Monday, March 8, 2010

Things I've Caught on the Pier

The great thing about saltwater fishing is that you never know what you might catch! The ocean is full of fascinating creatures, and many of them seem to like hanging around a fishing pier.

Of course, I've caught lots of the ususal species: flounder, trout, pompano, reds, blues, whiting, ladyfish, sharks, spots, black drum, needle fish, pocupine fish, puffers, snapper, stingrays, skates, grouper, sheepshead, and jack crevalle, but my husband and I have also caught or at least hooked other fish not usually caught from a pier, including cobia, tarpon, and barracuda.

And then there were the strange fish. I caught a big silver fish years ago that looked like it had run head into a brick wall. It had a sharply slanted face/head. After some research, I discovered that I had landed a "lookdown," a member of the pompano family.

Johnny once caught a really ugly fish that had the head of a toad. Its pectoral fins looked like wings, and under each fin, this fish had little "legs." It took us a while to find out that this was a Sea Robin.

Another strange species we caught were ribbon fish, also called cutlass fish. These are long, very skinny fish with a terrible mouth and teeth. One day they came through and attacked everyone's bait, so for a while, that's all anyone was catching.

We've also caught large whelks, starfish, octopuses, crabs, and sea turtles, usually when fishing with cut bait.

Once when fishing at Mexico Beach in Florida, we caught a cormorant - diving bird. Releasing this guy from the hook was no simple feat! Hubby caught a seagull once in North Carolina, and he thought the frightened bird would peck him to death before he could set it free.

Saltwater fishing is rarely boring, and it often proves to be educational, as well!

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