Sebastes Nigrocinctus



Rocky Outcrops, Boulders, Jetties, Rocky Reefs

2 - 5 pounds

11" - 19"

Tiger Rockfish

Also Known As: Black-banded Rockfish, Tiger Seaperch, Banded Rockfish

Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes Nigrocinctus) Description

Tiger Rockfish go by different names. Black-banded Rockfish, Tiger Seaperch, and Banded Rockfish – these are the common and known names that the Tiger Rockfish may be known as. This particular fish is known to be deep-bodied, making it a meaty catch. However, be careful when handling these fishes. The Tiger Rockfish has a lot of spines that can cut through your skin if you’re not careful. 

The thick spines on the Tiger Rockfish’s dorsal fin make it appear like blades. However, the front portion of its dorsal fin is where most of the spines are whereas the back has more rays. Its tailfin has a torn appearance but not it’s not spiky. Rather, it has a square edge. It kind of looks like a broom if you take a good look at it. The Tiger Rockfish has a pink color, turning white at its underbelly. It has dark, vertical black stripes from which its name is derived from. 


Diet and Size

The Tiger Rockfish has a cavernous mouth, allowing it to inhale its preys with little to no difficulty. As an adult Tiger Rockfish, they often feed on small crustaceans. These small crustaceans include small crabs and shrimps that hide in the sand. They also eat small fishes like herrings and sand lances, and sometimes even smaller rockfishes such as Black Rockfish might end up as part of their diet.

Tiger Rockfishes can grow quite big. They reach up to 24 inches and weigh up to 5 lbs. On average though, there appears to be a difference when it comes to their sex. Females grow up only to 11-18 inches (usually this is when they are sexually mature). While males, they grow up to 14-19 inches.


Interesting Facts about the Tiger Rockfish

  • Tiger Rockfishes are very easily affected by the weather.
    • Most of the effect is due to the kind of prey they can eat.
  • Some Tiger Rockfishes can reach very old age.
    • The oldest dated one was 166 years old.
    • However, in captivity, they usually have a short lifespan of about 8 years or so.
  • They’re solitary fish.
    • Like other members of its family, the Tiger Rockfish often times doesn’t mingle with other fish.
  • Tiger Rockfishes hide in crevices.
    • They’re increasingly territorial.
    • Tiger Rockfishes lash out aggressively if they are disturbed.
  • If stressed, Tiger Rockfishes are known to change color.


Fishing Techniques: How to Fish for a Tiger Rockfish

Tiger Rockfishes are considered an uncommon catch. Since they like the deep, it’s rare for a Tiger Rockfish to even be pulled up to the surface. Most of the time, Tiger Rockfishes are lurking down below. However, they are also known for their aggressive natures so there may be sometimes a Tiger Rockfish will fight another.

To catch a Tiger Rockfish, most people use the general rule of catching Rockfishes. One of the techniques in catching Rockfishes is through Jigging. Jigging means creating snappy, vertical motions that will attract the Rockfish. Since yanking the jig up and down may make it look like a shrimp or crab to the Tiger Rockfish, it’ll definitely bite onto that. However, it’ll take a while since the Tiger Rockfish are quite a few in number.

Another technique is Deep-Sea Fishing. This technique is perfect for those deep dwellers like the Tiger Rockfish. By lowering your lure near the crevices and rocky reefs, you can eventually lure out the Tiger Rockfish from its hiding spot.


Habitat and Distribution

As of now, Tiger Rockfish are known to hide in jetties and rocky bottoms of the ocean. They hide in rocky reefs and places where there’s a lot of shrimp and crabs. They usually stay in depths that are at least 32 feet and at a maximum of 820 feet. Usually, they are in the portion of the Gulf of Mexico that leads to South Carolina.

Tiger Rockfish however are most abundantly seen in Kodiak Island and Prince William Sound, Alaska. Especially, among the rocky habitats – they normally emerge during dusk rather than day.