Shortfin Corvina, Cynoscion parvipinnis: The Shortfin Covina is characterized by its overall silver appearance, blue-gray back, very large mouth, projecting lower jaw, no barbells, and smooth edges of the gill covers. The anal and pectoral fins are short and the caudal fin is slightly concave. Their lateral line is arched anteriorly. The Shortfin Covina is covered with rough scales, the inside of the mouth is yellow, and inside the gill cover is dark.
The Shortfin Corvina might be confused with a series of other croakers including the Bigeye Corvina or Silver Weakfish, Isopisthus remifer (long anal and pectorals, large space between dorsal fins), the Bluestreak Croaker, Elattarchus archidium (blunt snout, oblique stripe on sides, short anal fins, long pectoral fins, straight caudal fin), the Deepwater Weakfish, Cynoscion nannus (large eye, long pointed pectorals, long dorsal extending into caudal base, angularly blunt caudal), the Gulf Weakfish, Cynoscion othonopterum (projecting lower jaw, slightly concave tail, arched lateral line which becomes straight, yellow fins), the Queen Croaker, Seriphus politus (large mouth with projecting lower jaw, dark lines along the sides, dark pectoral fin and all other fins yellow), the Sharpnose Weakfish, Cynoscion phoxocephalis (oblique mouth, short pectoral and pelvics, straight caudal, smooth scales), the Striped Weakfish, Cynoscion reticulatus (brown wavy stripes down the sides, dark anal and pectorals), the Totoaba, Totoaba macdonaldi (large oblique mouth with projecting lower jaw, pointed caudal fin, notched dorsal fin and dark fin coloration), and the White Seabass, Atractoscion nobilis (square mouth, dark blotch at inner base of pectorals, long dorsal base, raised ridge down center of belly).
In Mexican fishing waters, the Shortfin Covina is found along the Pacific side of the Baja California Sur peninsula and throughout the Gulf of California. However, it is absent south of Mazatlan along the mainland coast.
The Shortfin Corvina is found in the first 150 feet of the water column, normally in shallow coastal waters over sandy or mud bottoms. The Shortfin Covina is reported to reach 24 inches in length. This species is caught primarily on cut bait (clams, squid, mullet, etc.) with small hooks and bottom rigs. It is viewed by locals to be excellent table fare.
Note: The Shortfin Corvina was unsuccessfully transplanted into the Salton Sea in 1952.
The Shortfin Corvina is a member of the Sciaenidae or Croaker or Drum Family.