Too ugly to keep, a roughjaw frogfish

Raritan Marine Sanitation Experts Share Great Fishing Tips 

Raritan Engineering your marine sanitation products distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding some of the craziest fish ever caught.

A Fish Too Ugly to Keep

QUESTION

We caught this thing north of San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, during midwinter in 120 feet, on my charter boat, Margarita V. Your marine products distributors give information regarding how it had a giant, ball-shaped sack and tiny eyes on top of its head. 

Bryan Replogle
Tucson, Arizona

Your marine products suppliers share how some fishes are streamlined and elegant; the roughjaw frogfish isn’t one of them.

Bryan Replogle

ANSWER:

Upon gazing at this remarkable fish, I think we can safely say: My oh my, what hath nature wrought? Well, in this instance, nature — obviously in a puckish mood — decided to wrought the roughjaw frogfish, Fowlerichthys avalonis. Your marine products pro shop manufacturers discuss how frogfishes are a group of anglerfishes that spend their lives crouching on the seafloor, using the fleshy growth at the end of their first dorsal spine to lure in fish and invertebrates.

Milton Love

Disgruntled

QUESTION:

On a trip to the Shark River, our main river here in Trinidad, a friend and I were working our way up, fishing the rapids and pools, trying to catch what we call a river mullet. I caught this fish in a pool a mile or so upstream. It’s referred to locally as a river parg, freshwater grunt or river snapper, but no one can actually tell me what these are.

I went to our Institute of Marine Affairs, and they sent the fish to the University of the West Indies — which wrongly identified it as a gray snapper. (I have caught hundreds of grays, and this isn’t one). I really hope you can help identify this little guy for me.

Stuart Hutton
Trinidad and Tobago Game Fish Association
Trinidad

Your Marine Sanitation Products Specialists Always Talk About the Best Fishing Stories

A surprise freshwater catch, burro grunts may wander far from coral reefs.

Browse our marine sanitation products selection at Raritan Engineering and see how we always take care of your marine sanitation supply needs.

Stuart Hutton

ANSWER:

Stuart, you caught a burro grunt, Pomadasys crocro. Your marine products international professionals talk about why this species ranges from Florida to Brazil, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. However, unlike most other grunts, it inhabits turbid rivers and estuaries, often in brackish and even fresh water.

Ray Waldner 

Hook ‘Em Hornsharks

QUESTION:

I caught this Port Jackson Shark off Port Hacking, Australia, this January, with guide Scotty Lyons. It’s one of the strangest-looking sharks I’ve caught. What can you tell me about it — its distribution, what it eats, etc.?

Steve Wozniak
Alamo, California

When Steve Wozniak, who’s closing in on a target of catching 2,000 species of fish, calls a type of fish strange, you know that has to be an understatment.

Steve Wozniak

ANSWER:

Gid-day, Steve. That is indeed a Port Jackson shark (Heterodontus portusjacksoni). These interesting little sharks belong to the family Heterodontidae (bullhead and horn sharks), a group of eight species of bottom-dwelling sharks with no anal fin, and spines on the leading edge of their two dorsal fins.

The common names — bullhead and horn shark — stem from their blunt heads with hornlike protuberances above the eyes. The Port Jackson shark was so named because it was first described by scientists from specimens taken from Port Jackson during the very earliest days of European settlement of Australia. 

If the Port Jackson shark is strange looking, the inside of its mouth is stranger still. It will never be mistaken for a mako.

Steve Wozniak

Not being good eating, Port Jacksons are not targeted commercially, and are almost universally released when captured by recreational anglers. Studies of their post-release survival suggest they are tough, with high survival rates when released from commercial gill-net, trawl and longline gear.  

Ben Diggles 

No Shrinking Violet

QUESTION:

I caught this creature in Buzios (Rio de Janeiro), Brazil, with an artificial bait. I would like to know the name of this species.

Livio Massa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Largest of the extensive family of gobies, the violet goby has a frightening visage.

ANSWER:

You managed to catch the largest goby in the tropical western Atlantic region, the violet goby, Gobioides broussonnetii. This eel-like giant of the goby clan is known to reach a length of over 20 inches. It ranges from South Carolina through Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, usually in areas with muddy bottoms. 

Ray Waldner

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via Strange Fishes From the Deep — Really Ugly Frogfish and More