Halibut have an arch in their lateral line above the pectoral fin, sanddabs have a straight lateral line. 2.) Sanddabs are all “left-eyed”. In other words, if you hold the fish up like it was a normal fish (non-flatfish
Examples of bottom feeding fish species groups are flatfish (halibut, flounder, plaice, sole), eels, cod, haddock, bass, grouper, carp, bream (snapper) and some species of catfish and shark.
The following are some of the frequently asked questions one may have about sanddabs, halibuts and flatfish in general:
Both sanddabs and halibuts are beautiful fish that offer some truly marvelous marine biological facts. Did you know that the oldest documented age for a halibut male and female is 55 years?
Author Note: That’s an incredible life span for a fish, perhaps because they are so large and are largely bottom feeders. They are also experts at camouflage! The age of a halibut is calculated by counting the rings on the fish’s ear bone.
Of course, this is an estimate but it is a close enough estimate.
Pacific sanddabs, on the other hand, are masters of disguise! They are small but they can change the color of their body on command to match with their surroundings, implementing the perfect camouflage!
Sanddabs vs Halibut
While sanddabs and halibuts are both bottom feeders and flat, there are also several differences that one can cite, which sets them apart.
Size: For starters, sanddabs are typically small to medium-sized fish. If one were to debone them before cooking, there will be nothing left of the body! That’s how small and bony a sanddab is, no matter what variety of sanddab it is. Halibut, on the other hand, accounts for one of the largest types of flatfish in the world! A halibut can grow up to 9 feet in length and can weigh up to 500 pounds! Surely, there is no mistaking a halibut for a sanddab, even if they are both flatfish.
Eye Position: Most flatfish have both eyes on the same side as they glide horizontally on the ocean floor, instead of with their back up and belly down. However, the eye position of all flatfish is not the same. For example, halibuts have their eyes on the right side of their body, while sanddabs tend to be left-eyed. Even if a halibut offspring is born with one left eye, it will graduate to the right side within six months.
Halibut vs Flounder: The main difference between halibut and sanddabs comes down to whether or not halibut would be considered a flounder. Sanddabs are often referred to as small flounders, whereas halibut are too large and relatively meatier compared to an average flounder. Flounders also tend to be more delicate, soft and flaky compared to halibuts.
Fat Content: While sanddabs and halibut are both healthy and sustainable fish for one to consume, halibuts are some of the least fatty fish that one can consume, not only compared to sanddabs, but to most other types of fish.
Body: The bodies of sanddabs and halibuts are naturally different, given that one can be more than double the size of the other. But one distinctive feature that sets their bodies apart is that sanddabs tend to have a straight line curving down the back, whereas halibut begins to curve right around the pectoral fin. This is because of the sheer size and weight of the halibut.
Do sand dabs taste like halibut?
It really does taste like a halibut, only sweeter. A 10-inch sanddab is a very mature animal, so figure on two or probably three fish per person at the dinner table. They are easy to find and fish for.
What fish is similar to sand dabs?
Rex sole, that is, a fish that is almost identical to the sand dab in all the most important ways. Its flesh is moist and firm, its flavor clean and sweet.
What does sand dabs taste like?
This fish has sweet tasting meat but savory skin. It is said to taste like trout and French Fries, respectively.
Do halibut eat sand dabs?
Sanddabs below are 4″ and 6″ size.
Great for lingcod, snapper, grouper, cobia, snook, halibut, striper, drum, sea trout and more.