Pejerrey (Silverside) (Odontesthes regia)

Pejerrey (Silverside)

  • Size 5 inches
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Average
  • Habitats Backcountry, Inshore

Pejerrey has a number of names in English, including Chilean Silveside, Peruvian Silverside, and Sea Silverside. Though commonly mislabeled as Smelt, this small silver fish belongs to a species of its own.

How Big?

Pejerrey generally don’t grow longer than 5” (13 cm). The IGFA all tackle record for this fish is 2 lb 8 oz (1.13 kg).

When and Where?

Pejerrey is endemic to Chile and Peru, from the north coast of Peru to southern Chile. Anglers in Argentina and Uruguay catch a similar Silverside species, Odontesthes bonariensis, which some also refer to as Pejerrey. These fish live in estuaries and along the coastline and tend to be more numerous during winter (April-September).

pejerrey-chilean-silverside“Pejerrey” (Odontesthes bonariensis) caught in Buenos Aires, Argentina 

How to Fish

Anglers primarily target Pejerrey using light tackle.

Good to Eat?

Pejerrey is an excellent eating fish. It’s common to eat this fish fried, breaded in a sandwich, or in ceviche. There’s not better way to enjoy a bit of local food than fresh out of sea when you caught it yourself!


Top Pejerrey (Silverside) Fishing Charters