Saturday, 11 February 2012

Ballyhoo/Balao

                                                                       Name
The ballyhoo or ballyHemiramphus brasiliensis, is a baitfish of the halfbeak family (Hemiramphidae). It is similar to the Balao halfbeak. Ballyhoo are frequently used as cut bait and for trolling purposes by saltwater sportsmen.
Ballyhoo can also be seen above the waters skimming the surface to escape from their predators. The appearance is similar to skipping stones on the water.



Appearance
This fish is a species of Halfbeak and has a silver body with green and black on it back and darker fins. As you can see this fish has a "beak" that sticks out quite far. In fact, this "beak" can make up almost 20% of its total body length. This fish is often found in the Gulf of Mexico and will have a bit of red on its tail. It is used to catch all kinds of saltwater game fish including Mahi Mahi (Dolphin fish) Marlin,SailfishMackerelTarpon and many others.

Spawning 

 spawn from early spring through late summer. Ballyhoo produce close to 2,000 eggs while their close cousins the balao, spit out three times that many. The microscopic eggs attach to floating blades of sea grass and the larvae eventually develop in the floating vegetation.

Life span

At the ripe age of one, their average fork length is already 8” to 9”. Ballyhoo have a maximum life span of only two or three years

Method to catching
Overhanging a chum bucket at the end of boat -casting/throwing net 
Chumming and using a small hook with shrimp/chum as bait 




Balao





Appearance
The main difference between the two being that the distance from the nose/beak to the base of the pectoral fin is greater than the length of the Ballyhoo's pectoral fin, while that difference is less than the length of the Balao halfbeak's pectoral fin. They have no spines on fins, but do have 11- 15 rays of their dorsal fins and 10 -13 rays on their anal fins. Halfbeak balao have blue-gray skin on their backs, while their undersides are silver or white. The balao (Hemiramphus balao) is a halfbeak. Its pectoral fin is long, the lower jaw and caudal fin have orange red tips, and the sides and belly are silvery. It averages 8 to 10 inches in length and can grow to 16 inches. 




Diet
Balao halfbeak can form fairly large schools where they feed on smaller fishes and zoo-plankton.

Habitat 
  They can be found in both river mouth and ocean waters and are associated with reefs. Although they are mainly used as bait-fish for sailfish and marlin (they are also preyed upon by many other fish). 

 Inhabits tropical and warm-temperate waters nearly worldwide. In the western Atlantic, it ranges from New York to the Gulf of Mexico and southward to Brazil, including the Caribbean; in the eastern Atlantic, it is found around the Canary Islands and in the Gulf of Guinea from Victoria, Nigeria, to Luanda, Angola.


Method to catching
Overhanging a chum bucket at the end of boat -casting/throwing net 
Chumming and using a small hook with shrimp/chum as bait 




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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Threadfin Herring/Shad/Sardine


Distribution in Mexico fishing areas
The Deepbody Thread Herring is a common coastal pelagic species that is reported to be found in all Mexican fishing waters. It is a member of the Clupeidae family which consists of Herrings, Menhadens, Pilchards, Piquitingas, Sardines, Shads and Threadfin-herrings which are known in Mexico as sardines.



                                                                                    
Appearance
 The threadfin is distinguishable at a glance by the prolonged last ray of its dorsal fin. With a bluish-black back, silver sides and belly. Their scales along the back have dark centers, and there is a dark spot just behind the upper gill plate cover. 




 Bait Fish
The Atlantic Thread Herring makes for a good bait fish when targeting Tarpon, Kingfish, Blacktip and Spinner Sharks, Jack Crevalle, Redfish and Snook. Commonly in the 6-8 inch range, they make good king Mackerel baits.  They also make a very good cut bait when bottom fishing.

Catching method
They can be caught with a cast net but a heavy, large mesh net is required. Sabiki jigs are another common method of catching them.  They are somewhat difficult to keep alive for long periods of time in a live well but can be penned if the pen is large and in an area with a good water exchange.




Edible 
Yes ,but not recommended 

Method mostly used 
Chumming, is the practice of luring animals, usually fish or sharks, by throwing "chum" into the water. Chum often consists of fish parts and blood, which attract fish, particularly sharks due to their keen sense of smell.


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Coelacanth








Name
Coelacanths, adaptation of Modern Latin Cœlacanthus "hollow spine", from Greek κοῖλ-ος koilos "hollow" + ἄκανθ-α akantha "spine", referring to the hollow caudal fin rays of the first fossil specimen described and named by Agassiz in 1839, are members of an order of fish that includes the oldest living lineage of Sarcoperygii (lobe-finned fish + tetrapods) known to date.


Location


Associated with marine fish and Tetrapods Lungfishes (ancient fish species),It is believed to have been extinct since the late Cretaceous period, until the first specimen was found off the east coast back in South Africa, on the River Chalumna in 1938.  Since 1938, Latimeria chalumnea have been found in the ComorosKenyaTanzaniaMozambiqueMadagascar, and in iSimangaliso Wetland Park Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.


Edible 


 According to descriptions, "the flesh of the coelacanth is high in oil, urea, wax esters, and other compounds, adding up to an indigestible mix." Field reports state that eating the coelacanth resulted in "a kind of diarrhea," and medical accounts of state "It was difficult... to contain the oil that was pooling in substantial quantities in the lower rectum." Where the coelacanth is more common, local fishermen avoid it because of its propensity to make consumers ill.


Feeding Habits 


During the daytime, coelacanths rest in caves anywhere from 100–500 meters deep while others migrate to deeper waters. By resting in cooler waters (below 120 meters) during the daytime, coelacanths reduce metabolic costs. By drifting toward reefs and feeding at night, they save vital energy. Staying in caves during the day also saves energy because they do not have to waste energy fighting the currents.
Coelacanths are nocturnal piscivores who feed mainly on benthic fish populations. By floating along the lava cliffs, presumably, they feed on whatever fish they encounter.


 Populations   


 Among the fish that have been caught, there have been about equal amounts of males and females. Population estimates range from 210 individuals per population, all the way to 500 individuals per population. Because coelacanths have individual color markings, scientists think that coelacanths are able to recognize other coelacanths via electric communication.




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