Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides)

Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides)

Pinfish, pin perch, sand perch, butterfish

Also known as … pin perch, sand perch, butterfish

Description …

The pinfish is a small fish only growing to about 4.5 inches.  They have a silvery sheen with 5 to 6 vertical bars on the side.  Olive colored backs with yellow and white pigments, with blue, green, and purple iridescence.  The anterior dorsal fin has rigid spiny rays that are capable of puncturing human skin, giving it the name pinfish.  They prefer water depths between 30 and 50 feet however juveniles are more common near cover or structure such as rocky bottoms, seagrass beds, jetties, and pilings. 

Pin Fish, Massey's Landing, Long Neck , DE
Pin fish at Massey’s Landing on peeler crab

They prefer higher salinity waters, but can be found in the brackish inland bays of Delaware.  Not a schooling fish but will mingle with other species where food is abundant such as barnacles on pilings, like the Cape Henlopen pier or Masseys landing.  They are considered nuisance bait stealers, but make good bait for predatory fish.   Juvenile pinfish are more carnivorous than the adults.  They will eat shrimp, fish eggs, insect larvae, polychaete worms, and amphipods.  As they get older they switch to mostly plant matter for food.

Pinfish can be caught on small pieces of cut bait, squid, grass shrimp, crab and bloodworms … even fishbites.

Delaware Creel limit …  None


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