The Hogfish

The Hogfish
Difficulty

Period

from May to October

Minimum size

40 cm

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The Hogfish belongs to the Labridae family. The adult size may rich 90 cm for 10 kg/ It has a lifespan of 11 years. It breeds from February to March. It can be fished from May to October.
The hogfish is large with a tall, round body that is laterally compressed. This contrasts with other wrasses, which tend to be smaller and cigar-shaped. The caudal fin is slightly lunar and the first three dorsal spines are elongated and thickened, dragging behind the fin. The tips of the dorsal and anal fins are pointed. It uses its elongated pig-shaped snout and large protruding mouth to root around the prey's lower substrate. The color of the hogfish is variable and depends on age, sex and habitat. It generally ranges from pearl white to mottled red with a black spot at the back base of the soft ridge. Men tend to be more intense in color than women. Young individuals and females are mainly pale grey, brown or reddish brown, with a lighter underside. The iris is a bright red color.

The Hogfish lifestyle

Adult eat mainly mollusks, including pelecypods, gastropods and scuba gear, but also on hermit crabs, amphipods and sea urchins, crushing their prey with strong pharyngeal jaws.
Hogfish are protogynous hermaphrodites. when females reach a larger size, they can transform themselves into fully functional men. This often occurs at the age of 3 years and is about 35.5 cm long. Hogfish beds are made up of groups of females dominated by a larger male, called harem. The male keeps his harem, spawning only with the females it contains. Spawning occurs in late afternoon and early evening. This event involves the woman's male parade, followed by a rush to the surface. Males and females release gametes into the surrounding water where fertilization takes place. Fertilized pelagic eggs develop rapidly into larvae and hatch about 24 hours after fertilization. This larval stage lasts several weeks until they become juveniles and settle out of the water column in suitable habitat.

The Hogfish habitat

This fish is commonly found on open bottoms and coral reefs at depths ranging from 3 to 30 m. The hogfish is often found in areas where gorgonians are abundant. The hogfish is widely distributed on the edges of the reef, forming small groups. It prefers areas with hard sand and rocky bottoms near shallow reefs, just off the coast and off the main reef structure. The largest individuals are found in the main reef area while the smallest fish reside in the patch reefs.
It can be found from Bermuda and North Carolina, south through the Caribbean Sea and the northern Gulf of Mexico to the northern coast of South America.

The Hogfish angling

It is fished by line and hook.

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