I caught a sea turtle a coulpe of years ago in NC. Didn't snag him, he had picked up th bait an hooked him in th mouth. Cut th leader cuz they look cute from a distance but that beak looked dangerous up close.
Felt like a feesh..tugged like feesh...but was a 10lbs wreck anchor...covered in sea weed.....reelly wished I didn't have that 50lbs Power Pro on my penn7500.......eventually wore the gears and drag washers out,also
Caught all the birds(pelicans, osprey, gull), got the turtles too.
But the absolute weirdest fish I've hooked up was a 4 lb. Stargazer. I was mirrolure fishing middle of the nite in an old familiar hole, catching some too, when wham! Hung up! But this was a well known spot and there weren,t any hangs.
Sooo.....I strained my line to the break it off stage and it moved!
And here come that thing....had swallowed that mirrolure til only the lips and eyes were sticking out....3 sets of trebles gone!
And it was dark, and the trout were biting and I couldn't get it off, so I bucketed that thing and took it home , took some pictures, and got my 52m back.
If you run up on 1 of these things DON'T TOUCH EM, they have a shocking device on their head and it's no fun.....
I had never seen one over about 1 1/2 lbs and hope I never see another on my junk......ulggly, ulggy, even his momma would have to admit it....
PL, do you have a picture of one that you can show the people who haven't seen one before,I'v heard of them on this site and asked the person to pull up a picture and no show,so in the kindness of your heart could you,pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee
It inhabits sandy bottoms of the temperate waters of the western Atlantic, ranging from North Carolina to New York.
The northern stargazer, Astroscopus guttatus, is a benthic species, living most of its life on or under the bottom. It is found inshore, at depths to 120 feet (36 m).
The northern stargazer is well adapted to life under the sand. The body is moderately elongate. Its pectoral fins act as shovels, enabling the fish to bury itself in a matter of seconds. The eyes and nostrils are strategically located on the top of the head so that they will remain above the sand when the fish is buried. Unlike most species of fish that bring water in through their mouths to breathe, the stargazer breathes through its nostrils. The nostrils are protected from sand grains by fleshy, comb-shaped fringes. The mouth also has these fringes around it to keep sand out while the fish is buried. The eyes are capable of protruding for a short distance, appearing stalked, for a limited amount of time to allow the fish to gaze over the bottom. The stargazer does this by filling the tissues behind the eyes with liquid. The gill slit is narrow and drawn backwards and upwards into a short, baggy tube. This tube carries waste water away from the fish and outside the surrounding sand. This fish possesses a special talent: it is able to create weak electrical currents from a specialized organ located behind the eyes.
The blackish-brown body is covered with white spots that gradually increase in size towards the rear of the body. Top of head and body has small, closely spaced white dots. There are three dark, horizontal stripes on the tail. The southern stargazer, Astroscopus y-graecum, closely resembles the northern stargazer in appearance and in life history. An easy way to tell these two species apart is to note the middle stripe on the tail. On the northern stargazer, this stripe extends onto the rear portion of the body; on the southern stargazer this stripe does not extend pass the tail.
Adults may reach 22 inches (56 cm) in length, but are more common at lengths of 8-18 inches (20-46 cm).
The diet of the northern stargazer consists of smaller fish that are unlucky enough to swim near it. The electrical organ is not used to capture prey. Its main function is to protect the stargazer from anything that may pose a threat to the well being of the fish. The stargazer instead relies on its camouflage and lies in wait for a small fish to swim near it. Once the prey is in range, the stargazer rises from the sand and in an instant swallows the fish whole.
True to its benthic nature, the northern stargazer spawns on the bottom during the late spring and early summer months. The eggs are small, transparent, and slowly float to the surface. These eggs hatch into small, transparent larvae that live in the water column. These pelagic larvae grow rapidly, feeding off the yolk sac until they reach about 6-7 mm in length. When they reach this length, the yolk sack has been completely consumed and the larvae begin feeding on other larvae in the water column, including some of their own kind. They also begin to acquire a black color that deepens with time. As they grow, a bright yellow spot appears on the chin. The electric organs begin to form when the larvae reach about 12-15 mm in length. At this length the larvae will migrate to the bottom and become a true juvenile. Juvenile stargazers tend to move inshore to sandy bays, where they may stay for several years. The juveniles will develop the characteristic patterns of the adults during the time spent in the sandy bays. The eyes, which were on the side of the larval head, will also migrate to the top of the head. When the juveniles reach about a foot in length, they move offshore and become adults.
Importance to Humans
Because of the stargazer's ability to produce electrical currents, live specimens of this species should be handled with care. If approached by a diver, it generally will not move unless disturbed.
The northern stargazer is not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species.
Caught one of those critters drumfishing one time PL,cut the line and slid him back in the drink,figured anything that ugly could have my hook.. Didn't know they could shock you at the time,but I wasn't about to touch it with my hands to find out either..
The catch I thought pretty odd was and octopus on a bloodworm that was caught spot fishing..
No,but I've been told about the little beake that is "inthere" though.. Caught them in a castnet as well.. Have seen them caught on gotchas of the planks.. Heard there was a special rig with something like velcro on a block of wood that would catch the devil out of the rascals under the lights at night on the planks???
I've caught several birds and once snagged a large baitcasting rod and reel (that would have been new had it not been in the ocean) with a Gotcha that I was trying to catch flounder with . To my suprise that rod had hooked another rod and reel of the same type. While walking back to my box, a guy told me that the owner of the rods (a newbie) had been trying to cast, hooked his second rod with his first, and had lost his grip and both rods had flown over the side . I found the owner to return the rods and as it turns out he had bought another rod so I got to keep one . Boy was I proud of myself.
But my strangest ocean catch was a small rock with 7 oysters on it. One of the oysters had clamped down on my rig. Not the bait, the dang oyster tried to eat my steel leader .
As for the sound, I was bottomfishing for mullet one day when my line snagged. Being young and inexperienced, I thought I had hooked a rock. All of a sudden the line came loose and up came what I think was a toadfish. The thing looked like a brown rock with fins. I brought it home and we took some Polaroids of it. When the picture cleared it showed the fish with glowing red eyes. Again, being young and unedicated, I took those red eyes as being evil and immediatly dubbed the strange thing "devilfish" .
The weirdest thing i have ever caught was a Thong i caught whilst pulling in my anchor from the apache pier last year. The weirdest fish wise was about a 500lb sunfish that i snagged but only had it on for a few seconds after it went crazy jumping and broke the line.
A forum community dedicated to fishing and boat owners and enthusiasts along the East Coast and Gulf area. Come join the discussion about piers, safety, gear, tackle, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!