Species #93 — Pinfish

The first one was great, but I’ve had a pretty negative opinion of this super-common pest since I knocked Pinfish off the target list.

Species: Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides)
Location: Graffiti Bridge, Pensacola, FL
Date: August 1, 2017

Your first specimen of a common species is exciting. Your second and third are, too. Sometime shortly after that, though, it goes downhill.

Anyone who’s fished the Gulf knows the world of annoyance Pinfish can induce. As I fished a lagoon in backwater Pensacola, they proved a nuisance that limited my species total.

I caught a dozen or so that first night, and I have since caught hundreds. Pinfish are one of just a handful of saltwater species I’ve caught more than 100 of in a day, but most anyone could do that, so I don’t feel special.

Pinfish keep the skunk off, make good cutbait and livebait alike, and supposedly even taste good. I’ve never eaten one, but I filled a bucket with 50-60 for a family on a pier in Corpus Christi this summer, so people do eat them.

Still, it was the other species in that lagoon I was most interested in.

#SpeciesQuest #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #94 — Mangrove Snapper.

Species #92 — Spotted Sunfish

The spotted sunfish is the most beautiful subdued sunfish, in my humble opinion.

Species: Spotted Sunfish (Lepomis punctatus)
Location: Whataburger Parking Lot, Century, Florida
Date: August 1, 2017

Florida is the destination fishery in the lower 48. As cool as salmon and steelhead and halibut are, it might even beat Alaska.

So when I was driving back from Officer Training School in Alabama, I figured a small detour to Florida was a no-brainer. Pensacola was only a few hours off my beaten path, and I knew I could grab some new experiences and species with the detour.

For some reason, before I hit Pensacola, I decided to fish a tiny freshwater stream running through the town of Century. I parked in a Whataburger parking lot, grabbed my ultralight rod, and walked 100 feet to the little stream. It was no more than a few pools of water, but I knew they held fish.

I wasn’t wrong, and my tiny worm-tipped jig earned me a fish in no time. I thought Bluegill at first until I realized it wasn’t.

It was a beautiful Spotted Sunfish! A new species and a beautiful one, at that.

The baby blue eyeshadow, greenish-gray overtones and hundreds of black flecks that give the fish their name.

Florida was looking to be the right call.

#SpeciesQuest #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #93 — Pinfish.