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Blackbelly Rosefish, Scorpionfish ( Helicolenus dactylopterus )

Blackbelly Rosefish are found near soft bottom areas of the continental shelf and upper slope typically in water over 500 feet deep. They feed on both benthic and pelagic organisms (crustaceans, fishes, cephalopods, and echinoderms). They are a popular by-catch for anglers targeting Golden Tilefish and Grouper. They are considered very good eating. Most fish are small and weigh less than a pound.

The spines and spikes on the head of the fish contain a poisonous toxin. The name Blackbelly actually refers to a patch of black in its mouth and throat

Click the link to see my Blackbelly Rosefish Gyotaku rubbings for sale today:

Blackbelly Rosefish Fishing - Blackbelly Rosefish art
Click on any of the images below to open a larger version

Blackbelly Rosefish like the ones in the photos above (Brett Swindell, left and Steve Kendall on the right) are easy to catch but when you're fishing in over 900 feet of water you want to try and catch at least two of them at a time because it takes a lot of work to reel them in. We always catch plenty of fish when Dr. Julie Ball takes us offshore. In the last couple years bottom fishing has really gotten popular in the waters off the coast off Virginia. Captain Jim Brinsfield was running a charter on his boat the Jil Carrie in April 2008 when Robert Manus caught the current IGFA world record of 3 pounds, 11 ounces (photo left), however, in Feb 2009 Jes Cadwallender (photo right) fishing on the Jil Carrie caught a 5 pound 3 ounce Blackbelly Rosefish.


Dr. Julie Ball's Extreme Sportfishing
Blackbelly Rosefish Wikipedia Listing

Gyotaku Art and Fish Photos by Species