bassturds

Weird fish species

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I consider needlefish to be more a consistent seasonal visitor to south cape/RI but only once have I seen Atlantic saury from shore, an offshore visitor often confused with halfbeaks or ballyhoo


Other than a lucky plug snag or a beached one we weren’t exactly fishing for them. But we were fishing for their predators. A school of saury fleeing out of the water is one of the weirdest things. No sounds, no splashes just long aquatic fingers reaching out and back in to the water.

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6 hours ago, bassturds said:

Anyone get some uncommon saltwater species last year?   I really need to go out and search for new uncommon species, like needlefish, triggers, banded rudders, Lizzard fish maybe a blue runner or small jacks.   
 I’m thinking  Sabiki rigs with small pieces of bait, Buzzards bay, RI

Buzzards bay is in MA!

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I occasionally catch banded rudder fish as well as other jacks (blue runners and jack crevalle) here in NE. It seems like some years they are very common while other years I don't even see one. I catch them in FL a lot, so they don't thrill me that much when I catch them here. I've also caught norther sennets (in the barracuda family and looks just like a juvenile version of the same thing you catch in FL...except different markings)...This past season, I caught (for the first time) bullet tuna....they look a lot like a baby albie and in fact, I think a lot of july reports of 'juvie albies' were probably those. I caught two during the one day I had shots at them - one on the fly and one on an epoxy jig (just to add, a lot of people who did recognized these weren't albies were still mis-ID'ing them as 'frigate mackerel' - I was one of those before I was corrected) 

 

I'm still not certain if they are actually tuna or mackerel - although they are part of the same family, there is a difference. The one I caught on the fly fought very well for it's little 12" size...it didn't peel drag off my reel, but did strip out all the line I had in the stripping basket and dug down hard. The one on the spinning rod was at an advantage because I hooked it right on the surface and was able to drag it along the surface while landing it. But it went for it's 'power run' after I landed it...thought it was going to break my wrist...lol

Edited by albacized

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Got these in 2019 close to buzzards bay. I think top pic is some type of jack and bottom pic I'm pretty confident is a banded rudderfish. Pretty much get them in same spot every year in August/early September while killing time in between bonito feeds20180903_081009.jpg.61d18caf5b9e357bde61316285f617fe.jpg20180827_173618.jpg.fdae06a71414755a4c07af5a0c052c5c.jpg

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None of these are hook and line targets. These are aquarium fish collected with hand nets while snorkeling in Rhode Island back in the late 90s, early 2000s.

I've shared these here before pretty sure.

 

They are all tropical strays. These are different from the jacks, rudder fish etc which are migratory. Migratory fish, obviously, return to the south at the end of the season. 

 

The tropical strays are coral reef fish who's life style is different from many fish in that they have a larval stage that drifts helpless as plankton when they hatch. If they got caught in the Gulf Stream, they can be carried inshore on eddys. If water temps are high enough, they survive and grow until Fall. They can't migrate home though, so when the water cools, they die.

 

In the 90s into the early 2000s these strays were common every September into October all up the coast from NC to RI. For many years the New England Aquarium dive club went to RI to collect for the Aquarium. The huge center tank was always well stocked with their catches.

 

In recent years the strays have been much less common. Even the Aquarium has not found them like they used to. The interesting thing is the water has been plenty warm and and there's plenty of eddys.

My theory is the huge increase in juvenile black sea bass are eating the strays. 

The strays are dime size when they arrive. Back in the day when they were numerous you rarely saw the juvenile sea bass in the rocks where the strays hide.

Now when you snorkel the same rocks, every nook and cranny has a half dozen young sea bass and no tropical strays. Even the small cunner seem to be missing. 

Just a theory. 

 

So the first two are spotfin butterflyfish, one large juvenile, one adult raised up by me. I can't remember if they're the same fish or not.

The second one a male bicolor damsel fish guarding eggs in my tank. The eggs hatch but the platonic larvae are almost impossible to raise.

The last one is a cow fish. They are much rarer than the other two. This one is the only one I ever found. 

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2 hours ago, Chris76 said:

Got these in 2019 close to buzzards bay. I think top pic is some type of jack and bottom pic I'm pretty confident is a banded rudderfish. Pretty much get them in same spot every year in August/early September while killing time in between bonito feeds20180903_081009.jpg.61d18caf5b9e357bde61316285f617fe.jpg20180827_173618.jpg.fdae06a71414755a4c07af5a0c052c5c.jpg

I believe the top one is a juvenile almaco Jack.

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Hey get some trout magnet jigs and the old snapper blue rigs with the tear drop casting bubble and little crystal flash fly (or make one). Use a trout rod 6’-6’6” and 4 lb mono to get a good fight.

 

Save up your time off for the early fall.

 

Go drive jetty to jetty or beach to beach  in August and September. Eventually you find massive  schools of little jacks, needlefish, blue runners. Pm me in the right time of year and I may have some leads for you. 
 

Right now you might get some pollock and sculpins from socks on the south or north shore.

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3 hours ago, Chris76 said:

Got these in 2019 close to buzzards bay. I think top pic is some type of jack and bottom pic I'm pretty confident is a banded rudderfish. Pretty much get them in same spot every year in August/early September while killing time in between bonito feeds20180903_081009.jpg.61d18caf5b9e357bde61316285f617fe.jpg20180827_173618.jpg.fdae06a71414755a4c07af5a0c052c5c.jpg

I think both of those are banded rudderfish with different markings.  I was told the white tips on the fins are a dead giveaway, but could be wrong.

 

I got this one a few years back and several people thought it was a rudderfish.  They lose their bands as they get a bit bigger:

 

https://fishspecies.dnrec.delaware.gov/FishSpecies.aspx?habitat=2&species=87

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