Is This a Poacher?


this a poacher? I spotted this fish at Tajiguas, a beach about 10 miles NW of Santa Barbara, about noon last weekend. It was on sand
under strong sunlight. The depth was about 12 ft and the water was
about 59F. It was extremely active, swimming mostly with its pectorals, but
also undulating doral and caudal fins. I thought it swam like a tiny shark. The pectorals had interesting
spines through a transparent strip at the trailing edge. It was very
keen on staying away from me, zipping off a few yards to rest on the
next ripple in the sand. So far as I can tell, it did not have
any protrusions at the tip of its snout. It looks like the images of poachers in the books, although
its habits seem different. The color was completely black or brown. The
photos aren't great -- but the fish was very elusive.



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