||April 28, 2008 5:20 PM|
||New York > North Shore > Freshwater|
In case anyone was curious, the freshwater bite is still on. A dear friend and I have been catching a mixed bag of freshwater species over the past two weeks. Here, I'd like to share a silly conversation we had on a recent night. I thought it'd be fun to share with ya'll.
New to freshwater, I always told him that carp fishing (on light tackle) reminded me of targeting striped bass because big fish of both species share massive backs and big bellies. A carp's gold body also has the same awe-invoking effect on me as the bass's silver with black striped as both fish tend to do showy flash of their girth as they roll away from you upon hook up. Both also have an unbelievable first run.
As we continued fishing, we started hooking into big bullhead catfish. For my friend, it was a first experience to catch these barbel-bearing behemoths. Some were easily in the neighborhood of 3 lbs! As I missed hits and he perfected the skill quickly, he kindly offered me some advice. He described the bite as follows, "It's like a thump thump, then bang bang. You follow and then set the hook. While raising the rod tip, the fish usually doesn't know it's caught for a moment… then zip back down into the bottom it'll go into the mud, I think." Then, I thought to myself, "Sounds awfully like blackfish."
Soon enough, he was on to another big bullhead. As he continued to fight it, we saw it come up, then dive into a log. Sure enough- the catfish buried itself in the mud, and he thought the line was snagged! Then, he said aloud, "Hey! These are like freshwater blackfish! Diving back into structure!" We couldn't stop laughing the whole night after that!
We all know that freshwater fishing is its own beast, but more recently, I've heard fishermen tell me it's become their "pre-gaming" of sorts for fishing in saltwater. This has become the case for me as well, especially since the local ponds and lakes nowadays get overgrown with algae and muck, making them un-fishable with light tackle after July. Indeed, the bite turns on earlier in the year for freshwater, so it does get one's blood pumping before the saltwater cows come home.
This got us thinking- what other parallels could be drawn in the waters both salt and fresh? Per our lengthy conversation that night, we came up with the following list:
1. Carp ~ Cow Striped Bass (for their maximum size, humble beauty, first run, and for both, the big ones usually come on chunks: doughballs for carp, bunker for bass)
2. Largemouth Bass ~ Teen-sized Striped Bass (for the gamut of lures available to target a single species)
3. Bullhead Catfish ~ Blackfish (for their thumping bites and dive-back-into-structure fighting habit)
4. Pickerel ~ Bluefish. (for their ferocity and take-off speed)
5. Crappie ~ Sea Bass. (for their table quality and luminous appearance)
6. Sunfish ~ Porgies (for their voracious appetites and kid-friendly reputation)
7. Weakfish ~ Yellow and White Perch (both have relatively weak mouths and they love their versions of worms and little minnows)
8. Dogfish~ red-eared slider turtles (considered bycatch; they will eat anything that you drop in front of their mouth. At times, they will give a decent fight. You will usually need pliers to remove the hook due to their tough mouths)
9. Skate~ Snapping Turtles (large, slow, and big! When hooked, one must drag them slowly back to shore, like "dragging dead weight")
10. Bonito/False Albacore ~ ??
Haha... The universe harbors some strikingly rich parallels for us fishermen, doesn't it?
Any others come to mind?
Time to get ready for saltwater now. Keep the reports coming! I'll do the same!
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