UP CAME A SLIMEHEAD

Sport Fishing - - FISH FACTS - — Ray Wald­ner

Fish­ing off Key Largo, Flor­ida, in 425 feet of wa­ter, Jake Dil­lon caught this fish. We deep-drop of­ten, but we couldn’t find this species (which had

very sharp belly scales) in any of our ref­er­ence books. Robert Dil­lon Tav­ernier, Flor­ida

Jake caught a mem­ber of the fam­ily Trachichthyi­dae, of­ten re­ferred to as slime­heads or roughies. They’re closely re­lated to the squir­relfishes com­mon at shal­lower depths. Based on the num­ber and ar­range­ment of dor­sal spines, it’s likely a Dar­win’s slimehead,

Ge­phy­roberyx dar­winii. In the western At­lantic, this species is known from the shelves and up­per slopes of Canada and the United States’ East Coast to the Gulf of Mex­ico and the Caribbean, in 240 to 2,100 feet of wa­ter. It’s also been re­ported in the east­ern At­lantic and Indo-Pa­cific. Like its bet­ter-known cousin, the or­ange roughy, the slimehead is an ex­cel­lent food fish. The IGFA all-tackle-worl­drecord slimehead, by the way, is held by a 7½-pound fish caught off Vir­ginia in 2008.

Slimehead

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