Catching dangerous fish can be an intentional feat for thrill-seekers, but any angler could find an unwelcome species at the end of their line. Dangerous fish to catch might be large in size, have sharp teeth, or wield venomous protrusions. Learning dangerous types of fish will help you understand how to best handle them for a safe and harmless releaseâ€”for angler and fish alike. This article will cover handling tips for catching dangerous fish and a few common species to look out for.
Sharks (obviously!). Most sharks are caught only if an angler is intentionally fishing for them and experienced with handling them. If you happen to hook up to one, enjoy the fight and catch a glimpse, but donâ€™t try to grab them or put your hands near their mouth.
Catfish. Certain freshwater and saltwater catfish have venom glands and sharp spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins that can puncture your skin and cause pain and infection.
Alligator Gar. Their appearance is that of half fish, half alligator, characterized by their elongated mouth and rows of sharp teeth. The Alligator GarÂ can grow to more than 200 lbs. and are known to spit hooks due to their tough mouth.
Muskies and Pike. These similar fish are known for putting up a fight. Muskellunge and Pikes have sharp teeth and sharp gill plates that should be avoided.
Barracuda. Lively and powerful, barracudas have a mouthful of sharp teeth and are known to jump out of the water. These fish are aggressive predators so handle with caution.
Lionfish. An invasive species with numerous long, venomous spines, lionfish are fairly docile, but should not be handled with bare hands.
When renewing or purchasing a fishing license, check the stateâ€™s website for a list of potentially dangerous fish in your area, as they may offer more specific handling tips and regulations. Donâ€™t fear the fish, just be prepared and have fun!