Anchoveta, Cetengraulis mysticetus

The Anchoveta, Cetengraulis mysticetus, whose common Spanish name is anchoveta bocona, is a species in the Anchovy or Engruadlidae Family, known collectively as sardina in Mexico. Globally, there are only three species in the genus Cetengraulis, two of which are found in Mexican waters, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific.

The Anchovetas are herring-like fish with an elongated, strongly-compressed, and deep body with a bluish back and a silvery belly. Their heads have a sharply pointed snout and a short top jaw and their mouths extend well beyond their eyes. They have no canine teeth. They have one dorsal fin that originates at mid-body, pectoral fins that are long and reach the pelvic fins on the belly, and an anal fin base that is long and originates under the last third of the dorsal fin.

The Anchovetas are found in large schools over muddy inshore areas at depths up to 100 feet and reach a maximum length of 22 cm (8.6 inches). They feed on planktonic organisms. They are a poorly studied species and very little is now about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Anchovetas are found in all waters of the Pacific noting that they are exceedingly rare in the greater Los Cabos area.

The Anchoveta can be confused with the Bigscale Anchovy, Anchovia macrolepidota (pale caudal fin and dorsal fin with a black margin).

If available the Anchoveta can be used as a live flylinned bait, as a cut bait, or cut up for chum.

Anchoveta, Cetengraulis mysticetus. Fish provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, April 2011. Length: 10.0 cm (3.9 inches).