Lionfish habitat depths - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 03-25-2014, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default Lionfish habitat depths

How shallow are you guys finding these lionfish? I mainly fish the livebottom in 50-70' of water. Are they highly populated in these depths or mainly over 100'?
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:30 PM   #2
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We see larger numbers in over 70'.
Most of our natural sites are in 100-120 feet....so I'm not sure of the shallower natural sites.
Bridge rubble in 70-80 foot of water seems to hold plenty of them.....so I would imagine natural would as well.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:02 PM   #3
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Do you find a difference in numbers depending on the height of the structure?
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:35 PM   #4
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Do you find a difference in numbers depending on the height of the structure?
They seem to like being a foot or so off the bottom.....near a hole or a ledge that they can duck into.

I don't think the height of the structure makes any difference to them.
We do find some of them tucked into the openings along the top of the pyramids.....but most of them are closer to the bottom.

Here are a couple of my videos that show how they are concentrated on the reef.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHbdEXJD748
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk_GNLbES_U
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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How shallow are you guys finding these lionfish? I mainly fish the livebottom in 50-70' of water. Are they highly populated in these depths or mainly over 100'?
Most of my dives are over 150' deep. However, I have seen many lionfish on my shallowest dives (85') and at all deeper depths. There are plenty of lionfish on The Edge at 180'.

I have the same experience as firefishvideo. The highest concentration of lionfish are to be found within a few feet of the bottom, independent of height of the structure's relief. However, I often find lionfish at all levels, even on tall structures such as the Chevron and Tenneco reefs.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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In parts of Florida where there is shallow reef, I've seen them in 12ft of water.

Around here, I've seen them from 60-175ft deep (the deepest I go). I'll echo Whack and Fire's comments about seeing more near the bottom, but I also find significant numbers on the tops of wrecks and reef modules. It may be that there's more square-footage on the bottom, or that they just like being close to the sand, I couldn't say.

Water temp will be a deciding factor in the cooler months. They move to deeper (warmer) water when you get temps below 60 degrees (they stop eating around 55, and die around 50). Now that the water's getting warmer, they're moving back in to the shallower (less than 100ft) waters.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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were in 3000 ft of water nad the diver i tlaked to today said he saw a few around the platform legs where they are pulling in a new flowline riser... we have tendrels that extend to the seafloor but they are just pipes till you get to the floating "structure"..
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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were in 3000 ft of water nad the diver i tlaked to today said he saw a few around the platform legs where they are pulling in a new flowline riser... we have tendrels that extend to the seafloor but they are just pipes till you get to the floating "structure"..



Just curious, what diving contractor is out there doing the work?


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Old 05-08-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
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Aquios... I'm on Ursa TLP... be here till next tuesday then headed home for 2 weeks ... ready to get on the water for fun ...
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:02 PM   #10
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Default Lionfish! Chicken Little-" The sky is falling"!

I appreciate all the people "thinking they have this intrusion on our fisheries" figured out! What you people FAIL to realize is the lion fish has already done its best to eradicate fishing in the Bahamas, the keys, and ALL the southern Caribbean! It never happened! Wake up people! We have a population of bottom dwellers that have never been even considered to exist in the northern Gulf Of Mexico. The reef populations are sustainable even if the lionfish exists! You people are embarrassing to me. I hear from the nay sayers "everyday" this will devastate the fishery! Wake up people! The NMFS is much more devastating than any threat to our fishery that EXISTS! All I can say is- Wake the **** up!
All the divers God Bless You! You people are trying to figure out how to eradicate this species- Guess what- You won't! Lets get real people-divers-tree huggers and fishermen and women. The lionfish is here to stay for the foreseeable future. But the SKY isn't falling -if thats true The Keys, Bahamas, and the southern wouldn't have the fishery they STILL have!
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