Squarespot Rockfish – Sebastes hopkinsi.


Identifying Characteristics and Biology

  • This species is a smaller rockfish (a fish of 12 inches would be very large). Average line-caught sizes are between 8 to 10 inches.
  • They are perch-shaped, and colorations range from yellowish to brown darker on top to lighter moving down sides.
  • The “spots” coloration range from brown to reddish-brown and are roughly square or rectangular in shape.

Range and Habitat

  • An Eastern Pacific rockfish found from southern Oregon to central Baja California, including the Guadalupe islands.
  • This species range in depths from 60 to 600 feet, most common in 120 to 350 feet.
  • Squarespot rockfish can be found over rock piles and rock reefs

Market Forms

  • Mainly fresh, caught by sportfishermen with hook and line. Not common in commercial markets.
  • Very commonly caught by sport fisherman with hook and line, this species requires appropriate sized gear for this fish’s smaller size. Small hooks with enough sinkers to get through current and strip baits such as squid or clams.


John Shelton, the Fishing Chef, will help you get ‘that’ fish onto ‘your’ plate. John’s motto is ‘release it unharmed or do it justice on the plate.’ Executive Chef, photographer, and surfer, John photographs ocean marine life when he's out fishing, and creates masterpieces in the kitchen with what he keeps on deck. His photo works have been used in OEHHA Fish Advisories, National Geographic presentations, and nonprofit marine life groups. When he's not fishing, he's making great BBQ. Visit him at johnsheltondesigns.com, and send him a message using the contact form using the link above.