Creature Feature

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Watch out, sucker!

Every fish makes its own living in its own way. Some are hard-swimming, driving predators. Others are kind of laid back and take advantage of their fellow fish in the sea.

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August 04 at 9:00 am
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Interesting blue crab trivia

Blue crabs are one of the most-beautiful and interesting creatures in Louisiana’s coastal marshes. They are pugnacious — actually downright aggressive may be a better characterization — but within those armored bodies lies some of the most delectable of all seafoods.

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July 04 at 9:00 am
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Redear sunfish

Yes, I know that a redear sunfish isn’t really a perch, but that along with “bream” is the generic name for the clan of freshwater panfish that includes bluegills, goggle-eyes, slick perch (green sunfish), sunperch and stumpknockers.

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June 04 at 9:00 am
9735 Views

Are goliath grouper fish or footballs

Last month, we discussed the biology of the goliath grouper, a fish still often called by its old name of jewfish. The fish is intriguing, if for no other reason than for its size.

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May 01 at 3:00 pm
5040 Views

Are goliath groupers fish or footballs?

The glamour boy of the grouper family, the 800-pound Atlantic goliath grouper, is becoming the Gulf of Mexico’s latest fisheries management football, to be passed and punted back and forth between recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, environmentalists and fisheries biologists.

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April 04 at 9:00 am
6529 Views

When a mullet is king

Biologists like writing about cool fish — odd fish, fish that are a swimming riddle. This month’s guy (or more properly “guys”) is that.

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March 03 at 9:00 am
5723 Views

Hey, ray, what you say?

At least that is what some shrimpers say they hear. The animal that they have nicknamed “choo-choo” for the whoofing sound that it makes after it hits the deck of a shrimp boat is known by scientists as a cownose ray, Rhinoptera bonasus. 

The scientific name is entirely derived from Greek. The genus name comes from rhinos, which means “nose” and pteron, which means “wing.” The species name comes from bonasos, which means “bison.”

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February 01 at 7:00 am
4366 Views

The case of the slippery eel

Nothing could be worse for a freshwater natural-bait fisherman. Something obviously huge had grabbed the worm or crawfish on his hook and was fighting furiously. He could almost imagine the broad head of a big catfish emerging from the water.

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January 03 at 9:00 am
6938 Views

Yes, we have no bananas today

“Yes, We Have No bananas Today” is the nonsensical title of a novelty song composed by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn for Broadway in 1923. Like the song, the little fish that Louisiana coastal anglers call “banana fish” is self-contradictory. 

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December 04, 2013 at 9:00 am
5944 Views

Lane snappers are candy

If red and mangrove snappers are the meat and potatoes of the snapper fishing world, then lane snappers are the dessert. Maybe that’s why one of their common names is candy snappers, although it’s probably because they are striped, like a candy cane. 

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November 01, 2013 at 7:00 am
5488 Views

Is there a devil in your ditch?

Crawfish are almost our totem animal in Louisiana. A big, red crawfish held aloft in a clenched fist is the symbol of Cajun Power.

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October 01, 2013 at 7:00 am
13092 Views

Everybody eats pogies

Yes, everybody eats pogies; They just don’t know it.

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September 04, 2013 at 9:00 am
8909 Views

No one can call a triggerfish cute

Drab, mottled gray, buck-toothed, big-headed and pig-eyed — a gray triggerfish wouldn’t fit anyone’s definition of cute or beautiful. Inexperienced offshore fishermen who reel in one of these charmers at an offshore oil platform will usually stare at their catch clueless as to what it is.

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August 05, 2013 at 9:00 am
5335 Views

Bass fishing: Going to the weeds

Bass anglers have a love-hate relationship with submerged plants. Called submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) by biologists, they are a constant factor in freshwater fishing in Louisiana.Read More...
July 01, 2013 at 7:00 am
5673 Views

ABC means ‘all about crabs’

The blue crab is one of the most-fascinating creatures in coastal marshes. This is one creature whose scientific name (Callinectes sapidus) completely describes it.Read More...
June 03, 2013 at 9:00 am
6061 Views

Hail the new snapper king

Let’s face it: The red snapper is no longer the king.

Once, he ruled the Gulf of Mexico. During the 1950s and 1960s, when recreational fishermen forayed offshore it was for the red snapper. Oh sure, a small clique of big-game anglers trolled for billfish (some of which — yikes — were even eaten in those days) and tuna.Read More...
May 03, 2013 at 9:00 am
4281 Views
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