Kyphosus Incisor



Onshore, Nearshore, Rocky Bottom, Reef

4 - 8 pounds

15" - 35"

Yellow Sea Chub

Also Known As: Chub, Rudderfish

Yellow Sea Chub (Kyphosus incisor) Fish Description

The Yellow Sea Chub (Kyphosus incisor) is a medium-sized fish primarily found in the tropical to subtropical waters of the western Atlantic. The fish has an oblong to an oval compressed body, small head, small mouth with a blunt snout, and weakly forked caudal fin. It has one long and a spiny dorsal fin that runs from the base of the head and ends abruptly before the base of the tail. Even though the fish has a small mouth, it is equipped with strong jaws and sharp, incisor-like teeth. And, as the name suggests, it has alternate blue and yellow longitudinal lines along the sides.    


Diet and Size

Like all members of the Kyphosinae (AKA Rudderfishes) subfamily, the Yellow Sea Chub is omnivorous, which means it can pretty much live off anything it could find in its chosen environments of rocky bottoms and coral reefs. They eat benthic algae, crabs, mollusks, and even feces and vomit from spinner dolphins. And although there were records of the fish reaching thirty-five inches in length, most are just between fifteen and eighteen inches long.


Yellow Sea Chub Interesting Facts

  • The largest recorded Yellow Sea Chub measures thirty-five inches long and weighs eight and a half pounds.
  • Yellow Sea Chubs are oviparous or they produce their young by means of eggs that are hatched after they have been laid by the parent.
  • Yellow Sea Chubs aren’t fished commercially; they are mostly targeted by recreational anglers.
  • Their meat is edible but not highly regarded due to its mushy texture and bland taste, not to mention its rather short shelf life.
  • They are mostly caught via hook and line, by gill nets, or with spears.


Habitat and Distribution

Yellow Sea Chubs are endemic in the western side of the Atlantic—specifically within subtropical and tropical coastal waters ranging from Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the US to as far south as Brazil. They could also be found in the waters of Gulf of Mexico. 

They mostly stick within shallow waters, especially over rocky bottoms in coral reef areas. They also prefer areas where there are floating Sargassum weeds. 


Yellow Sea Chub Fishing Techniques

Although Yellow Sea Chubs are not really a highly prized fish, catching one can actually still be fun. You can easily catch them near the coasts by drift fishing on rocky bottoms and coral reefs. Also, the fish is quite small and can easily be caught using conventional rods and reels. Just make sure to use a small hook rigged with a tiny piece of fresh bait that would fit its small mouth. The best baits to use are fresh cut strips of fish, crab, or shrimp. You may also employ a bit of chumming (tiny bits of bread will actually be enough) to attract more Yellow Sea Chubs to your fishing spot.