Amarillo Snapper

Amarillo Snapper, Lutjanus argentiventris

The Amarillo Snapper, Lutjanus argentiventris, also know at Yellow Snapper, whose common Spanish name and local name is Pargo Amarillo, is a member of the Snapper or Lutianidae Family, known collectively as “pargos” in Mexico.

The Amarillo Snapper has a moderately oblong body with an overall yellow color which is more prominent in the tail and lower part of the body. Larger adults are two toned, rosy red in the front and yellow in the back. The fins are yellow or orange. They have a distinctive blue horizontal streak below the eye which quickly fades after collection. They have a pointed snout with a large mouth. The anal fin is rounded with three spines (the second of which is thick) and eight rays; the caudal fin is straight; and, the dorsal fin is continuous and rounded at the terminal end with ten spines.

The Amarillo Snapper is found over rocky bottoms, close to caves and crevices at depths up to 310 feet. They reach a maximum length of 76 cm (30 inches). They are nocturnal predators feeding on crabs, mollusks, octopuses, shrimp, and small fish and take shelter during daylight. Juveniles will enter fresh water streams.

The Amarillo Snapper is an easy fish to identify that cannot be confused with any other species. They are found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific.

The Amarillo Snapper is considered to be an excellent food fish. They are not caught in abundance by hook and line as they virtually disappear shortly after first morning light. Early mornings, on occasion they become accessible, when they are chummed up to near the surface with cut bait. They are also accessible from the beach but only during pre-dawn hours with live sardines being the bait of choice. They are sold by many of the markets in the greater Los Cabos area with the fish presumable caught via nets being brought in from unknown locations.

Amarillo Snapper, Lutjanus argentiventris: Fish caught out of 50-foot water off Cabo Real, Baja California Sur, April 2012, on chrome yo-yo iron. Size: 45 cm (18 inches).

Amarillo Snapper, Lutjanus argentiventris: Fish caught out of 50-foot water off Cabo Real, Baja California Sur, April 2012, on chrome yo-yo iron. Size: 45 cm (18 inches).