Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo leaderboard Day 1 – AL.com

Barracuda

Barracuda

Much maligned in these parts, the barracuda is both a ferocious predator and a tasty fish. People are afraid to eat them because of their association with ciguatera, a dinoflagellate that can cause intestinal distress. But our barracuda are not generally carriers of the toxin, as it is usually only found in reef fish on tropical reefs. Barracuda bear striking similarities to the freshwater species northern pike and the muskie. There is also a tiny species of barracuda native in our waters, that hunts in the shallows around the barrier islands. They run around six inches long.

Black drum

Black drum

Black drum are sort of the garbage men of our coastal inshore waters. Famous for consuming anything, young black drum, known locally as “puppy drum” are among the finest eating fish in Alabama waters. As they age, and approach ten pounds, their flesh loses much of its appeal. Cooked, a large drum has a tough consistency, similar to overcooked chicken. Making them less palatable is their relationship with a parasite. Black drum serve as an intermediate host for a parasitic worm. The way the worm’s life cycle works, black drum are infected while feeding in the surf. The worm sets up shop in the flesh of the drum, usually in the area near the tail. You can see the worms sticking out from their flesh, and often there will be a large mass of worms beneath the flesh. But the worms only reproduce when the drum is eaten by a shark. Then, in the guts of the shark, the worms release young, which are released when the shark poops. Fascinating and strange as far as life stories go.

Blackfish

Blackfish

The blackfish, also known as a tripletail, is considered the best eating fish in the Gulf. Famed for its flaky, white meat, blackfish are masters of both being lazy, and being the ultimate predator. Most blackfish are caught thanks to their affinity for structure. For instance, they love to align their bodies with anything found floating in the water, from crab trap floats to buckets. Seasoned fishermen know that any object seen floating in inshore or offshore waters, a cardboard box to a log, is likely to harbor a tripletail. These fish are often found floating on their sides in the water, masquerading as a bit of flotsam. When baby fish swim close, seeking shelter, its usually a one way trip that ends in the belly of the blackfish.

Bluefish

Bluefish

The bluefish is much maligned in the Gulf, but wildly popular on the East Coast. Of course, blues seldom top five pounds in the Gulf, while 20 pound fish are common on the Eastern seaboard. Broiled or baked, the oily meat of bluefish makes for a great meal. It just requires different treatment than the white fleshed fish, such as red snapper.

Source: https://www.al.com/expo/news/erry-2018/07/17343812178911/alabama-deep-sea-fishing-rodeo.html

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