Scorpionfish (or Scorpaenidae) belong to the vast family of scorpion, scorpion-like squad. They are close to perch-like, but differ in a number of features. In scientific sources, it is sometimes quite difficult to understand the logic of scientists who used similar names in systematics. So, the largest family of scorpions is called sea bass, although they do not belong to perch. At the same time, some species of scorpion fish are called “gobies.” The name “scorpion” has become a household name. This is due to some features of these fish.
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Characteristics of scorpion fish
Most species are characterized by the presence of a large head with large eyes, a relatively short body with spiky fins equipped with tubules, through which, in the wound of the victim, mucus is produced in the poisonous glands. When pricked on spikes, the victim experiences severe pain, swelling of the skin, and symptoms of mild poisoning. The back fin has a notch dividing it into two parts. The color of most species is patronizing; it characterizes fish as ambush predators.
Most species are bottom dwellers waiting for prey among reefs, rocks or under a layer of soil. The sizes of some types of scorpions can reach significant sizes – more than 90 cm in length (sometimes up to 150 cm) and weight over 10 kg, but small ones barely reach 20 cm. Fish live at different depths. It can be a coastal zone and deep-sea areas up to hundreds of meters. In general, most of the fish of the family live in the shelf zone of the seas.
Reproduction habit of scorpion fish
The maturity of fish occurs at 2-3 years of life. Along the coast, scorpion breeding occurs in the warm season in the summer-autumn period. Portion spawning; with spawning, caviar is covered with mucus, forming jelly-like capsules.
Scorpion fishing guide: Techniques, bait and gear
Scorpion fishing techniques
Given the voracity and scorpion lifestyle, they use various fishing methods. Fish are successfully caught both on float equipment, designed for fishing with natural baits, and various spinning ones. In the daytime, the fish is kept away from the coast and its fishing requires a bit of great effort and opportunity, but at night and dusk the scorpions come close to the coast and fishing becomes accessible to anyone.
In addition, they respond well to bait of animal origin, which allows you to attract fish to a given place. For fishermen who have not previously been fishing in the sea, it is worth noting that the bottom and float equipment used for this may seem rather rude, but the marine inhabitants are less “capricious”, and practicality is considered the main factor in choosing gear. Given the wide distribution and the fact that predators are scorpion first of all, they are actively caught on various spinning fishing rods both “in the cast” and “in the plumb line”. Despite the “formidable view”, sea ruffs are very tasty fish, and in many areas they grow to trophy sizes.
Spinning for scorpion fish
Currently, various types of marine coastal, spinning fishing, such as surfing, rock fishing and more, are becoming increasingly popular. Scorpions, due to their prevalence in the seas, where organized leisure for visiting tourists is carried out, often become a popular target for fishing enthusiasts to fish on artificial baits. No less successful way of catching scorpions is sheer flashing. Fishing takes place from boats and boats of various classes. As for catching other species of marine fish, anglers use marine spinning gear to fish for scorpion fishing.
For all gear, in spinning fishing, for marine fish, as in the case of trolling, the main requirement is reliability. The reels should be with an impressive supply of fishing line or cord. In addition to a trouble-free brake system, the reel must be protected against salt water.
Spinning fishing from a boat may differ in lure feeding principles. In many cases, fishing can take place at great depths, which means that there is a need for prolonged exhaustion of forests, which requires certain physical exertion on the part of the fisherman and increased requirements for the strength of gear and reels, in particular. According to the principle of action, the coils can be either multiplier or inertialess. Accordingly, the rods are selected depending on the reel system. Both single and multi-hook rigs are used. When fishing for spinning sea fish, the fishing technique is very important. In order to select the correct wiring, consult with experienced local fishermen or guides.
When fishing for scorpions on bottom or float gears, it is useful to use bait in the form of chopped mollusks or other marine invertebrates and crustaceans. Feeding can be used in various ways, depending on the conditions of fishing: in special feeders on equipment or one common feeding in the net.
In general, it is believed that sea ruffs rarely go aground, and therefore they are more often caught at various obstacles, structures, etc., with depths of about 2-3 m or more. For this, various float rods are used, both with a “deaf” and with a “running rig”. In this case, large floats of various shapes and colors are used. Because fishing occurs in the dark, it is recommended to use products coated with a light-accumulating dye or with an insert from a special capsule – the “firefly”.
Scorpions, in most cases, are kept at a certain distance from the coast in deep water areas of the coastal zone. For the bottom tackle, various rods with “running equipment” are used, these can be either specialized “surf” rods or various spinning rods. The length and test of the rods should correspond to the selected tasks and terrain. As with other marine fishing methods, there is no need to use delicate equipment. This is due to both fishing conditions and the ability to catch a fairly large and lively fish, the fishing of which is often necessary to force until it is hidden in a rocky terrain.
To select a fishing spot, you must consult experienced local fishers or guides. As already mentioned, fishing is best done at night. In this case, the use of various signaling devices is mandatory.
Scorpion fishing bait
As already mentioned, the food of Scorpion is quite diverse and still depends on the size and type. When fishing on natural baits, various attachments of shrimp, shellfish, worms and others are used. They are fed respectively the same ingredients. When fishing with various spinning gear, the choice of lures depends on the type of fishing, the preferences of the fisherman, fishing conditions and the possible size of the trophies. It is quite difficult to give universal advice because of the various conditions in which scorpions live. In most cases, fish are caught along with other representatives of the ichthyofauna of the region.
Where to catch scorpion fish
Scorpionfish are very widespread. The largest number of species live in tropical and subtropical zones. However, several species live in temperate and arctic latitudes. Scorpion can be found in most coastal regions: the Azov-Black Sea, Pacific, Barents Sea and more. The largest number of species live in the Indo-Pacific area, in the zone of warm seas. In the sea inhabit the coastal zone, but with relatively large depths. They adhere to various irregularities of the bottom, clefts and other things, preferring ambush hunting.