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Fish Species

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  • Q: I'm interested in snappers, particularly the giant cuberas. How many species of snappers are there, how many do we have in the U.S., and how big do they get? Also, where did the name "cubera" come from? - Jack Hunter, Winter Park, FloridaA: Around the world, the snapper family, Lutjanidae, has about 250 different species divided into 25 genera. At least 15 species reside in North American waters, and 10 of these are assigned to the genus Lutjanus, including the mutton, silk, red, blackfin, mahogany, lane, gray, schoolmaster, dog and cubera snappers. Read More
  • What's the difference between a tuna and a bonito? Read More
  • What are the chances of the same fish being caught again and the tag recovered? Read More
  • Some halibut can be either right-eyed or left-eyed. Read More
  • Although the tomtate is very similar in appearance to snapper, the two are not closely related. Read More
  • Swordfish are actually heating themselves with the warmer surface water, not the sunlight. Read More
  • What kind of worms live inside the stomachs of dolphins? Read More
  • Q: I caught this small, red fish while deep-dropping in the Bahamas. Can you identify it and provide some information on how big it gets? - Capt. Bill Harrison, Miami, FloridaA: It's a spinythroat scorpionfish (Pontinus nematophthalmus), a fairly rare sport catch. This species has a short snout - about the same length as the diameter of its eye - which differentiates it from its cousin the longsnout scorpionfish (P. castor). It also lacks the very long third dorsal spine found in its other local relative, the longspine scorpionfish (P. longispinus). Read More
  • 5_1_1_3863_Seq1448bg.jpg
    In the soft glow of the oil rig's lights, barely perceptible at the limits of its golden arc, white water exploded. Dozens more eruptions followed immediately, and in seconds the calm, dark water 50 feet aft of the charter boat Strike Zone came alive with miniature geysers. "They're here!" roared Capt. Kevin Frelich as he quickly snatched a ready rod. With a long, spiraling cast, he dropped a bait near the patch of boiling water. Read More
  • Q: While rummaging through some old photos my granddaddy took on a long-range trip off Baja many years ago, I came across this shot. He's written on it, "hawkfish." This is one strange-looking critter, odd in shape and full of scrawled markings. Is it really a hawkfish? If so, what is a hawkfish? I'd like to know more about it and the family it's in. If not, then what is this thing? -Rufus DeVine, Jackson, Mississippi A: Rufus, your granddaddy was right on. Read More
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