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Thread: I need help identifying two fish

  1. #1
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    Default I need help identifying two fish

    This weekend I saw a new fish and a fish I had seen before, but cannot find on websites.

    The first is a grouper like fish. I saw 2 or 3, all in the 14-16 inches long. It had distinctive vertical strips down the body, beginning near the head. The stripes alternated dark and light, with maybe 8 total stripes. The tail was the tail of a normal grouper, not the rounded tail of a goliath. I was in 40th feet of water, so colors were washed out. When I shined a dive light, the coloration was close to a Red Grouper. My guess is that this fish was a juvenile something, but I have never seen this color stripe combination.

    The second is a fish (or maybe amphibian, reptile, or bird) that I have seen two times. Once in 45 feet near OAR Reef 1 and the second at Barge 24 in 25 feet. The body is mottled grey. From the front of the fish, the fish head appears to be a lizard with a wide lizard-like mouth and eyes. Also, similar to a lizard, the fish lies upon the bottom and props up on the two front fins. The body is narrow and thin, with two distinctive fins near the head. The head is the widest part of the fish, with the body tapering to a point. The most unusual aspect of the fish is the two front fins. The fins are same structure as featherless bird wings, with the same bends one observes in chicken wings. The fish does not swim, but rather extends the wings to slide across the bottom. The first I saw was about 14 inches, the second was about 10 inches. Given the water depth, I assume this is a fish. Given the body structure, it could be amphibian, reptile, or bird.

    I was sober in both cases. On the second fish, I wish I had a picture.

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    The head also resembles a frog/toad's head. I said lizard above, as it seemed more lizard like.

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    The second fish is a batfish. Thank you Marine Lab at FSU.

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    guessing a red grouper and lizardfish.

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    Are you sure its a Batfish? They have a very thick body. It sounds like a sea robin. Look that up and see. As for the first maybe a Red grouper. Where were you diving in general? What body of water and where, that will help a lot.
    Rugged 100 lb Carbo noodler

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    Chris Grauer- "To protect, promote, and grow the sport of spearfishing" www.spearfishingplanet.com

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    I dive this area and i agree with Grauwer,,, lizard fish ,,,,,,the other is a batfish,,,,,,Now i am not sure about the grouper looking one,,,,,,

    sorry... i missed the trip due to work or I could have Gopro it for you

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    The second fish was very likely a batfish. It was not a lizardfish, as it walked/dragged along the bottom. The eyes, body, and fins of a batfish were exactly the fish I observed. The batfish mouth did not exactly match the fish I saw, but this could have been a memory issue. The key was the fins, which distinctly resemble bird wings without feathers.

    On the grouper type fish, my guess is that I saw a juvenile grouper of some type, with Red being a good guess. Except for the tail and the small size, the striping was very similar to a goliath. My hope was that a new type of grouper (Tiger?) had moved into the area. In looking thru fish identification pictures, the closest I have found is a Misty Grouper, but those are supposed to be deep water grouper.

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    How about black drum?

    juvenile black drum - Google Search
    Chris Grauer- "To protect, promote, and grow the sport of spearfishing" www.spearfishingplanet.com

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    I had thought about black drum as a possibililty. There were three reasons I said no. The mouth type was grouper or some snappers, too large for a drum. The color was not black/grey when when shined with a light, closer to red/brown. I have seen/caught mature black drum, and this did not look the same.

    On the day I saw the fish, I felt sure it was a grouper, but could not recognize the type. I hope to see another of these, next time with a camera.

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    A very lost nassau grouper?

    Epinephelus striatus, Nassau grouper : fisheries, gamefish, aquarium

    They can often look similar to reds, but the main distinguishing feature is the black on the top of the base of the tail. They are no-take in FL.

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    Probably a juvenile gag. They have stripes, and there sure are plenty in the gulf. The other could be a toad fish.
    Last edited by sylvester-tj; 09-27-2011 at 12:00 PM.

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    It was not a gag, the fish was very similar to this Misty, Misty Grouper . This would have been very small and very lost for a Misty Grouper.

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    Definitely not a misty in 40ft. That is a pretty out of proportion drawing of a misty btw...


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    Could the second one have been a Sea Robin
    "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." A. Lincoln

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    No, it was a batfish, http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/wp...se-batfish.jpg or Polka-dot batfish (Ogcocephalus radiatus), Seahorse Key, FL | Flickr - Photo Sharing!. The key was the fins were almost as long as the body, and appear to be featherless bird wings. According to what I have read, there are about 70 species, so I am unsure as to the exact type of batfish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmfish View Post
    Definitely not a misty in 40ft. That is a pretty out of proportion drawing of a misty btw...

    jiminy crickets Chris, thats a freaking beast of a fish. Nice catch, How does that rate for catching misties? That fishes is almost as big as you. Thanks for sharing.

    Chris
    Chris Grauer- "To protect, promote, and grow the sport of spearfishing" www.spearfishingplanet.com

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    sorry for the derail

    Quote Originally Posted by Grauwer View Post
    jiminy crickets Chris, thats a freaking beast of a fish. Nice catch, How does that rate for catching misties? That fishes is almost as big as you. Thanks for sharing.

    Chris
    That's a decent size one ~80lbs. They do get bigger though. After I caught that one, my buddy dropped on the same spot, got worked and the hook came up completely straight. We were using some serious hooks too. This was from several years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmfish View Post
    A very lost nassau grouper?

    Epinephelus striatus, Nassau grouper : fisheries, gamefish, aquarium

    They can often look similar to reds, but the main distinguishing feature is the black on the top of the base of the tail. They are no-take in FL.
    Thats what im thinking

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