Halfbeak (Hemiramphus brasiliensis)
Common names: ballyhoo, balao
Habitat/distribution: coastal areas to depths of about 30 feet; both sides of the mid-Atlantic
Method of harvest: In the northern Gulf, harvested only as bait for offshore fishing; occasionally white shrimp bycatch
Season/availability: all year, though difficult to find in any quantity.
Size: Rarely, maybe never, more than one pound, and the usual size is less than half a pound.
Cooking characteristics: These little guys are very good fried whole. Fillets are pretty easy to collect, though very small, of course. May also be cured like other small oily fish.