The Fish Were Really Biting This Week
By Jonie Maschek
If you fished any this week you probably hooked plenty of
good fish. All the boats I saw coming in, the anglers had a great time “just
cruising,” but the anglers who were out there fishing had a field-day.
When you have a fish on the line and it is giving you a fight, have you ever
wondered how fast it is going on the line? From a chart I have, if you travel
out of the Bay into the Gulf, you might hook on to a sailfish that will take the
bait at 70 mph. If you are fishing in waters 2 to 6 feet and catch a bonefish,
it is a fighting fish with its jerks and jumps but it only travels at a speed of
22 miles per hour.
Tarpon are huge, but not as fast as the sailfish. They are strong as they jump
high into the air. They will give anglers a work-out as they soar up and take
off at 35 mph. Bass seem hard to catch as they play hide-and-seek under the
roots and along the banks and some just won’t take the bait, but really they
lumber along at a mere 12 mph. In the flats and grass beds you will can fish for
trout who travel along around 23 mph. Shark are not the fastest out here. Sharks
are huge in size and one would think they travel at a greater speed but
according to the chart, they can only travel at 30 miles per hour.
Would you guess that a common dog fish travels the same speed as a shark? Mullet
dance across the water in jumps and one would think they are a fast traveler but
they are a slow, slow fish with a speed of 8 mph. This list is called “ The
Speed of fish.” Wonder what they will come up with next.
I have seen some poles on the docks unattended. This is a no no ! The law states
that “persons must be present at the terminus of the gear.”
It is difficult for some anglers to know where the saltwater ends and the
freshwater begins. The law officer will let you know when he sees your catches
in the bait well. Anglers must have freshwater and saltwater licenses if they
fish the Bay and upper parts of the rivers.
Catching fish is pure enjoyment. When you sit down to the dinner table to a
delectable taste of fresh fish and know that you caught that fish it heightens
the taste. If the fish is large enough, bake it. Here is a easy method. Leave
the head and tail on and take out the insides. Stuff it with a crab dressing or
tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and green peppers. When flaky it is ready to eat.
Many anglers filet their fish. This is an art and not everyone can do this
without practice. This is removing the bones. I have been told by experts that
the first thing anglers must do is have a very thin, sharp knife. Most bait
shops sell them.
This time of the year many anglers use the foil wrap cooking process on their
outdoor grills. Again you add all of the meal around fish, potatoes, tomatoes,
onions and whatever vegetable suits you. Slow cook it over coals for a great
Don’t ever dry freeze your catch. Some anglers tell me they put their fish in
milk cartons and add water. This prevents freezer burn and the fish tastes fresh
I hope that everyone commits themselves to ethical angling as the future of this
sport depends on it. Help fish stocks increase through catch and release. Limit
the take and don’t always take the limit. Ob- serve regulations and report
violations. Escape tradition, try fish. Get hooked on fishing’s thrill not
alcohol or drugs.
Bring all garbage back to shore. Captains keep boats safely afloat. Show
courtesy and respect, don’t neglect others’ rights. Share what you know to help
the sport grow. Buy bait in your own town.
Observer News Front