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 




*feel free to leave a comment below.

3 comments:

  1. Here in St. Lucia they sell them out of wheelbarrows and the locals eat them fried.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here in St. Lucia they sell them out of wheelbarrows and the locals eat them fried.

    ReplyDelete
  3. fun fact,3 of the freshwater half beak species bare live young and are used as fighting animals in Asia where wages are placed.

    ReplyDelete