Strange catch seems to be hogchoker
Earlier today, Leigh Rogers noticed some surface activity in the pond behind his Ascension Parish home, which lies on the banks of the Amite across from Port Vincent, so grabbed a rod.
“I saw some fish popping,” Rogers said.
His rod was rigged with a Rapala jerk bait, and the associate pastor at Dutchtown Baptist Church started working the lure along a drop-off in one corner of the pond.
“I fished along that ledge and felt a little bump, and when it came in my first thought was it was trash,” Rogers said.
But it was, indeed, a fish. Just not any species he had caught — or ever expected to catch — from the pond.
It was a small flatfish with very distinct markings.
Now, it’s not unheard of for the pond to flood when the Amite River spills out of its banks, but Rogers had never seen a flounder of any sort.
“I was shocked, to be honest,” he said.
So he did the only thing he could think to do: Google it.
The results came back with images that looked exactly like the little flatfish Rogers had dragged to the surface.
“I found one they called a hogchoker,” Rogers said.
And it matched the little fish he had in an aierated bucket.
According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, the hogchoker (trinectes maculatus) is a small flatfish with a brown, rounded body. It has a dark brownish-grey top and pale underside, with black lines crossing the body. It also has a rounded tail and dorsal and anal fins that stretch around the body from head to tail.