Sardina, Flatiron Herring, Pacific Flatiron Herring
Sardina, Arenque Plumita, Sardineta Plumita
(Harengula thrissina)

Sardina (Flatiron Herring), Harengula thrissina: The Sardina, or Flatiron Herring, has a moderately deep body, iridescent blue back, silver sides, and a characteristic and identifying black spot just behind the top of the gill cover.

The Sardina, or Flatiron Herring also has a faint yellow stripe on the upper side, anal fin with a short base, pelvic fins directly under the dorsal fin, and pectoral fins that reach the dorsal fin origin.

This fish species cannot be easily confused with any other sardine or herring due to its wide body and lack of elongated dorsal fin rays. It reaches a length of 7 inches and is virtually weightless.

It is normally found in the first 30 feet of the water column in massive schools over sandy bottoms.

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

In Mexican fishing waters, it is found along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula south of Guerrero Negro, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala.

It does not appear to be present around the oceanic islands, however.

Note: Although it is a herring, in Mexican fishing areas , this species is almost universally called a “sardina,” or “sardine,” by natives and tourists alike.

The "Sardina" or Flatiron Herring is a member of the Clupeidae or Herring Family of small forage fish.

Sardina or Flatiron Herring picture

Sardina or Flatiron Herring, Harengula thrissina: A prized and primary component of a purchased “scoop of bait.” Caught while fishing in the surf zone, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, during the winter months, with water temperatures below 78 degrees, early morning in 5 to 10 foot deep water, utilizing a net cast by a panguero bait salesman. Size varies from 3 to 6 inches and they are virtually weightless. This very small “beast” is the mainstay of the Los Cabos sport fishing industry and a very simple rule of thumb is that if you have "sardinas" in your panga you will have a highly productive day, and if you don’t you won’t without major effort and a great deal of luck! Survives a panga “bait tank” at a high level provided that an adequate amount of water per sardine is present. Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Sardina or Flatiron Herring picture

Sardina or Flatiron Herring, Harengula thrissina: Photo courtesy Gordo Banks Pangas.  Fish I.D. courtesy Peter Langstraat.

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