Scorpionfish or sea ruffs belong to the vast family of scorpionfish, the order of scorpionfish. They are close to perciformes, but differ in a number of features. In scientific sources, sometimes it is quite difficult to understand the logic of scientists who used similar names in taxonomy. So, the most numerous family of scorpionfish is called sea bass, although they do not belong to the perch. At the same time, some types of scorpion fishermen are called “gobies”. In Russian, the name “scorpion” has become a common noun. This is due to some features of these fish. Most species are characterized by the presence of a large head with large eyes, a relatively short body has prickly fins equipped with tubules, through which, in the wound of the victim, mucus produced in poisonous glands enters. When stabbed on the thorns, the victim experiences severe pain, swelling of the skin, as well as symptoms of mild poisoning. The dorsal fin has a notch dividing it into two parts. The coloration of most species is protective, characterizing the 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 species of scorpions can reach significant sizes – more than 90 cm in length (sometimes up to 150 cm) and weight more than 10 kg, but small ones barely reach 20 cm. Fish live at different depths. This can be a coastal zone and deep water areas up to hundreds of meters. In general, most fish of the family live in the shelf zone of the seas.
Given the voracity and lifestyle of scorpions, they use various methods of fishing. Fish are successfully caught both on float rigs, designed for fishing with natural nozzles, and various spinning rods. In the daytime, the fish stays away from the shore and catching it requires a little more effort and ability, but at night and twilight, scorpions come close to the shore and fishing becomes available to anyone. In addition, they respond well to baits of animal origin, which allows them to attract fish to a given place. For anglers who have not previously been on sea fishing, it is worth noting that the bottom and float rigs used for this may seem rather rough, but marine life is less “capricious”, and practicality is considered the main factor when choosing gear. Given the wide distribution and the fact that scorpions are primarily predators, they are actively caught on various spinning rods both “in casting” and “in a plumb line”. Despite the “terrible appearance”, sea ruffs are very tasty fish, and in many areas grow to trophy sizes.
Catching scorpions on spinning
Currently, various types of coastal, spinning fishing, such as surf fishing, rock fishing, etc., are becoming increasingly popular. Scorpionfish, due to their prevalence in the seas, where organized recreation of visiting tourists is held, including off the Russian coast, often become a popular object for catching lovers of fishing with artificial lures. An equally successful way of catching scorpions is sheer lure. Fishing takes place from boats and boats of various classes. As for catching other types of marine fish, anglers use marine spinning gear to fish for scorpions. For all gear, in spinning fishing, for sea fish, as in the case of trolling, the main requirement is reliability. Reels should be with an impressive supply of fishing line or cord. In addition to a trouble-free braking system, the coil must be protected from salt water. Spinning fishing from a vessel may differ in the principles of bait supply. In many cases, fishing can take place at great depths, which means that it becomes necessary to exhaust the line for a long time, which requires certain physical exertion on the part of the fisherman and increased requirements for the strength of tackle and reels, in particular. According to the principle of operation, coils can be both multiplier and inertial-free. Accordingly, the rods are selected depending on the reel system. Both single and multi-hook rigs are used. When fishing with spinning marine fish, fishing technique is very important. To select the correct wiring, you should consult experienced local anglers or guides.
When catching scorpions on bottom or float gear, it is useful to use bait in the form of chopped mollusks or other marine invertebrates and crustaceans. Top dressing can be used in various ways, depending on the fishing conditions: in special feeders on rigs or with one common food 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. To do this, use various float fishing rods with both “deaf” and “running equipment”. In this case, large floats of various shapes and colors are used. Since fishing takes place at night, it is recommended to use products coated with a light-accumulative dye or with an insert from a special capsule – a “firefly”. Scorpionfish, in most cases, keep some distance from the coast in the deep-water areas of the coastal zone. For bottom gear, various rods with a “running rig” are used, these can be both specialized “surf” rods and various spinning rods. The length and test of the rods should correspond to the chosen tasks and terrain. As with other sea fishing methods, there is no need to use delicate rigs. This is due both to the fishing conditions and the ability to catch a fairly large and brisk fish, the hauling of which often needs to be forced until it hides in the rocky terrain. To choose a fishing spot, you need to consult experienced local anglers or guides. As already mentioned, fishing is best done at night. In this case, it is necessary to use various signaling devices.
As already mentioned, the diet of scorpions is quite diverse and also depends on the size and type. When fishing with natural baits, various nozzles from shrimp, mollusks, worms and more are used. Feed accordingly, with the same ingredients. When fishing with various spinning gear, the choice of lures depends on the type of fishing, the angler’s preferences, fishing conditions and the possible size of trophies. It is quite difficult to give universal advice due to the various conditions in which scorpions live. In most cases, fish are caught on a par with other representatives of the ichthyofauna of the region.
Places of fishing and habitat
Sea ruffs are very widespread. The largest number of species live in tropical and subtropical zones. However, several species live in temperate and arctic latitudes. In Russia, scorpionfish can be found in most coastal regions: the Azov-Black Sea, the Pacific, the Barents Sea, and so on. The largest number of species live in the Indo-Pacific range, in the zone of warm seas. In the sea they inhabit the coastal zone, but with relatively large depths. They adhere to various bottom irregularities, crevices and other things, preferring ambush hunting.
Sexual maturity of fish occurs at 2-3 years of age. Off the Russian coast, scorpion breeding occurs in the warm season in the summer-autumn period. Spawning is portioned, with spawning, the eggs are covered with mucus, forming jelly-like capsules.