If you have ever caught one of these nasties, you’ve probably caught them more than once. I certainly have, and every time I do, I curse at knowing I must get it off my hooks without getting stabbed. My advice is to use long enough pliers that it cannot accidentally flicker and reach your hand. I was once stung by a gill flap of a Chinese rock cod, and the burning pain I endured was the worst pain ever! I was struck only on one finger, but half my hand swelled up.
Luckily, we had an esky full of ice, and that’s pretty much where my hand stayed for the next four hours. (That was all we had, it may not be the correct first aid.)
The pain was like being burned but on the inside. I can only imagine the Scorpionfish would be far worse. (It is also known as; Billy Bougain, Cardinal Scorpionfish, Coral Cod, Coral Perch, Eastern Red Scorpion Cod, Fire Cod, Northern Scorpionfish, Ocean Perch, Prickly Heat, and Red Rock Cod.)
The Eastern Red Scorpionfish is found in the waters of eastern Australia, ranging from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria.
They are mostly bottom feeders since they lie motionless next to coral of similar colour and wait for their prey. With such a large mouth, they swallow their prey whole.
The twelve dorsal spines of the Scorpionfish are very toxic. A sting from it can be extremely painful, and last for half a day. The poison is destroyed by heat so immersing the area in very hot water is the best first aid before consulting a doctor. (I wish I’d known this advice when I got stung by the cod).
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