Species of the Caribbean Mexican 16th “Pollock”(Myctioperca Bonaci)

In this installment, we’ll talk about fish that can be found in area of reef of our Mexican Caribbean has a high importance in commercial fisheries and as a species for sport fishing can be an opponent worthy of a singular fight in which the rate of reaction of the fisherman is the difference between fish or lose a lure or rig.

It is one of large predators in the reef, but it feeds mainly on crustaceans and small shrimp also eat smaller fishes for ciguatera which can present sometimes.

Interestingly this species when adults prefer warm waters, so in juvenile stages we can find them far to the North on the Atlantic coast of the United States as Massachusetts, where we will not find adults of the species. Just like on the coast south of Brazil might find youth but not adults.

Of the same genus “Myctioperca” there are other species that may occasionally be confused with the Whitehorn, and in Mexico we call “Haddock”, are Myctioperca MicropelisMyctioperca Tigris and Myctioperca phenax all of them very similar but with some morphological differences that are not so easy to differentiate, even though they are of similar colors, their fins and the shape of the skin blemishes as well as their coloration, allows us to distinguish each other


It is a species that can be found in tropical and subtropical, with temperatures above 22 degrees Celsius, both northward and southward in waters subtropical juveniles of the species we can find, however adults are found in tropical waters, is closer to the equator, so finding large specimens is more common in the Caribbean Sea.

Due to its wide distribution it has many names common in countries where it is possible to find them, in Mexico called Pollock, Whitehorn, Cabrilla, in English-speaking countries Rock Fish, Black Grouper, Marbled Rockfish, and some others of their names Cherna Negrillo, birthplace, cuba bonaci, Grouper, mero cherna, mere pinto, Mona serigado.

Morphology and scientific data:

It is a species that can measure up to a meter and a half and weigh up to 100 kg that usually encountered in reef areas with depths from 0 to 35 meters, in any of its stages.

It is an oviparous hermaphrodite species and usually played in groups, is solitary and only meets others of his species during the breeding season where performed a sunset and fertilizes the eggs which move with the currents on the reef, where hatch then separate again until a new cycle.

In juvenile stages feed on zooplankton, crustaceans and small species, and when adults feed mainly on fish so you easily can be carriers of ciguatoxin.

They are brown with white spots, his body smudged and the tips of their fins are black, stains may have a grey or light brown hue. It has 11 spines followed by 15 to 17 soft rays, 3 Annals spines followed by 11 soft rays arriving at the base of the tail, which is comprised of soft rays with rounded tips.


It is a species with high value for commercial fishing, as their meat is highly appreciated. In the case of sport fishing is common to catch you in areas of rock and reef, using background bait or lure depth. Usually ambush their prey and is very fast to return to seek protection from rocks, so if we do not react in time we will lose our rig and fish, since only takes out deception and takes refuge in his cave.

You can trolear with relatively large reels (25-30 lbs) and have fairly tight brake, trying to avoid that in the first attack we allow him back to stone. This is to find large haddock, can use lure palette such as Storm Deep Thunder, or the Rapala Magnum Xrap Deep, as well as mirrolure Deep 25. In general any lure large paddle that go near the bottom can give a result.

The bait we can trolear entire lizetas, we place them lead so that they are not as high, and trolear them slowly, also baits how Notaries work but we need ballast them. Being a big mouth fish, should not worry much about the size of our lures, as they are quite aggressive with lures up to about 20 centimeters that sucks its prey as it passes near it, it is not common that it pursues a dam having opportunistic behavior.

When we searched them thoroughly in areas not so low, we can use large bucktail of about 3 or 4 ounces, that we can place on the back as “trailer” a big rubber either a grub or a minnow, or if you prefer an additional arrangement hook with clerk or “bally hoo”, this should trolearlo slowly or garetear in the area of rocks and get our deception slowly moving it near the bottom.