Friday, January 06, 2006

Nurse Tails



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This might look like another "Stupid Things I Have Done" posts, but it's not...really. The female nurse shark in the picture took a piece of cut fish that I was soaking, hoping for a cobia. It was a slow day and as soon as I put my feet up on the gunwale and grabbed a sandwich, along came this shark. As usual, when you lay the rod down and stop paying attention to it, something will strike.

It was a short tug o'war of slow,steady pressure applied in opposite directions by the shark and I. After a little while she tired and came along side. I wanted a photo so I gave her a heave up onto the bow deck where we posed for a quick picture. After the photo, I slid her gently back into the Gulf and off she went.

Nurse sharks are slow moving bottom cruisers who love crab and other slow prey. They are not an aggessive shark, but if you look at the photo, I've got a firm grip on her and am standing away from the business end of the fish. It's a matter of respect.

I generally don't keep sharks when I'm fishing even though they are pretty tasty. Their body chemistry requires you to immediately clean and ice the shark down thoroughly or the meat will develop a strong ammonia flavor... like a diaper pail you forgot to empty before leaving for the weekend. Yes, been there, done that...

Since I am too lazy to stop and do all that shark prep and since shark populations are lower than they should be, I let 'em go.

(Not that I have been fishing since this remodeling started anyway.)

Do you see why I have referred to the shark as a "she"?
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19 comments:

Wayne said...

Hmm, why is she a she? Because she's a nurse? Nah. Lack of claspers?

I love the picture - sharks are fantastic animals that do their best to keep us out of the water, even when we thought it was safe to go back in.

Urea! Yeah! What a clever way to keep their osmotic balance what it should be.

anixxcqa - that's when you can't breathe anymore, right?

Laura said...

because you're treating her with RESPECT??? LOL!

Hub caught one of those too, i've got to post the pict. It was the first time out on the old boat and the shark was huge. We've had nurse shark, but the meat wasnt that great. I've always felt bad that he didn't throw it back in the gulf. Black tip shark, however, is delicious!

I've never had a great white shark, although i'm told they eat people just as well.

(kidding)

Lightnin said...

FC-
There you go again....are you trying to tell us you don't really want us to move down there? These creepy crawly things were bad enough, but now a shark? In the same water you took us out in on "Summer School"? Only kidding, Thunder is bound and determined to become a land owner in your neck of the woods! He's off to Europe today for a 2 week business stay so there should be more post coming soon! Really do enjoy checking your blog every morning!

Hick said...

Well, duh! She's wearing mascara.

Heh!

You are one wild and crazy guy, aren't you? Always living on the edge.

PS. I love shark...especially on the grill.

pablo said...

Geez, is there anything you haven't done man?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great photo, FC. I'm glad you threw her back. I don't know why you called her "she" but I'll guess it's because she said, "Hey sailor," and batted her eyes at you when you brought her onboard.

roger said...

well. i have learned, just a moment ago, how they mate and reproduce, but none of that is a clue as to why you called the shark her. maybe her pectoral fins have been bitten. maybe wayne got it. no "claspers" huh.

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
It's a Chondrichthyes thing! Yes, she is clasperless...I knew that would be an easy one for the prof!

Laura,
I do treat my nurse wife with respect...she's more dangerous than a nurse shark. Cuter too!

Lightnin,
Snakes, gators, storms, sharks, lightning capital of the world, high crime rate(in the cities), ...it's paradise

Hick,
Mascara! Maybe Christo got to this shark. By the way, THEY like US on the gill...

Pablo,
This only looks scary, every saltwater fisherperson around here has handled sharks before...often toothier ones like blacktips and bulls.

RD,
I have always been a complete sucker for the "eyebat"...

DPR,
Yes, the prof got it. If you locate her pelvic fins which are the pair of ventral fins after her pectorals, you can see SHE is missing claspers.
Sharks may be a primitive fish, but at least they get to actually mate instead of that more common spawning method...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Are these the kind of nurses that take blood and give back rubs? If so, I am certainly glad you let her go.

Zanne said...

Nice shark! Nice boat too. You got me in the mood to visit the Chicago Boat Show next weekend.

We've got a 7.5 foot golden dusky shark hanging in the basement....you know, back in those days when we weren't "enlightened". The darn thing took two six-packs to pull in and cost more to ship if from Miami than it did to mount it. See what crazy things you do when you're young?

I love visiting your site and pretending I'm in Florida. On a boat. In the warm sunshine. OK, I'll quit now before I need Prozac.

vicki said...

Abby loves nurse sharks- she finds them fascinating to dive around and near. They must be like Blue Fish if you have to clean 'em out so quickly. Last Blue I caught weighed 27# but fought like the dickens; took me about 45 minutes to get her in long enough for a look before tossing her back. The next day I felt the fight in my leg muscles. I don't like Blue so I don't keep it but everyone else was hungry for it so what they caught was instantly fileted and packed on ice. At the end of the day we kept a couple of head,spine,tail pieces and while the boat was being cleaned I dangled those over the side of the dock and got about 18 crabs on each one. THAT was my dinner- yum!
And yes, I fish with the flies I tie here on our small inland Michigan lake - mostly bass, some trout along the rivers. And for me, it's always catch and release since I just don't eat what I catch.

vicki (again) said...

As long as it's shark tails- I just now posted a picture for you at my place.

Floridacracker said...

Hoss,
I married that kind.

Zanne,
It was that grey, grey picture you posted that made me think,"these snowbound bloggers need some "warm" pictures. We have outside pipes dripping tonight, temps for the weekend may drop to 25 F.

Vicki,
A 27# bluefish is a monster! Even a small one will wear you out, no wonder you were feeling it the next day. On the plate, they are a little too "fishy" for my tastes, but I think your idea of turning bluefish scraps into a crab dinner was genius.
As for Abby and diving with sharks, I get the feeling your daughter is fearless...you must be very proud.
...and my next click after posting this is to check out your site.

thingfish23 said...

I got it, too! No claspers.

I don't need no steenkin' PhD, either.

Still, for a guy who knows plants, Wayne sure seems to know a bunch of other stuff, too.

I'd guess his brain weight to be at least 1350 grams, give or take a little for atrophy due to ethanol.

Wayne said...

Ahh, the "prof" - if only - maybe I could get paid for being sage! Actually, like FC, TF, Swampy, Rurality, Pablo, and others I am merely self-taught and try to maintain enough focus to be observant. What a great world.

yvkzqims - didn't Dorothy meet these in Oz?

Floridacracker said...

Thing (and Wayne),
I think Wayne's brain is more deeply folded than mine...he seems to move easily from plants, to astronomy, to computer programming, to zoology, etc.

He even knows the definitions of the Blogger word verification creations...it's really very impressive.

venpft = brief flatulence as you begin to name the city of canals.

Wayne said...

Blogger words are fun!

I understand that the brains of males begin to shrink in their late middle age. A friend reports that that is why her father has gotten so crabby.

I think they do that even if there isn't any ethanol involved!

amsorhv - some blogger words you just can't do anything with.

Harsha said...

Oh! that is a huge shark..

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
If your brain has shrunk, I can't imagine the 25 year old Wayne brain!

Harsha,
She's about average for a full grown nurse, but any bigger and I probably couldn't have got her into the boat. Thanks for visiting Pure Florida!