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Posted on Jan 9, 2013 in Next Cast
What IS That? Giant Silver Fish Found Floating off Hawaii
by Chris Woodward
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Courtesy NOAA Photo Library
Surprisingly, there are quite a number of long, silvery oceanic fishes.

Just like reputed alien sightings, glimpses of unusual fish light a fire among curious angling minds. Witness this past week’s West Coast tales about a giant, headless silver fish found in Hawaii from California blogger Pete Thomas and Sport Fishing contributor Jon Schwartz.

Schwartz explains the events: Kona captain Dale Leverone and crew were offshore marlin fishing when they happened across a 7-foot eel-like fish floating on the surface. Its head and tail had apparently been bitten off, making identification difficult.

While on-site, Leverone shared images of the fish with Schwartz electronically; the crew continued to fish in a tournament. Schwartz quickly tapped Hawaii fishing expert and fellow SF contributor Jim Rizzuto, who initially thought the find might be a deep-water, sea-serpent-like oarfish. But oarfish sport a feathery red dorsal fin.

Schwartz continued his research and debated whether the animal could be some form of cutlassfish — of which there are at least 40 species. However, federal fisheries biologists contacted by Schwartz could not provide a definitive ID from just the photos of the body.

Thomas did some checking on his end with local aquarium experts. Still no final word. Schwartz, however, vows to continue the research. Even if he doesn’t ever truly uncover this fish’s identity, look how much more cool-fish knowledge this process has imparted to other anglers.