Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FL shameless lifelisting part 4 - The Keys on fire

Our second full day in the keys was spent east of Long Key. Michael, Ken, and Miciah set up early at the end of a long pedestrian bridge. Ruoxi and I decided to hang around the rocks by shore to see what small fish might be lurking. We saw sergeant majors and damselfish that we wanted to catch, but first we had to negotiate around the small snappers and grunts.

Schoolmaster (Lutjanus apodus) - new hook & line species #179


French Grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum)


We were able to catch the smaller fish we had our eyes on by downgrading to a Tanago hook and fishing in the crevices between the rocks.

Sergeant Major (Abudefduf saxatilis) - new hook & line species #180


Dusky Damselfish (Stegastes adustus) - new hook & line species #181


I also caught this houndfish and made sure to get a photo showing that the dorsal and anal fins are rather long and line up with each other.

Houndfish (Tylosurus crocodilus)




We headed out to the end of the pedestrian bridge to join Michael, Ken, and Miciah. I caught another needlefish, and by looking at the fins I was able to ID it as an Atlantic needlefish. The fins are shorter with the anal fin starting forward of the dorsal fin.

Atlantic Needlefish (Strongylura marina) - new hook & line species #182




At the end of the pedestrian bridge I began working hard at catching new species with the Sabiki. It's not the most difficult type of fishing, but I experimented with every different type of structure and open water that I could think of. The variety was nothing short of amazing!

Yellow Chub (Kyphosus incisor) - new hook & line species #183


Scamp Grouper (Mycteroperca phenax) - new hook & line species #184


Leatherjack (Oligoplites saurus) - new hook & line species #185


Slippery Dick (Halichoeres bivittatus) - new hook & line species #186


Stoplight Parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) - new hook & line species #187


Yellowhead Wrasse (Halichoeres garnoti) - new hook & line species #188


Striped Parrotfish (Scarus iseri) - new hook & line species #189


Doctorfish (Acanthurus chirurgus) - new hook & line species #190


Puddingwife (Halichoeres radiatus)


Redband Parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) - new hook & line species #191


Ruoxi didn't fish quite as much as I did, but when she did she caught quite a few different species as well! She especially made everyone in the group jealous with her brilliant blue parrotfish.

Blue Parrotfish (Scarus coeruleus)


Yellow Chub (Kyphosus incisor)


Puddingwife (Halichoeres radiatus)


After dark the bite switched over to grunts and snappers. After watching other people catch these two species for a while I was able to catch one of each myself.

White Grunt (Haemulon plumierii) - new hook & line species #192


Sailor's Choice (Haemulon parra) - new hook & line species #193


Michael and I poked around back at the base of the bridge to see what might be lurking near the wall and rocks. We were hoping for moray eels, but the current was too strong to see anything. However, I did get this surprise catch, a nocturnal squirrelfish!  It was a nice bonus at the end of the most productive lifer day of my species fishing career - 16 new species of fish in total!

Squirrelfish (Holocentrus adscensionis) - new hook & line species #194

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