Fishing for Ladyfish
One of the sportiest fish in the ocean waters is the highly underrated ladyfish. It is underrated as a game fish, but certainly not as dinner. It was one one of the first species that I caught when I began fishing in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I tried to eat one just for the experience. It was probably the worst tasting fish that I have ever eaten.
Few fish put on such a spectacular show when hooked. It will jump probably as soon as it is hooked-- possibly throwing your hook and sinker right back at you if you are close enough. It will go left and right, run towards you and back. It will jump again and again.
These are warm water loving fish. They show up on the northern part of the Gulf Coast usually in March and they leave for warmer waters when cold weather comes. In South Florida they are caught all year.
You can catch them on artificial bait like spoons or jigs or natural bait like dead shrimp or cut bait. For some real action fish with two jigs or two hooks baited with natural bait.
These are very easy fish to catch. In fact, when they are schooling it is practically impossible to keep the off your hook.
Seagulls over the water usually means that there are plenty of them under the birds. Both the birds and the fish are both feeding on the same small fish.
There is the likelihood that other fish are in the midst of those ladyfish, like delicious redfish or white trout, so it is possible to catch a mess of these high jumping fish for fun and some better tasting fish for dinner.
I enjoy catching ladyfish-- up to a point. They are always fun to catch early in the season, but after awhile so many can be caught that I get tired of reeling them in and throwing them back. Tourists who don't have a lot of time love catching these fish because it's so easy.
You have to be very careful taking these slippery, slender fish off the hook when fishing with lures, especially those with double treble hooks. I've had to make a trip to the emergency room twice to get treble hooks cut out of my hand-- both times ladyfish did the deed. They don't cease being acrobatic when they come out of the water. You have to be very careful that they don't jump one more time the wrong way. It is a good idea to use needle nose pliers to remove the hook.
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