Monday, December 16, 2013

FL shameless lifelisting part 3 - The Keys warming up

This is what two people look like after spending the night sleeping in a car.

We began our first full day in the keys a few miles west of Marathon. We had reserved two kayaks to share for the day, but it was too windy to enjoy them so we fished from shore instead. We continued to use Sabikis, but instead of vertical dropping we cast out to deeper water and kept our rod tips up high to avoid snagging the hooks on rocks. This was a fun spot that resulted in plenty of action and new fish for us.

Crevalle Jack (Caranx hippos)

Lane Snapper (Lutjanus synagris) - new hook & line species #170

Ladyfish (Elops saurus) - new hook & line species #171

Bandtail Puffer (Sphoeroides spengleri) - new hook & line species #172

Ruoxi quickly became an expert casting a Sabiki from shore and hooking up with multiple fish.

Leatherjack (Oligoplites saurus) and Blue Runner (Caranx crysos)

Leatherjack (Oligoplites saurus)

I spotted this well camouflaged goby sitting in a few inches of water, dropped a baited Sabiki hook in front of him, and set the hook by hand when he took the bait.

Checkerboard Frillfin Goby (Bathygobius lacertus) - new hook & line species #173

I'm not certain on the ID of this mojarra, but I'm going to go with spotfin mojarra because it fits the best. I'll put it on my lifelist for now, but if I can catch another mojarra in the future and ID it with confidence, then I'll take this one down.

Spotfin Mojarra (Eucinostomus argenteus) - new hook & line species #174

I have to include this next picture because it captures Michael and Miciah so well. Michael always seemed to be hooked up with some huge fish, and Miciah was always generous with advice. I can just picture Miciah saying something along the lines of, "Now here's what you have to do...". Michael was hooked up with a pretty big stingray in this picture, but unfortunately it made it to some rocks and made its escape.

We moved to a bridge in the afternoon so that we could catch different types of fish.  Good call Miciah!  The tide was going out again, and plenty of fish could be caught in the current going between the bridge pilings.

Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus) - new hook & line species #175

Puddingwife (Halichoeres radiatus) - new hook & line species #176

Scrawled Cowfish (Acanthostracion quadricornis) - new hook & line species #177

Scrawled Cowfish (Acanthostracion quadricornis)

Redtail Parrotfish (Sparisoma chrysopterum) - new hook & line species #178

I tried some microfishing at the base of the bridge and caught a few juvenile mojarras.  These juveniles are even tougher to ID, so I won't add it as something new to my lifelist.

mystery Mojarra (Eucinostomus sp.)


  1. looks like your mystery mojarra is a juvenile striped mojarra. "Eugerres plumieri" They have a fatter belly than other juv mojarras. We catch them frequently in seine nets around Fort Myers. You caught some pretty cool fish on your keys trip!

  2. Hey Nicole, thanks for the ID help! Would you mind if I send you a couple full res photos to look through? Those mojarras were really confusing to me, and it would be great if you could take a look at them and let me know what you think. My email is