Blackbelly Rosefish

The blackbelly rosefish, Helicolenus dactylopterus, is a marine bony fish from the family Sebastidae, also known as bluemouth rockfish, and bluemouth seaperch. This Atlantic species is a typical sit-and-wait predator with a highly cryptic coloration.

Helicolenus dactylopterus is widely distributed in the Atlantic Ocean. In the west, it ranges from Nova Scotia to Venezuela. In the east, it ranges from Iceland and Norway to South Africa, including the Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands, and the entire Mediterranean Sea.

The blackbelly rosefish is a bathydemersal scorpionfish, found in soft bottom areas of the continental shelf and upper slope. They have been recorded at depths between 50 and 1,100 m (160 and 3,610 ft), but usually from 150 to 600 m (490 to 1,970 ft). They feed on both benthic and pelagic organisms including decapod crustaceans, fishes, cephalopods and sometimes pyrosomes, polychaetes and echinoderms.The proportions of these prey types in their diet vary according to the size of the fish.

Males reach a greater length and weight than females with the same age.

Max. length recorded: 47.0 cm TL;

Common length: 25.0 cm TL;

Max. published weight: 1,550 g;

Max. reported age: 43 years

Blackbelly rosefish have intraovarian gestation. Fertilization is internal, as free spermatozoa were found primarily in resting ovaries from July through early December, with peak occurrence in September through November in the Western Atlantic. There was a delay of 1–3 months before fertilization, as oocyte development did not begin until December.

Blackbelly Rosefish are typical by-catch when deep dropping off the Atlantic coast. With very large mouths, hook size is never a problem. Voracious eaters and currently plentiful, they are very easy to catch.

The Blackbelly Rosefish makes excellent table fare. They have a buttery and sweet meat that has the texture similar to crab meat. Delicious!

Species Information

Scientific Name:Helicolenus dactylopterus
Ideal Temp:
Technique:Bottom Fishing
Lure Type:Bottom Rig
World Record:All-Tackle - 2.35 kg (5 lb 3 oz) - Norfolk Canyon, Virginia, USA - 14-Feb-2009
Other Names:blackbelly rosefish, rosefish

Latest Blackbelly Rosefish Fishing Reports and Spots

July 2021 - 7/21/2021 8:30:04 AM

July has been hot- and that’s not just the weather! The fishing report from the month from the team?  “Solid!” Deep drop trips have been citatio (View)

June 2021 - 6/22/2021 3:39:56 PM

June has been spectacular for deep drop trips!  Each trip has been filled with citation blueline tilefish with blackbelly rosefish black sea bas (View)

May 2021 - 5/20/2021 8:32:54 AM

May’s fishing has been hot!  Offshore deep drop fishing couldn’t be better with limits of blueline tilefish caught some of them weighing up to 1 (View)

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