks for the help!

Fantail Sole 1 and 2.
IMG_3808.jpg

IMG_3811.jpg


Short Halibut or other fat fish?
IMG_3604.jpg
 

Derby

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Sep 9, 2010
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Hard to tell.

If lateral line is flat or gradual rise, eat it.

If teeth and hump in lateral line, halibut.
 

TOTW

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I’m not so good with the flatfishes. Most can be lumped into the right-eye family or the left-eye family which will allow you to eliminate a bunch of possibilities. The California halibut is the exception being in the left-eye family but 40% of them are right eyed. Your fish is a lefty, which would eliminate the right-sided Petrale above even though they look damn similar!

Edit: it’s definitely not a halibut, either! And I had halibut’s family backwards!
 
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surfgoose

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  • Jul 29, 2010
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    I think that J Woodman and NoLDR are correct. The tail shape and faint blotches on the fins and being right-eyed make a Petrale Sole the most likely suspect. Delicious and no limit on them, either. But you did the right thing, whenever in doubt about a fist just release it.
     

    TOTW

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    I think that J Woodman and NoLDR are correct. The tail shape and faint blotches on the fins and being right-eyed make a Petrale Sole the most likely suspect. Delicious and no limit on them, either. But you did the right thing, whenever in doubt about a fist just release it.
    The one on the cutting board that the OP is asking about is definitely left-eye. Rotate that petrale picture 90 degrees and the two fish will be mirror images of one another.
     

    Omarkayak

    I've posted enough I should know better...
    Jul 26, 2007
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    Long pec, high arch, two prominent, left-eyed/occasional right-eyed = fantail sole.

    I used to think they were bigmouth but pretty sure I was wrong once I caught a bigmouth sole.

    Sometimes find a few of 'em ganged up near halibut, don't know why. But whenever I get one of those while halibut fishing I make a second drift at least.

    Good fishin'!
    BDC OK
     
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    Bpresby

    Newbie
    Aug 19, 2020
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    Bob presby
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    Thank you for all of your help. The one added picture looks like a fantail sole to me which I have mis-identified before as a rock sole (unless they are the same species with two common names). With halibut, Rock Sole, and Petrele Sole eliminated based the what was presented; I think it is a bigmouth sole as Cardiffrich indicated.

    I really appreciate all of your help!

    B
     

    TOTW

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    I found my Peterson Field Guide today. The fantail sole, is "usually left-eyed, but frequently right-eyed. Lateral line is arched over pectoral fin. Pec fin is longer than the head."
    Given that long pec fin, and tail shape, I'd bank on the last pic also being a fantail. Xystreurys leolepis.
    The Peterson guide is a great resource. I highly recommend it for a reference tool on the boat. Mine held up for years on many, many boat rides and really helped me ID a lot of weird fish on the spot.