Onshore, Nearshore, Shallows, Rocky, Reef
1 - 2 pounds
6" - 10"
Also known as Blacksmith Chromis, Black Perch, Blue Perch or Blacksmith Damselfish, the Blacksmith belongs to the damselfish family. In Mexico they are known as Castañeta Herrera.
This fish is blue-black in color; black spots can be found towards the Blacksmith’s tail. It has large scales and possesses a forked tail. The Blacksmith’s young have a blue-grey front and a brownish-orange rear.
Blacksmiths feed on plankton, more specifically zooplankton. They also feast on various small species in the area like copepods, the eggs and larvae of other marine organisms.
Blacksmiths reach a maximum of 30.5 cm (12.0 inches); however, a majority of them grow up to only 10-20 cm (4-8 in) long.
This fish is a common catch by anglers near the rocky shores in southern California. Size 6 to 8 hooks work best when angling on the bottom to mid-depth. The recommended baits for the Blacksmith are live bloodworms, lugworms, or small pieces of shrimp and squid.
Since Blacksmith are found inshore, look for them in kelp forests, rocky reefs, and steep banks as deep as 61 m or 200 feet. Note that they are also abundant in piers, oil platforms, docks, bridge pilings, and other manmade structures.
Blacksmiths are native to the areas around the Northeastern Pacific Ocean ranging from Monterey Bay, California, USA to Central Baja California, Mexico.
The Blacksmith is a demersal species which means that it is found at depths up to 61 m (200 feet). They are mainly an inshore fish, often visiting man-made structures like, oil platforms, docks, and piers. It is mostly associated with rocky reefs and forests of kelp. They usually stay close to the sea floor, on rocks and slops, and kelp forests. The juveniles use kelp beds for a habitat.