Photo – Owen Alexander is pictured with a multiple spot redfish he caught, which would have won any area redfish spot tournament. Spots on a redfish tail look like an eye fooling predator game fish in striking the tail of the redfish instead of the head.
Photo – Flounder will bury themselves right under a sandy, or mud bottom where they can easily ambush bait fish. Chip Davis is pictured with a nice Northeast Florida flounder.
Photo – Kingfish are disguised with a silver blue coloring which blends them right in with their habitat. Don Gasgarth is pictured with beautiful colored Amelia Island kingfish.
“Fish with a Disguise”
By Terry Lacoss
Many fishing boats have very large live wells to keep game fish alive in case they might wish to release their fish at the end of the day, or weigh the fish in during a live release fishing tournament. While in many cases fishermen at the end of their fishing day on the water open up the lid of their live well and simply cannot see their game fish. Now the once colorful game fish has simply changed it's coloring and now camouflaged right in with the darkness and water color of the live well!
This has happened to me on several occasions while running far up into the upper reaches of the Nassau river while red fishing in small tidal creeks where the waters are a mix of both salt and freshwater. The colors of both redfish and sea trout are a much darker color that allows them to disguise themselves right in with the dark color of the water.
Keep in mind that I always plumb my “Release” live well with fresh water which keeps the fish alive much longer. When running back to the Fernandina Harbor my live well begins to pump in clear water from the bay and intra coastal waterway. Upon opening the lid to the live release well, both sea trout and redfish have changed colors to a lighter shade to blend right in with the current water color!
By far one of the best disguised game fish is the bonefish. During a past bonefish trip to the Bahamas I had to virtually get right on top of shallow water bonefish before I could see them. Also I had to position my fly casting so that the sun was on my back as it was virtually impossible to see any bonefish looking straight into the sun. Simply said, bonefish are one of the hardest game fish to sight fish for while blending right in with the sandy bottom of the flats.
A close second in the race to be the best disguised game fish, would be the excellent eating flounder. Northeast Florida flounder will simply bury their body right into a sandy bottom where their blotchy coloration blends right in with either a mud, of sandy bottom.
My third chose would be the ever popular redfish which has one or more eye like spots on it's tail. Many fishermen believe that the spot on a redfish's tail has purpose to fool predator game fish into striking it's tail instead of it's head. Redfish can also change their color to blend right in with either dark, discolored or clear water conditions.predator
Savvy fishermen will wear a pair of premium sunglasses that cuts the glare from the surface of the water, allowing their eyes to look down under the surface when identifying game fish. A good choice of lens colors are the “Amber” lens for shallow water applications and blue lens for open ocean fishing conditions.
Seasoned fishermen will also have on board two pair of sunglasses, one for bright sunlight and a pair for cloudy, or low light conditions. The new “Accelerator” lens will brighten up your sight fishing during cloudy and low light conditions. Also keep the sun on your back when identifying game fish in shallow or deep water conditions. Also familiarize what game fish look like under the surface so that you can look for these same shapes when sight fishing.
Finally a good pair of sun glass retainers will avoid your expensive sunglasses from falling right off from your head and into the water!
The 2017 “Folds of Honor” Spot Fishing tournament” will be held Friday through Saturday, September 8-9, 2017. The event will be held from the Amelia Island Yacht Basin which benefits “folds of Honor”. The event includes 100% pay out in prizes, a “Youth” division, raffle and silent auction. For more information please e-mail Captain Scott Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the 2016 event Chuck Sapp and Kevin Blanton fished a spot they had not fished in a long time and found a nice school of redfish waiting to eat their “Rapala” lures. During their day of tournament fishing the two seasoned anglers actually caught a 17-spot redfish that measured only 16-inches, which was too small to bring to the tournament weigh in. However soon after wards they hooked a nice red that showcased 11-spots and eventually won the event!
Last year's “Amelia Island Redfish Spot Tournament” was a big success attracting some 61-anglers which was hosted by the Amelia Island Marina and organized by the Amelia Island Guides Associationafter wards
If you wish to donate, or purchase raffle tickets for an offshore fishing charter with the Amelia Angler to benefit Captain Benny Hendrix, raffle tickets and information are available at Atlantic Seafood, Leaders & Sinkers, Chelsea Marine, Amelia Island Bait & Tackle and Amelia Angler Outfitters. Also you can phone 904-261-2870.