Painted Comber - Serranus Scriba
Latin: Serranus Scriba
English: Painted Comber
French: Serran écriture
Croatian: Pirka, šarac, vuk, perga, burača
About: Painted Comber is relatively small fish from Serranidae (groupers and sea basses) family.
It has elongated oval body that starts with a big mouth and ends with meaty tail. Body is silverish in appearance, darker on the back, lighter toward stomach with several black, vertical stripes and large bluish dot on it's sides.
It's maximum length is around 30cm (one foot) and it weighs up to a 300g (~10.5 ounces). On average, it is small fish having maybe 50g (little less than 2 ounces).
Spawning occurs at the end of spring and during summer. It feeds on various fishes and crustaceans; solitary fish, rarely found in small groups.
Habitat: It can be found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and whole Mediterranean Sea, from shallows to depths up to 150m, more commonly between 5-30 meters, on rocky bottom and on Posidonia covered seabeds.
Often can be found laying on the bottom, between rocks and grass, waiting for prey to come close. When attacking or running away, very fast fish - many divers lost their speargun arrow heads because they underestimated starting speed of this fish :)
Fishing period: It will accept almost any bait all year long, especially during summer and autumn, early in the morning or in the evening, during calm weather.
Fishing rigs and tackle: It can be caught on practically anything - not very picky on type of bait or line thickness or hook size. Also, very often found in nets or in fish traps.
Best baits are chunks of fish, paste, mussels, crustaceans, even bread - using handlines or rods and reels. Very often can be caught as bycatch during trolling - very aggressive fish when feeding.
Cuisine: Flesh is soft, tender, very tasty, unfortunately large(r) specimens are rare. It can be pan fried or grilled, boiled or prepared in fish stew with other fish. Larger ones can be barbequed.