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Psychrolutes Phrictus

Psychrolutidae

Scorpaeniformes

Offshore, Deepwater, Continental Shelf

15 - 20 pounds

20" - 28"

Blob Sculpin Game Fish Quality Poor

Blob Sculpin

Blob Sculpin

Blob Sculpin (Psychrolutes phrictus) Fish Description

The Blob Sculpin is a small deepwater fish. It’s a unique looking fish that has a minuscule amount of bones and muscles. Despite their squishy body, they’re carnivorous. They mainly eat invertebrates such as sea worms, crustaceans, and gastropod mollusks. At the bottom of the ocean, they look more normal. They are grey in color with large faces and mouths. They are also covered in minuscule fleshy threads all over its body, called cirri. When they are hauled in, their grey color turns to pink, and their face structure changes because of the vast difference of pressure. They also look like their close relative, the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus). 

 

Interesting Facts About the Blob Sculpin

  • The Blob Sculpin won the World’s Ugliest Animal award, which was bestowed to raise awareness regarding the vulnerability of the fish.
  • It’s a rare fish that thrives in the deepest of waters. They have a gelatinous body to help them deal with the immense pressure of the bottom of the ocean. It also helps them maintain buoyance in the water. If you raise them near the surface their bodies collapse and give them a weird-looking blob with a nose.
  • The blob sculpin is an ambush predator. They don’t move much and just wait for prey to come nearby and then use their really big mouths to capture their prey or just swallow whatever comes by.
  • This fish species lacks swim bladders, they just simply float in the ocean to preserve their energy.

 

Size

The average size of the Blob Sculpin is 12 inches. The fish is so rare that the average size of the blob sculpin is currently unknown. The biggest blob sculpin is 28 inches and can up to weigh 20.9 lbs. 

 

Habitat and Distribution

A lot of information is still unknown about the blob sculpin, like its breeding season. The blob sculpin is native can be found in the extremely deep continental shelves of the Pacific Ocean.  They thrive in depths of 1,600 feet to 9,200 feet. Their spots are located in the Bering Sea, and in the Gorda Escarpment of California which is 4,300 to 9,800 feet deep. Living in the bottom-most part of the ocean, they endure cold temperatures of 38.98° to 39.65°F.

 

How to Fish Blob Sculpin

The extreme depths will be impossible for most rods and they are usually bycatches through deep trawling. They’re also sometimes accidentally get caught when anglers are looking for groupers. So, the only way to fish a blob sculpin is through deep drop fishing. The blob sculpin is not a game fish and if ever it gets considered one. It will take a lot of time before the blob sculpin be considered to be a gamefish since their number is still being determined by scientists. They’re also not edible and do not put much of a fight if you catch one. So, you don’t need to move your boat. Just drop your lure and see if you can catch one.

If ever you catch one, you most likely will be using the angler equipment for groupers or other deep-dwelling fish. Gear for deep drop fishing with depths of 1,000 feet and beyond are light 8 foot rods with 80- to 130-pound mono with large electric reels.  They have extremely big mouths and so just hook sizes of 6/0 to 8/0. The baits will most likely be crustaceans such as shrimps, lobsters, or crabs.