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New Fish For Me! Never Seen One Before!

Discussion in 'Fishing Chatter = anything to do with fishing' started by bogman102, May 15, 2020.

  1. bogman102

    bogman102 Seaman
    Fishing Chatter

    I was at Spruce Creek Park 5-15-2020 checking the crabbing situation. No crabbers and no crab bouys present. I talked briefly with the fishermen there when one of them caught an Eel about 18" long. He was afraid of it, did not want to touch it and his line was wrapped around it as usual. I thought I would give him a hand getting his hook back. While holding the body and getting the hook from its mouth I noticed this was not the usual American eel!
    It was much too strong, lacked the usual slime and the dorsal fin did not wrap around the end of the tail. The tail also was rounded and bare of any fins at all! I have seen a lot of fish but this one I knew I had never seen before. Color was typical of any American Eel; very dark olive drab to brownish.
    When I got home I looked up The Audobon Society Guide to North American Fishes, Whales and Dolphins. On page 378 I located a very brief description of Snake Eels. It states there are over 200 species in North America, and the rounded finless tail is used to burrow a retreat in the mud. Strange indeed and so very little added information. A Google search also added little information!
    Evidently very little is known about this Family (Ophichthidae), Order (Anguliform) or genera.
    I have spent my life in the woods both fresh and salt water and have seen most all forms of animal species but this was new to me! While shrimping I have seen small Eel like fish swimming in the lights and always thought they were juvenile American Eeels but now wonedr if they could be juvenile Snake Eels?
    I think I'll give FWC a call and ask them about it and report the occurrence!
    Has anyone here seen such a critter?
    Jeepster likes this.
  2. mak

    mak Moderator on Deck Staff Member

    Very interesting. I’ve never seen that type. Never know what you might run in to out there.
    Strangest thing I ever caught was a Lamprey that came attached to a large Crappie I caught in N GA years ago. Dropped at my feet right as I pulled it out and made me jump... that’s one ugly critter.
  3. robthetimekeeper

    robthetimekeeper Seaworthy

    Did you get a picture?
  4. bogman102

    bogman102 Seaman
    Fishing Chatter

    No, no picture unfortunately! I talked with Norm yesterday of Meyers Crab; I knew he has a lot of on the water experience.
    He said he has only seen one and that was back when he was in high school!
    Tomorrow I will ask at The Marine Discovery Center.
  5. hevad

    hevad Treasure Hunter

    Interesting! Caught many eels before, can't say I've seen one of those though. But then again, don't know if I had, I'd be observant enough to realize it wasn't just the same old eel.
  6. bogman102

    bogman102 Seaman
    Fishing Chatter

    OK, I have been to the Marine Discovery Center in NSB, The Marine Science Center in Daytona and queried The Smithsonian Marine Station in Ft Pierce and FL FWC. Nobody could answer my questions! They did offer suggestions on what direction to search and that proved helpful! I have tentatively identified my mystery fish as a Shrimp Sanke Eel (Ophichthus gomesii). Here are two pictures: one of an American Eel and one of the Shrimp Snake Eel.

    American Eel.jpg

    Shrimp Snake Eel.jpg

    mak likes this.
  7. Rich M

    Rich M Swabbie

    Interesting! Never heard of those before...
  8. shrimpmansteve

    shrimpmansteve Swabbie

    Persistence pays off. Nice research there!
  9. Bossman

    Bossman Moderator on Deck Staff Member

    Interesting I've never seen anything like that before, glad you found out.
  10. SpecFisher16

    SpecFisher16 Cabin Boy

    Only time in my life I seen them was on the shingle creek trail in Orlando after weeks of heavy rain. There were a few just sitting in the flooded trail.
  11. Joseph Underwood

    Joseph Underwood Powder Monkey

    My grandfather has them in his pond in Melbourne
  12. aharp61

    aharp61 Deckhand

    Interesting looking critter
  13. mplspug

    mplspug Pirate

    Eels are the best cobia bait out there.
  14. Wow that’s pretty cool, nice observation and great job doing the research to find out what it was! Thanks sharing with us!
  15. Jeepster

    Jeepster Able Bodied Sailor

    Wow. Talk about a great looking bait.
  16. kujo

    kujo Junior Member

    Here mr Cobia, come get your dinner!
  17. skinner

    skinner Junior Member

    would love to have seen a picture....we caught something last weekend and couldn't identify it. I've got to be more consistent on getting pictures.

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