I went fishing today! Unfortunately, Max and I woke up much later than planned and we didn’t get to the fishing spot in Charlestown until after noon. Turns out, that is not the opportune time to catch Striped Bass…boo-hoo. I can’t say I was super bummed out though; I think I’ve only been fishing two other times in my life, none of which were situations where I caught a fish. Needless to say I wasn’t expecting much, and I wasn’t disappointed. I learned a little bit more about the fishing sub-culture though, and I want to try and go a bunch more times throughout the summer, maybe I’ll actually have some luck.
Note: I refuse to kill said fish; I work on a strict catch and release policy. I nearly cried when Max had to stab the poor little Minos in the mouth for live bait. Waaa.
Since I was all excited about my fishing experience, I thought I would share some factoids with you guys concerning fishing. Doesn’t hurt to broaden your mind!
- Hand gathering, spearfishing, netting, angling and trapping are the various methods used to catch fish
- There is a boat load (harhar, punny) of equipment used when fishing. These include but are not limited to: hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes.
- Fishes were the first animals to evolve backbones
- Here are the ten creepiest fish in the world – Sorry for the backwards countdown. My computer was being a pill:
- Vandellia Cirrhosa. This fish is native to the Amazon River basins in South America in freshwater streams. Also known as the toothpick fish, it is only about 2.5 cm long and 3.5 mm wide. Scaleless and translucent, it is nearly impossible to see in the water, with gills that are covered with short, sharp spines. The Vandellia can taste surrounding water then follow any stream of nitrogenous waste excreted from gills of fish. Once it catches a scent, this pesky rascal swims up and under the gill, expands the spines on its own gills to hold it in place, and begins sucking the blood of the host gill, gnawing a hole to the blood vessels which usually proves fatal to its victim. Blech. It also happens to be attracted to blood and urine, so if you bathe nude in these areas you may have that one of these gross things has swam into an orifice… and can only be removed two ways: operation where usually the area is amputated, or having two plants (Xagua and Buitach Apple) inserted into the affected area. Can you saygross??
- The Angler Fish. These creepers are named for their characteristic mode of hunting prey… where a fleshy growth called an esca from the fish’s head is used as a lure, which is similar to angling. They have three long filaments coming from their head; the longest above the fish’s eyes moves and wiggles to resemble bait/prey. These guys devour their food whole when their victims touch a tentacle and trigger their jaws. Sketch. Angler’s are found worldwide, but usually deeper in the water. Some deep sea anglers can actually emit light from their esca (Finding Nemo, anyone?), and they can stretch their jaws and stomachs in order to swallow prey up to twice the size of their body… which is kind of huge considering these bad boys can reach over 3 ft and up to 110 lbs (though they are typically 1 foot). One last creepy thing about these guys is that they have arm-like pectoral and ventural fins that work as feet, so Anglers can actually walk on the ocean floor! Sheesh.
- The Goblin Shark. I can honestly say I had never heard of these guys before, and they look so funny! Goblin sharks are the sole living species in the mitsukurinidae family, with a long snout, are pink in color and have a retractable jaw. They are most common in Japan, but can be found all over the world at depths far below the reach of sunlight, up to 10,000 feet. On average, these silly guys measure up to 13 feet long and weigh in at 660 pounds.
- The Tigerfish. These are African fish found in many lakes and rivers on the continent. It is undoubtedly a relative of the piranha just by appearance, and they are savage predators with gnarly teeth. An anticoagulant slime covers the teeth of tiger fish, preventing wounds inflicted from healing. These pups can grow to be 30 inches long and 15 pounds. The largest ever caught was in Kariba in 1962, measuring 32 inches and weighing 34 pounds.
- Grenadier Fish. These fish are usually found just above the ocean floor, and they rock gigantic noggins with large eyes and long tapering tails. They are usually about 2 ft long and weigh close to 10 lbs. On top of being one of the uglier fish in the ocean, grenadiers also have a very high level of TMAO giving them a powerful ‘fishy’ smell. How pleasant.
- Snakehead Fish. These fish have the unique ability to survive in and out of water for long periods of time. Awesome. They are native to China, Russia, and Korea yet have found their way to the United States, of course. Considered to be highly invasive, the snakehead fish immediately become top of the food chain in US Lakes and ponds, and are illegal to own. There was a story about this in Maryland is anyone remembers it. They literally eat everything living in water, then once they eat everything they jump out of the water and travel to a new place.. all the while eating things like frogs, birds and mice along the way. Creepy. Most grow to be 2 or 3 feet and weigh over 15 lbs. If you thought this was all bad enough, the female at age 2/3 can release up to 15,000 eggs at once and mate up to five times a year. These guys may have won the genetic lottery, despite the sketchy appearance.
- Blobfish. Okay, first off, is this a joke? What the heck kind of a name is blobfish? Until of course you see what they look like. Oh man. It looks like a very ugly ditto (pokemon). These guys have no muscles and to eat they just sit and wait for edible things to float by. They’ve rarely been seen by humans, so we don’t know much about them. The look of them cracks me up though. Poor ugly things.
- Basking Shark. It may look creepy, but I guess these guys are not a threat to humans if we leave them alone. It is the second largest specie of shark and found all over the world, and can weigh up to 19 tons and be 40 ft long. Holy moly. Yet it is a filter-feeding shark, meaning it feeds on invertebrates, small fish and zooplankton. They are now protected and monitored.
- Stonefish. Oh man, this guy reminds me of Squidward from Spongebob; so grumpy! For sure a fish to be avoided, they are the believed to be the deadliest fish in the world, and are definitely the most venomous. A row of thirteen venomous spines line its back, protecting it from attacks by bottom-feeding sharks and rays. When pressure is applied to the spines, glands involuntarily expel venom in to victim. After a few weeks, the glands regenerate and recharge. Grossssss. This does mean though they they are only a threat when stepped on or caught. Thank goodness.
- Viperfish. These suckers are one of the most fierce predators of the deep. The fangs of a viper fish not only do not fit in its mouth, but they curve all the way back to the fish’s eyes. Eew. They have a hinged skull which they rotate up in order to swallow bigger prey. Viperfish range from 12 to 24 inches and weigh about 5 lbs. Thankfully, these guys inhabit the sea at depths of 1500 to 9000 ft.
- Apparently these fishermen also have a sense of humor, because I found this while browsing…
Ten things an angler would NEVER say: 1 Does my catfish stink bait smell too rank? 2 I have all the fishing tackle I’ll ever need. 3 That fish is too big, throw ’em back! 4 Take me to the shore, so I might use the restroom. 5 The one I caught was a lot smaller than yours. 6 Sure, you can have the last nightcrawler! 7 Fishing is so bad today, I’d rather be at work. 8 I’ll ask my mother-in-law to go along fishing next week. 9 I can’t make the tournament-I have tickets to the ballet! 10 Do these fishing pants make my butt look too big?
Okay peeps, I think it’s my bedtime. Hopefully visions of these alien-esque fish won’t haunt my dreams tonight, and I wish the same for you. Sorry if they creeped you out at all, but I think it’s useful to know that these things exist in our world! Just imagine what it may have been like during the dinosaur era…