Lionfish is an invasive species that began showing up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. It wasn't until this week that I found one on the end of a line. Nearshore fishing a patch of hard bottom out of Boca Grande FL, a spot where I commonly catch snapper and red grouper. During one of our drifts a guest hooked into a lion fish using a small weighted jig. The angler said it didn't put up much of a fight. Described it as "pulling seaweed off the bottom" Invasive species like the Lion Fish can take over reefs and wipe out native populations of fish and crustaceans.
Usually Lion Fish are very difficult to catch using traditional hook & line fishing methods. Most are speared by divers. If you do hook one DO NOT TOUCH IT! They have venomous dorsal, pelvic, and anal fin spines that are very sharp. Their venom packs a punch, although they are not deadly the sting will leave the inflicted in pain for hours. They are edible and the demand for them are helping to control the population. Our guests took their catch home and carefully made fish tacos.