Porgy, Pacific Porgy
Pez de Pluma, Mojarrón
(Calamus brachysomus)

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: The Pacific Porgy is characterized by the distinct, steep profile of its large forehead, large silvery lips, long broad snout, and compressed body.

It is silvery brown, with irregular brown blotches, and five obscure bars on its sides. The Pacific Porgy is reported to have a barred or blotched color pattern when hiding, but the pattern fades when it swims into the open. Its identification is quite straightforward and it cannot be easily confused with other species.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

The Pacific Porgy is found in all Mexican fishing waters north to the central Pacific coast of Baja California, but not in great abundance. Although it grows to two feet in length, anything over 15 inches is rare. It is found over sandy bottoms near reefs in the first 200 feet of the water column. The Pacific Porgy is viewed as good table fare, utilized primarily as a component of soup.

The Pacific Porgy is one of a limited number of similar porgies, also known as Mojarrones, of which only one species resides in Mexican fishing areas. Five species are known in the Caribbean and about 100 globally.

The porgies are characterized by their deep bodies and long faces, and they are similar to the grunts with the exception that they have heavy, very strong molariform teeth. They feed on benthic invertebrates, especially shellfish, and shrimp, clams, and polychaete worms.

The Porgy is a member of the Serranidae Family known in Mexico as Meros and Cabrillas.

Pacific Porgy

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: We have found that one of the top eating fish from the Sea of Cortez is prone to parasite infestation found in the meat of approximately 10% of the Pacific Porgies we catch. Locals indicate that these should not be consumed by humans so we suggest you look for this problem and avoid the consumption of such contaminated fish. However, we have no knowledge that such parasites within cooked fish are harmful to humans. Photo and description courtesy of John Snow.

Porgy fish picture

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: Photo courtesy John Snow.

Porgy fish picture

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: This Porgy, photographed after death, was caught during a fishing trip with Capt. Pata on the panga Salome, at La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in 73-degree water, in April 2003, in 100 to 200-foot deep, water utilizing a 30-pound test with 40-pound two dropper loop rig, with swivel, 3-ounce bank sinker, and Mustad 92553 hooks, size 2/0 on cut squid, 10 miles north of La Playita. Size approximately 15 inches and 5 pounds and was an average fighter. The porgy is seldom caught in this area. It is viewed by locals as good table fare. Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Porgy fish picture

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: With coloration as it comes out of the water. Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Porgy fish picture

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: Photo courtesy John Snow.

Porgy fish picture

Pacific Porgy, Calamus brachysomus: This Porgy was caught during fishing by Joe Warner of Las Vegas at Punta San Francisquito,near Bahia de los Angeles (L.A. Bay), Baja California, Mexico. Photo courtesy Matt Quilter; fish idenfication by Peter Langstraat.

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