Blackbelly Rosefish

Blackbelly Rosefish

Blackbelly rosefish ( Helicolenus dactylopterus ) is a marine fish of the family Sebastidae. It’s common name refers to its black lower and orange upper abdomen. The species has an average length of 30-40 centimeters , and can be found in temperate and tropical waters across the world, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.

There are two populations that live near each other: On one side there’s populations living at depths between 200 meters and 800 meters, which do not go through diel vertical migrations . On the other side there exists populations living at shallower depth distributions but with large diurnal vertical variations; these populations migrate up to several hundred meters during the night.

When it comes to reproduction, blackbelly rosefish spawn pelagic eggs. The larvae that hatch from the eggs are very small (<1mm) and translucent, but after a couple of days they start to take on coloration; at this point they can be recognized as minute (5-10mm) juveniles, which possess indistinct dark spots over their entire body. Juveniles grow quite slowly at first (0.4cm per month), later growing much faster (2cm per month). At 20cm in length, age 1 year , they can be considered subadults; subadult fish reach lengths between 40 – 60 cm within 7 years . Once the subadult stage is reached sexual maturity occurs shortly after (~3-4 years).

The main diet of blackbelly rosefish is mostly made up out of crustaceans and molluscs, but also includes a wide range offish, as well as other invertebrates. It’s been observed that fish with a larger head have a higher predation success because they are more capable to handle struggling prey , as opposed to fish with smaller heads . Young fish seem to stick closer to the natural habitat compared to mature fish , which has been proposed as a way for young juveniles to avoid cannibalism from adults .

Blackbelly Rosefish start spawning at an age between 2-3 years, going through several reproductive cycles throughout their lives. They reach sexual maturity when they’re 7 years old (and 70cm long) at which point they usually spawn just once per year. Their spawning season lasts from September to October in the Gulf of Mexico, and their eggs are pelagic (i.e. float in the water column).

During this reproductive cycle male blackbelly rosefish courted females by circling around them; this courtship ritual was accompanied by a darkening in coloration of parts of their body. The males also performed ” headstands “, whereby they turn their bodies vertically while keeping their heads firmly on the ground , creating almost an upside-down image . Males mouthbrooded (i.e kept eggs within their mouth) the females during their entire reproductive cycle; when it came time to release offspring, males would spit out the eggs . The duration of parental care was 7-10 days after which point offspring were free to swim around on their own.

Blackbelly rosefish can be caught using a wide variety of fishing techniques. These blackbelly rosefish rigs used by blackbelly rosefish fishermen consists mainly of four elements: hook, leader, flash light and weight . Hooks can vary from medium hooks for catching darters to large deep-sea hooks. The purpose of the leader is to link the hooked blackbelly rosefish with the weight that can be just as varied as the hook types. Some blackbelly rosefish fishermen use lead weights only, other blackbelly rosefish fishermen add sinkers or a combination of a sinker and a swivel.

It’s important to note that blackbelly rosefish are strong fish , so if you want to go for them use blackbelly rosefish rigs with sturdy hooks . When it comes to blackbelly rosefish fishing tackle, anglers often utilize rods between 1 – 2 meters in length and outfit them with blackbelly rosefish reels capable off holding around 30 – 70lb line strength. The advantage of using these blackbelly rosefish setups is that they enable fishermen to feel strikes from blackbelly rosefish .

Deep drop electric reels to catch blackbelly rosefish

In order to properly fish for blackbelly rosefish , fishermen use deep drop rods with electric reels.

The average weight of a mature adult black belly rosefish was found to be around 3-5 pounds .

Rosies are safe to eat!

I have eaten rosies, and they are perfectly safe to eat as long as you don’t overdo it. Even when my favorite fishing spots in the ocean near me limit consumption of all fish (to only 3-5 servings per week) I still stick with a moderate diet for most other types because bluemouth rockfish is not one that’s available where we are at!


Do your research before grabbing what looks appetizing on someone else’s menu; always err on side caution– Moderation may be next key word here 😉