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Shorthorn Sculpin, Myoxocephalus scorpius

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

Introduction: The Shorthorn Sculpin is another of our little known scorpionfish.  It is also known as the Short Horn Sea Scorpionfish, but colloquially it is known as the Devilfish.  Apparently It can reach 60 cms (2 feet) in length and it is found over mud and sand, typically in relatively shallow water.  Harmless, (no poison here) the males' belly goes bright red and white spots when in their breeding colours.  It is one of the larger scorpionfish found in Irish waters, although most are tiny and of no real interest...  Around Wexford it is also known as the Stoney Cobbler!

Boat tactics: Given it is an inshore fish, it is unlikely that you will encounter one from a boat, unless you are fishing an estuary or similar shallow bay or cove. They have a voracious appetite and a mouth to match.  Don't be surprised to find one fastened onto a large mackerel bait on a 3/0 intended for a ray or bull huss.  The only care needed is from the sharp spines on the head.

Shore tactics: These fish provide an interesting diversion on very slow days... to catch one you need to be using hooks under 1/0 and equally small worm or related baits in order to catch these small fish, although it is possible you might catch one on a flatfish rig.  They tend to be caught mostly over mixed ground and mud but can show up just about anywhere with a bit of weed..