Monday, August 06, 2007

Fish and Fishers

"Don't bug me, I'm fishing."

One of the attractions of being at the camp is fishing any time the urge hits you.

Wanna' fish at 2:38 am?

No problem, just step out on the deck and cast a line.

We didn't catch a lot of fish on this visit, but we SAW a lot of fish. The most likely fish to be caught and kept for eating at camp would be the seatrout clan. Early in the morning, seatrout could be seen cruising the camp perimeter hunting the spottail pinfish that clustered around the pilings.

I hope the seatrout had better luck catching pinfish than we did trying to catch seatrout, because mostly, they eluded us.

We did catch some interesting fishes while trying to catch trout though.

Needlefish like the pretty little thing above were omnipresent around the camp. They cruise in schools barely beneath the surface snatching up any small creature that floats past. They are beautiful underwater with their silvery sides flashing and their effortless movement.
This one is just posing for a quick picture and was released unharmed.

Lizardfish like this toothy guy are common in shallow Gulf waters like the area surrounding the camp. They are ambush predators who specialize in lightning fast strikes from their hidden location in the grass or sand.
While snorkeling for scallops last year, I watched a big lizardfish take a pinfish and gulp it down right before my eyes. He zipped out of the grass and grabbed the fish I was watching, adjusted it so the head was pointing inward, and then gulped it down. A big lizardfish is only about 16 inches long, most are smaller, so they may look scary, but lucky for us they are a small fish.
I let this one go after he smiled for the picture.
I couldn't get this cormorant to smile ( or IS he?), but I have a feeling he's laughing at our feeble attempts to catch the fish that he outswims on a regular basis.
Smug bas...
Sorry ... I'll go wash my mouth out with soap now ...
... again.


robin andrea said...

What a great spot for seeing all kinds of fish and birds. I do think that cormorant is smiling.

SophieMae said...

Needlefish are too cool! We used to see lots of gars in the canals along Tamiami Trail.

I don't know how I managed it, but I've never actually seen a lizardfish in real life. Not that I know of, anyhow. I've caught puffers and dogfish and even been slapped in the face by an eel that the water too suddenly let go of (bad grammar, I know). But no lizards.

Your corm... you do recognize that Mona Lisa smile, doncha? 8-] VERY nice shot! I'll only complain one more time, coz this seems to be the way it is, for whatever reason... only your first pic in each post has a working link to the larger version. *sail a vee*

Love your little ray yesterday, as well! The rays I've hooked were WAY too big to pull up onto the bridge. They broke my line and both our lives went on. Theirs, hopefully, without any major handicaps created by my tackle.

momadness said...

Great posting; I love learning about nature everywhere. You should just carry a pump bottle of antibacterial soap in your pocket.

Laura said...

I saw the needlefish while scalloping. I had paused to watch a school of them and our friends thought I was having trouble learning to scallop. Actually, I just wanted to snorkel and look around, but I don't think they quite understood.

I had no idea the lizard fish lived in those grasses! I suppose it stands to reason, but still... ugh. those are some pretty sharp teeth the little guy is sporting.
Are they likely to bite as you push the grasses aside, looking for scallops?

The cormorant has the prettiest eyes against that orange. Kind of reminds me of your kitchen! LOL

swamp4me said...

Love the cormorant. With the light background I mistook it for a book plate at first!

The lizard fish is a wicked lookin' little dude...

Deb said...

Now these are some creatures you won't find around my neck of the woods. Except for the cormorant. Those needlefish are cool...well, they're all cool in their own ways!

threecollie said...

Thanks for the fish photos and stories...bery interesting indeed!

Floridacracker said...

We even had bats circling in the evening!

I don't know why the picture nonlinking is happening. Anyone? Anyone?
I'm not doing anything different. Weird.
Maybe I'll try loading a single pic at a time instead of three.

Good idea.

It's a tribute to their cool design and clever camo that you didn't see any lizardfish while scalloping. I was amazed to see one that particular time. They won't bite you.
A stuffed cormorant might be just the thing for our kitchen ...

Well hello! It's lucky the lizfish are small or none of us could swim in the ocean!

A needlefish called the houndfish gets really big, around 4 or 5 feet. They leap out of the water like a skimming stone when frightened.

I'm about ready to switch gears... got baby chicks in the house that I need to share.

vicki said...

Is that cormorant wearing green contacts? Because he sure has pretty eyes. The lizard fish is new to me- quite a toothsome fellow. Each time I come here I get more and more excited about our upcoming fishing trip. We won't catch any exotics but just casting again will be such a will be interesting to see if we follow our usual catch and release plan since we will be camping and probably could avail ourselves of the good food.

Floridacracker said...

The fish said to tell you they prefer "catch and release", BUT being predators also, they understand "filet and release".
Fish speak to me.