We’ve been posting pics of some pretty epic catches lately, which got us thinking… Do you have an epic fishing photo you want the world the see? Now is your time to shine. Upload your photos to our Facebook, or tag us on Instagram and Twitter (@FishFishMe) with your best photo from a fishing trip. The top 5 winners will receive a free Fish Fish Me t-shirt and 10% off their next trip with us. Good luck!
A Whole New World: Fishing in the Gulf
Beyond the luscious beaches of the West Coast and the nostalgic waters of the East Coast lies a forgotten shoreline rich with possibilities. For those of us that love to brave the waters in search of a delicious meal, the Gulf of Mexico will always be known as Fishing’s Lost Coast. Sprawling and diverse, the Gulf is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to casting nets and reeling lines. While there are plenty of big game fisheries throughout the Deep South, the fishing industry tends to overlook the sheer size and scale of the Gulf. With swarms of marlin, tuna, and cobia waiting to be caught, the underutilization of the Gulf remains a mystery.
Why Go Fishing in the Gulf?
The Gulf curves along 1,680 miles of US coastline and 1,743 miles of Mexico’s coastline with a basin that spans 615,000 square miles. This eclectic mix of water creates a unique breeding ground for hundreds of species of fish. Every second, The Mississippi River alone pours over 3 million gallons of fresh water into the heart of the Gulf. Spawning a massive amount of baitfish, the Gulf has become one of the best places in the world for big game fishing. History is full of notorious examples of hard-core trollers netting fish the size of a large horse, with record-setting blue marlins and blue-fin tunas nearing a thousand pounds each.
The New Frontier: Fishing in Cuba
The Obama Administration’s decision to restore US relations with Cuba marks a turning point in the island’s fishing industry. Cubans have been guzzling down fish at rapid rate since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. When communism was on the decline, the country’s citizens were so desperate for food that they devoured as many fish as they could find, stifling the growth of the fish population for generations. Now that Cuba’s trading privileges have been restored, natives and tourists alike are free to buy, trade, and sell fish without fear of retribution.
If you’re tired of casting your line in the same old fisheries, the Gulf of Mexico is calling your name. Fishing’s Lost Coast is one of the world’s greatest untapped natural resources for big-game expeditions and private fishing charters in the Western Hemisphere. Head to the Deep South, plan a trip to Mexico, or explore the open waters of Cuba and discover the magic of deep-sea fishing in the Gulf.
While most of us have been trained to think of sharks as perfect killers on a constant hunt for human flesh, many are beginning to turn the tables on the fearsome fish. That’s because commercial and recreational shark fishing is on the rise in the United States. From the shores of the northeastern U.S. down to the Florida Keys, and from the Gulf of Mexico out to the California coast, America’s taste for the ultimate catch has been steadily increasing over the past few years.
Some attribute this to rising ocean temperatures causing sharks to move into more populated areas, which increases their accessibility for recreational fisherman—as well as the rate of shark attacks worldwide, but that’s a different story. Whatever the reason may be for the rise in shark fishing, the fact of the matter is the fishin’ is good. So here are a few of the best locations for your next shark fishing adventure:
- Texas – From Galveston to Corpus Christi and all the way to the border, the western shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico offers endless opportunities for anglers looking link up with a wide variety of shark species including blacktip, bull, tiger, hammerhead, Atlantic sharp nose and lemon sharks.
- Florida – Whether you’re looking for excellent land based shark fishing, or world-class deep sea fishing charters, the sunshine state is the number one destination in the country for tangling with the ocean’s most feared predator. In fact, Florida is such a shark-magnet, it’s beaches consistently rank among the most shark infested waters on the planet. And when you’re fishing in Florida, your options are pretty wide open as there really aren’t any bad locations along it’s lengthy coast. Common species include black tip, black nose, spinner, thresher, lemon sharks, hammerhead, bonnethead, and nurse sharks among others.
- New Jersey – As the water warms up down south, the sharks start to head up the coast, which has sportfishermen on the Jersey Shore licking their chops during the late summer months. Common species in Jersey waters include mako, thresher, blue sharks, hammerheads and tiger sharks—as well as the occasional great white, which cannot be kept due to its inclusion on the endangered species list.
Remember, whether you’re a seasoned angler, or a complete newcomer, safety should always be your number one concern. These animals are unbelievably powerful, and even though you might think that not being in the water with them means you’re safe, anything can happen, so don’t go into it thinking it’s just another day at the lake. And no matter where you choose to cast out, do your research first.
Many fishermen consider fishing a relatively safe and non-hazardous sport; however, there are some risks associated with it that every angler should be aware of – one of which is the animals they may encounter during deep sea fishing expeditions. There are some marine animals that fishermen should be wary of – an encounter with the following animals could ruin a fisherman’s day – or worse:
1. The Stingray: The barbs on a stingray’s tail are not used by the animal to attack by any means; their purpose is completely defensive. The rays can drive its tail around with tremendous force, and since the bone-hard spine has serrated curved teeth, the barbs go into skin easier than they come out! The effects of being stung by the barbs can not only be incredibly painful, but also instill an intense infection in the fisherman. What can make avoiding rays so tricky is the fact that they burrow just under the sand in the water, making them almost impossible to see.
2. The California Scorpionfish: Also known as the “sculpin”, this fish is common off the Pacific Coast. They lack hollow spines with venom glands, but they do have deep grooves that carry a strong, poisonous substance. It is for this reason that locals call them “rattlesnakes”. Swelling, pain, and burning can happen for days following a simple little poke by the fish.
3. The Candiru: This fish has no scales, and is likened to a parasitic catfish. It is also translucent, and grows to a length of only about 1 inch. So what makes a tiny fish like this so deadly? This fish feeds on blood, and is often found in the gills of larger fish. Unfortunately, it also sometimes attacks humans – it’s been known to enter the urethras of swimmers, erecting short spines and causing hemorrhage, inflammation, and even death to its victim.
4. The Stonefish: This venomous fish is found in shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific area. They are bottom-dwellers that have large mouths, small eyes, and a bumpy skin that really does make them appear as nothing more than part of the bottom. If they are stepped on, they inject venom through grooves in their fin spines; wounds inflicted by the fish in this matter are excruciatingly painful and sometimes fatal.
5. The Jellyfish: The Man-of-War, which isn’t a true jellyfish, can grow to shocking sizes. They can grow tentacles that extend out to at least 30 feet, and can be longer than 150 feet in total – and each of those tentacles is filled with stinging cells. Box jellies, also known as sea wasps, are only a few inches in size, but their tentacles can stretch to up to a length of two yards. They are translucent and difficult for people to see. A sting from one can kill a victim in just a few minutes from cardiac and respiratory arrest.
While these are only five examples of some of the world’s most dangerous marine animals, it would be wise for fishermen to do some research on the marine animals which are known to reside in the areas in which they will be fishing. Whether one is inclined to wade fishing, deep sea fishing, or anything in between, some knowledge of the dangers of the area could save you a lot of pain – and even your life.