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Features and Fishing of Scabbard Fish

Scabbard fish is a species that experiences name confusion. It is also known by hunters as Palaska, Silver Sheath, and belongs to the Lepidopus genus.

For all the details about the scabbard fish, eagerly awaited by our country’s rod fishermen, continue reading.

Scabbard Fish Species Summary

Other Names:Palaska, Silver Scabbard
Scientific Name:Lepidopus caudatus
Origin:Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black Sea
Adult Size2 meter
Reproduction:They lay eggs.
Breeding Period:December
Hunting: No protection


Scabbard fish was described in 1788 by the Swedish botanist Bengt Anders Euphrasén. It is a schooling fish that lives in the deeper parts of the sea.

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While they are generally found between 100 to 200 meters, they are seen between 30-620 meters. It is also known that they occasionally come close to the shores, though rarely.

This species, which lives on sandy bottoms, is recorded to grow up to 2 meters according to data; however, the largest recorded scabbard fish so far is 210 cm. In our seas, they are commonly seen around an average of 120 cm.

They have a slender build, shiny skin, and a maximum weight of 8 kg. With their head and mouth parts, they resemble the freshwater fish called garfish. The reason they are named ‘Çatalkuyruk’ (scabbard fish) is due to their small fork-like tails.

Reproduction and Diet

Although there isn’t precise research about their reproduction, it is known that they reproduce by releasing thousands of eggs, similar to the Belt fish of the same species.

Their main breeding season is December. They spend the whole month laying eggs.

The scabbard fish is carnivorous. They feed on squids, shellfish, and small fish.

How to Fish for Scabbard Fish?

Unlike most sea fish, there isn’t a common method for catching scabbard fish. Sometimes they swim near the shores, sometimes at depths of 30-40 meters, and sometimes even deeper.

The most suitable areas for fishing are rocky sections with depths of 30-40 meters or going further out to sea. Besides that, in areas where they are densely populated near the shores, you can try fishing using live baits or lures with the cast and retrieve method.

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Is Scabbard Fish Tasty?

Due to its nature, it is a fish with lean and bland flesh. However, when fried in a pan with plenty of oil and salt, its meat is tasty. Besides, it can also be sliced and steamed.

Where is the Scabbard Fish Found?

Preferring warm waters as their habitat, this species is found in all the waters of our country; including the Mediterranean, Marmara, and Black Sea regions.

Kaynaklar: Fishbase

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