Feeds on small fishes, octopuses and squid. Live squid and oversized metal, lead and rubber jigs are often effective baits for this species. Live or salted anchovies or frozen squid are also considered good baits for the cowcod.
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They may live up to 55 years old. The Cow Cod releases its young during the winter and early spring. A single female may produce 2 million young.
Cowcod occur from Ranger Bank and Guadalupe Island, Baja California, to Usal, California. This is a deeper water species occurring at depths from 60 feet (young) to 1,200 feet. Cowcod are found over rocky bottoms, particularly where there are sharp, steep drop-offs.
Deep, fusiform, compressed; adults yellow-red or pink with faint dark bars; juveniles yellow with dark bars. Head ridges not serrate; 5-6 pairs of head spines; lower jaw projects slightly beyond upper; wide space between bottom of eye and upper lip. Dorsal fins continuous, deeply notched; spines longer than rays; membranes between dorsal spines deeply incised. Caudal fin slightly forked.