They lurk along the bottom of the Pacific Ocean all along the coast from Mexico to Alaska. They have a poisonous spine, poisonous roe, and have been refered to as the 'scorpion fish'. In fact, a few guests of the Canadian Princess Resort have caught one of these unusual bottom feeders.
The Pacific Cabezon is a gnarly looking fish. There is really no other way to describe them. “Cabezon” is a Spanish word and it means “big headed” or “stubborn” and that attitude is evident when you’re trying to reel one up!
One of these strange bottom fish was one of the six caught by Tom Irwin from Port Coquitlam this week aboard the Ucluelet Princess with Skipper Harvey. He also caught the Catch of the Day for salmon with a Chinook weighing in at 17lbs-02oz.
“I’ve been fresh water and salt water fishing,” said Irwin. When ask what his favourite fishing story is Tom said, “This trip ranks right up there!”
Cooking Up the Cabezon
Although that salmon will make a delicious dinner the Cabezon, as ugly as it may be, is a very yummy grilling fish as well!
Since it’s such a dense fish it doesn’t fall apart on the grill. There isn’t a lot of fat in the fish naturally so you’ll want to put a little bit of oil in your marinade, dressing, or on the grill to make sure it doesn’t stick to it. For fillets 1 to 1.5 inches thick grill for about 8 minutes per side on a high heat, make sure your watching them for when they’re ready to flip. Remember that undercooked fish is better than overcooked.
What should you put on it? Just brush the fillet with olive oil and season it on both sides with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Serve with a wedge of lime and some roasted potatoes and you’ll have yourself a real feast!