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Whiting, baby flounder and Smelt

Need these for a Spanish fish fry. Any suggestion on where to find?

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  1. Smelts are pretty much an east coast fish. Maybe Point Loma Seafood can order them for you. As for flounder, Pacific coast sole should accommodate you.

    Point Loma Seafoods
    2805 Emerson St, San Diego, CA 92106

    1. Smelt are from the Great Lakes. Caught in the spring. Because they are frozen over now.

      Flounder are from the Northern Atlantic Ocean (fluke are like flounder and can be caught in the summer in the Pacific).

      Whiting are in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean.

      None will be found fresh here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        Smelts, like what I think the OP and I are referring to, are ocean going fish, primarily the North Alantic.

        1. re: Cathy

          Flounders are also from the Pacific Ocean (and according to the Seafood watch list the better alternative to the Atlantic ones).

          1. re: Cathy

            Pacific Whiting aka Pacific Hake are found all along the west coast.
            same for California Flounder / California Halibut.

          2. Smelt and baby flounder can be found at Ranch 99 and Mitsuwa Market. Either fresh or frozen depending on the season.

            1 Reply
            1. re: steveprez

              Frozen whitings aren't all that bad . Fillets or whole broiled,fried,sauté etc. I enjoy a soup with whiting ,fennel bulb,olives,onions capers,and wine. I'll add different shell fish and serve over shell pasta or couscous .So again frozen whiting is ok

            2. If you are in coastal North County call Pelly's Fish Market, they will be able to get you what ever you need.

              Pelly's Fish Market & Cafe
              7110 Avenida Encinas # 101, Carlsbad, CA

              1. Great information. I will call Point Loma, Pelly's and then look at Ranch 99 tomorrow and post my findings. Thanks!

                Point Loma Cafe
                4856 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

                1. Sorry to take so long. Point Loma nor Pelly's would special order. Ranch 99 has smelt but not baby flounder or whiting. Seaside Market says they can order after the storms subside in the East Coast. Fishing boats are not going out right now.

                  Point Loma Cafe
                  4856 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dbwave

                    Northgate Gonzalez also has previously frozen headless smelts.

                  2. So unforntunately I stuck out on both Baby Flounder and Whiting. Seaside market checked and the best they could do is baby sole from Europe.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: dbwave

                      too bad there are no fresh sardines around. They would work well. I have looked everywhere to no avail. Whole foods said they may get them one day.

                      1. re: lyn

                        In some states there are minimum size regs. on flounder/fluke.

                        1. re: lyn


                          1. re: juantanamera

                            Ditto San Diego bait barges (though you need a boat to get to them!):



                            1. re: bizzwriter

                              so bait barge would require:
                              1) a new friend with a boat that will take me out there,as well as maybe other boating places for some beer and/or wine for sipping for the ride.
                              2) a new friend who would help me learn to clean them (you really would only need to gut them, right? scales would be ok, wouldnt they be?)

                              1. re: lyn

                                You're on the right track!

                                1. re: lyn

                                  Scales gota go as well. Then there's filleting, something you get better at with experience.

                                  1. re: cstr

                                    The sardine I thinking of, the ones I had in spain and southern italy (and of all places, cleveland), where whole, head on, and had the bones. They were small enough to eat bones and all. The entire fish, head to tail ranged from about 4-6 inches. They were grilled on a flat grill in olive oil.

                                    1. re: lyn

                                      You're correct, the bones are very fine and can be easily broken down, it's a texture thing and no scales. Also, they're excellent grilled with some EVOO and S&P. Some Atlantic species are referred to as smelts.

                            2. re: lyn

                              I have seen them fresh at Whole Foods before. I had fresh sardines at Cul Inst of America in Napa a few months ago. Amazing!