The great thing about fishing is that you never know what you might catch.
The problem is, there are types of fish you probably would be better off not catching.
The Pacific stargazer is one of them.
On Thursday off Cabo San Lucas, one of the bizzarre-looking specimens was reeled in aboard the panga Gloria.
Mario Bañaga, who has fished southern Baja California waters for 18 years, had never seen a stargazer and did not know what it was. The "mystery fish" had an upturned face, like that of a bulldog, and an enormous mouth.
It wasn't until Bañaga, who charters boats via the Cabo San Lucas Marlin Club, posted photos of the 7-pound fish on Facebook that a correct identification was produced.
"Dang, that's out of Star Wars," one comment read.
It turns out, Pacific stargazers are bottom-dwelling, ambush denizens that live at 50 feet or deeper and are seldom seen by humans.
They're capable of delivering an electrical shock of about 50 volts--not enough to harm a human, but a jolt nonetheless.
(If you look closely at the top photo, you can see the electric organs bulging behind the eyes.)
Bañaga and his friends did not know this fish was electric, or that Pacific stargazers possess Poisonous spines above their pectoral fins and behind their gill covers.
Reads a passage in a species profile on Mexfish.com: "Caution! Venom from this fish has been reported to cause death in humans and therefore it should not be handled."
--Photos are courtesy of Mario Bañaga