Scientific Name: Scorpaenichthys marmoratus
Ideal Temp: 48-83°F (9-28°C)
Environment: Inshore, Nearshore
Technique: Bottom Fishing
Lure Type: Bottom Rig
World Record: 10.43 kg (23 lb 0 oz) Juan De Fuca Strait, Washington, USA
The Cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus, is a sculpin native to the Pacific coast of North America. Although the genus name translates literally as "scorpion fish," true scorpionfish, i.e., the lionfish and stonefish, belong to the related family Scorpaenidae. This species is the only known member of its genus.
The body of a cabezon is olive green, brown, reddish or grey on the dorsal side with a white or greenish belly. They have two fins on the back and 5 soft rays on the pelvic fins. They lack scales and have a fleshy skin flap between their nostrils. The upper preopercular spine is stout and slightly curved. Cabezon have small teeth and a large, branched cirrus above each eye. Cabezon is the largest of the sculpin species found in Washington waters.
They range from Sitka, Alaska, to central Baja, California. They are found from the intertidal to 76 m (250 ft) in depth. They are demersal, solitary, and usually associated with reefs, boulders, kelp beds, or eelgrass.
Cabezon feed on crustaceans, mollusks, fish and fish eggs. Cabezon are taken as a game fish in California, however their roe is toxic to humans. Cabezon inhabit the tops of rocky ledges as opposed to rockfish and lingcod, which usually inhabit the sheer faces of these features.