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Dragonet, Callionymus lyra

Irish Record Fish: not recognised
Caught: not reported
Boat Specimen: not recognised
Shore Specimen: not recognised
Photo Credit:

kiel aquarium

Introduction: Definitely a curiosity and always caught by accident, the dragonet is a frequent catch on inshore reefs on the south and west coast of Ireland. Although it can reach perhaps 1 foot long (30 cms) most fish are much smaller and they are typically caught on small hooks aimed at flatfish, gurnard and occasionally if you are having a very slow day, curiosities like rock cooks and corkwing wrasse.  

The important thing to bear in mind, so I am told, is that they are venomous, which is news to me, with the poison apparently residing in the spines around the head and dorsal fin.

Boat tactics: These are tiny fish, and the only requirement is very small hooks baited with small organic baits, typically rag and lug worms although they will accept anything that will fit into their wee mouths.  

Shore tactics: I suppose it is possible but we have only encountered them off a boat, but since they are rarely reported (bar by people seeking identification of this weird fish with the weird sickle shaped fin), I guess you could catch one off the shore too.  It is also known in some parts as the Yellow Sculpin, again, so I am told!