Friday, November 28, 2008

Trash Fish

Now I will do a lot of talking about what kind of fish to catch when saltwater fishing in Florida, but what about the kind that you don’t want to catch, these types of fish are considered to me as trash fish. Not because they do not play an important role in Mother Nature, keeping the balance of saltwater fishing and all, I just call them trash fish because to me they just put up a fight, and I catch them when I am fishing for something totally different. When I happen to accidentally catch one of these trash fish while saltwater fishing in Florida, I simply de-hook them and throw them back.

Lots of fisherman that you see on the television practice the catch and release tactic, and they all claim that they do it just for the sport. When it comes to saltwater fishing, 95% of the time those anglers just don’t do it for sport. They target a fish such as a bill fish or a tarpon, they catch it and then they release it. They do this mostly because they are on camera, they get paid to show people how to fish. If you are just some average starving Joe like I have been all of my life, you are not going to go snook fishing, catch a snook that is within the legal limits, look at it and throw it back just for the fight. People act different when there are cameras and television shows pointing at them, not to mention a quick shot at their local fishing charter business they are trying to run and get more business too.

Bottom line is that I love to saltwater fish Florida, I fish for the sport but I also fish for food for my belly and my family. I do not fish for the cameras or local TV shows, although if I were to get the opportunity I would probably take them up on their offer. My family and I got to eat. So getting back to the point at hand, I will be talking about trash fish, no some types of fish I will go over might not be considered trash fish to some people, but if I call them trash fish that’s what they are considered to me, it is my blog and everything that is documented here is my point of view, love it or leave it.

The first type of trash fish I am going to mention is the saltwater catfish. These fish are everywhere, especially inshore, and no matter what I seem to be fishing for when saltwater fishing inshore I always seem to hook up with a couple of saltwater catfish. Now there are some people that like to eat these disgusting fish, I have no idea why, they are not protected by any kind of Floridian law, there is no bag or size limit on them, and there is no illegal way to catch them. To me and 95% of the Florida saltwater fishermen out there these are considered to be trash fish. If you happen to hook up with a saltwater catfish, please take caution when trying to de-hook on, they have barbs on their face that will cut and sting the hell out of you if you are careful. The sting can be compared to some of the fish in the stingray family but just not as deadly. So to me saltwater catfish are nothing but bait thieves, shark food, and a fish that actually puts up a decent fight on some very light tackle.

The second kind of trash fish I am going to go over is the barracuda. These fish will eat almost anything, and nothing will get you more pissed than landing on a good snapper hole about 40 plus feet deep, reeling the snapper up to the surface just to find half of its body is missing due to a barracuda strike. Barracuda are found all throughout the tropical waters of Florida, and they will rob you for the fish that you want to catch and they will also take the bait you are using for the saltwater fish that you want to catch. They are overall just a huge nuisance.

So basically the barracuda is the kind of fish that you catch when you are fishing for something else. The smaller barracuda can be edible, to some people, to me personally they taste disgusting. The larger barracuda I would not recommend eating at all, as they could contain ciguatera poisoning, which is not good, it can cause severe food poisoning. Barracuda can grow big, and no one really fishes for them, the biggest barracuda as of today is 85 pounds. Barracuda put up a great fight on light and medium tackle, I have yet to find anyone that will go out on a boat trying to catch barracuda.

As I said before, just try and catch something edible in tropical waters, and you will be sure to hook up with a couple of barracuda. This is why this species of fish to me is considered to be a trash fish when fishing in Florida. A few other types of fish that I consider to be trash fish are Jack, Ladyfish, and Bonito. Although the ladyfish and bonito are not edible to my liking, they do make some great bait for deep sea fishing, so I may have to take that comment back, great bait equals great fish, which means bonito and ladyfish to me are not trash fish, stick around if you want to see what I use them for.

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Anonymous said...

Ladyfish are actually very good eating. They are a white meat fish that is very sweet. I caught a lot of them back in the canal behind my house and just threw them back. But i got curious one day and cooked one up. I read they were full of bones which yes when i baked it i had to pick through a lot of bones. But if you fry it the very small bones almost turn to dust and you can eat them with the meat. I think more people should try them.

Terry Howard said...

Firstly, catfish poke you with the tips of their fins, their whiskers on their face are not the part you worry about, they are just like soft squishy antennae.

Second, catfish is served in restaurants all over and the saltwater variety specifically is a very succulent, sweet and non-fishy tasting fish. It's common declaration as a "trash fish" is more a proliferation of rumor than anything. Maybe it's anglers' frustration with the difficulty of unhooking and handling the spiny finned, unscaled guys or just not wanting to eat what the "brown folks" do, I'm not sure, but it is 100% edible and quite tasty.

Anonymous said...

was a good read, i agree with you trash fish piss me off and somehow i know when thats what im realing in.