Looked like just another
pretty day. Light westerlies, blue skies, slow ground swell borne of distant wind; Makenzy and Caleb of Roxanna DE, plus Jamison from Selbyville dropped 20 blocks on what will become a great reef: none could’ve guessed we’d be witness to an invasion—a renewed invasion, the second wave.
Slowed down to have a look at a stretch of coral bottom. Wasn’t right. Didn’t look as I’d have expected. Fish were too spread out, too far off the coral for this time of year. Had clients drop lines and didn’t do much; couple small cbass, then a good keeper ..soon Corey Lednum bows up more deeply than I’d expect from a sea bass – it’s a cutlass fish. In no time we were catching double headers of those toothy rascals.
Saw my first one in 2017. Didn’t see another till last year. Book says they’re an “eruptive” – like birds rarely migrating beyond their southernmost reaches, cutlassfish come inshore just once in a while then go back to the deep.
Hmm.. Last year we had a widely spread population, yet sometimes so thick boats had to leave em. They didn’t show til until mid-summer though.
Absolutely not ‘ribbonfish’ – today’s cutlassfish were—by far—the thickest I’ve seen. Had to leave that first area of reef in hopes we might catch our sea bass unmolested.
Sure looks like our ‘eruptive’ species has found some new haunts here along DelMarVa.
Did manage to evade cutlass the rest of the day. Sea bass bite sure wasn’t on fire. Wasn’t bad either. Had some skilled anglers helping those to the left of the curve. Almost a boat limit of cbass with George S from Roxanna sweeping the pool.
Capt Monty Hawkins
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