Yellowfin Surgeonfish

Average Weight/Length

Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4795); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed

Family, Genus, Class & Etymology

Family    Acanthuridae
Description    Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes
Environment    Marine
Etymology    Greek, akantha = thorn + oura = tail
Genus    6
No. of Species    82
Order    Perciformes
Class    Actinopterygii
Reproductive Guild    Nonguarders
Distribution    Circumtropical, especially around coral reefs; five species in the Atlantic, the remaining in the Pacific and Indian oceans. All have a deep compressed body with the eye high on the head and a long preorbital bone. Single unnotched dorsal fin with 4-9 spines and 19-31 rays; anal fin with 2 (only Naso) or 3 spines and 19-36 rays; pelvic fins with 1 spine and 3 (Naso and Paracanthurus) or 5 rays. Very small ctenoid scales. A small terminal mouth with a single row of close-set teeth. Most surgeon fishes graze on benthic algae and have a long intestine; some feed mainly on zooplankton or detritus. Surgeon fishes are able to slash other fishes with their sharp caudal spines by a rapid side sweep of the tail. Pelagic spawners. Many species have bright colors and are popular aquarium fishes.

Location Habitat

Live in various reef habitats, sand slopes and lagoons. Juveniles inhabit shallow, protected, turbid inshore waters while adults prefer deeper areas of protected bays and lagoons. Also in outer reef areas. Benthopelagic. Schooling species, feed on diatoms, detritus film of sand, filamentous algae, hydroids, and pieces of fish.

Biology & Physical Description

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25-27; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 23 - 25. Body purplish gray when alive; grayish brown when preserved; a region of dull yellow in front of eye, a lesser extension posterior to lower part of eye; outer 1/3 of pectoral fin yellow, extreme distal part hyaline; dorsal and anal fins yellowish grey basally, dull yellow distally; caudal fin base whitish; caudal fin purplish. Anterior gill rakers 16-24, posterior 17-22. Caudal spine small.

Geographic Species Map ( Map)

Summary of Distribution: Indo-Pacific: coast of East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia, north to southern Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia. Eastern Pacific: lower Gulf of California and Clipperton Island to Panama and the Galapagos Islands.

Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (

Sport Fishing Techniques

Still Fishing

The simplest of fishing methods can also be the most effective. Still-fishing is a matter of putting your bait in the water and waiting for a fish to find it. Depending on water depth and what you’re trying to catch, you may want to still-fish near the surface, at a mid-water depth, or right down on the bottom. Using a float, or bobber, makes it easy to fish near the surface, or you can add sinkers to your line to fish deeper. Still fishing is a versatile way to go. You can do it from a pier, a bridge, an anchored boat or from shore. You can still fish on the bottom or off the bottom in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams for a variety of species. And you can still fish during most seasons and during any part of the day. You have to be very patient. You need to wait for the fish to bite. Still fishing is a versatile way to go. You can do it from a pier, a bridge, an anchored boat or from shore. You can still fish on the bottom in ponds, lakes, rivers and streams for a variety of species. .

Jigging (Bottom)

Jig fishing is popular and challenging. Why? Because the person fishing is creating the action that attracts, or doesn’t attract, the particular type of fish he or she is trying to catch. Here’s how it works. Cast out and let your jig hook sink to the bottom. Then use your rod tip to raise the bait about a foot off the bottom. Then let it drop back to the bottom. You can jig up and down, side to side or up and down and sideways. Jig rigs come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be used with or without live bait..

Game Rating

Game Rating : 4/10

Game Description :

Probably the only surgeonfish that readily takes bait

Picture (Fish)