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Blackbelly Rosefish, Helicolenus dactylopterus

Irish Record Fish: no record no record
Caught: no record
Boat Specimen: 1.98 lbs  0.90 kgs
Shore Specimen: 1.98 lbs  0.90 kgs
Photo Credit:   Thorke ุstergaard

Introduction: The Blackbelly Rosefish known locally and around Europe as a 'Bluemouth' is one of the few (thankfully!) deep water and venomous scorpionfish found in Irish waters.  It can reach > 5 lbs (2.2 kgs) in weight and is a new specimen fish on the ISFC listing. It is only caught off the western and southern coasts during and after the summer on deep water marks. 

Boat tactics: Bluemouth are caught by sea anglers purely by accident on deep water marks late in the summer and into the autumn.  They seem to have a particular liking for mackerel strip, squid and worms fished on a long trace on the drift over a mark, offered on hooks above the 2/0 mark.  Light boat tackle offers great sport with these creatures, but you will always encounter a bluemouth by accident rather than design.  These are venomous fish so careful handling is required - the poison is in the dorsal fin spines, but other spines and teeth can inflict wounds.  Let gloved and experienced hands unhook them! 

Shore tactics:  We have yet to see a bluemouth reported caught from the shore and given their deep water habitat, it is extremely unlikely we ever will...

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