Iíve been working on adding inshore saltwater species to the fish list in preparation to adding saltwater pages to Fish Explorer early next year. Three new species are up, Atlantic croaker, Atlantic sharpnose Shark, and ladyfish.
Adding new species requires some research on my part, something I enjoy greatly. Over the years I have built a large ďlife listĒ of species, so itís always interesting to learn about fish both on and yet to be added to the list.
Of these three species, Iíve yet to catch Atlantic croaker or sharpnose shark. Something I hope to do on my next visit to the gulf. In my research I was surprised to find that the croaker accounts for one of the largest commercial catches of inshore species. Being highly prolific, fast growing and relatively short lived this species has managed to withstand heavy fishing to date.
My first encounter with ladyfish occurred a few years back in Texas, off Mustang Island. My fishing partner and I launched our kayaks at one of the cuts and were paddling back to Corpus Christi Bay to chase reds and trout. Liking to fish all the time, I cast out my fly line rigged with a couple flies, figuring I might as well fish as we paddled in. One never knows what he might catch.
We hadnít gone very far when my rod tried to leave the kayak in a hurry. Fortunately, I managed to grab it before it went skating away back up the channel. It wasnít long before I saw a fish doing cartwheels, and was duly impressed by the tussle it was giving me. Once I boated, I was surprised that such a long skinny fish could cause such a ruckus. I was impressed, and unsure of what Iíd caught. So we took a couple quick pictures, sent it on its way, and continued my journey.
Needless to say, my buddy quickly tossed out his line and we headed for the bay, only to start catching, what I know was ladyfish, on a regular basis. Frequently enough, we finally decided to quit trolling flies and make haste to our destination, knowing full well that if we didnít, weíd spend the rest of the day catching, what I now know to be ladyfish.
From that first encounter, and the fight we got, I know for sure that ladyfish donít fight like ladies.