Need fish ID help: fish seen on San Clemente frontside

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Posted by Dick J on July 11, 2005 at 20:25:13:

I spotted a fish species I’ve never seen before, while looking into a deep crevice in a rocky reef off San Clemente’s frontside. Based on a picture and description in Gotshall’s Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes, I believe it may be a guadalupe cardinal fish. The size and coloration seems to match, and I noticed that several of the larger individuals had puffed-out areas along the bottom of the jaw, possibly male fish carrying brood.

The fish were in very deep crevices and I could never get any closer than about five feet to them. They stuck very close to the deepest, darkest parts of the crevices – consistent with a nocturnal species. The photo posted below is a crop of a much larger image, so sorry for the poor quality. Are there any fish folk out there who might be able to confirm this ID or suggest an alternative?

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