WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?

By Scott Lenox

Scott Lenox

Scott is the owner of Fish in OC and host of Ocean City’s fishing television show Hooked on OC. He has worked in the fishing industry and fished the waters in and around Ocean City for over 25 years.

I got an inshore report from my buddy Nick Denny today who has been fishing from his kayak around the route 50 bridge lately.  Nick reported short flounder all morning at the bridge, bluefish at stinky beach in front of the Homer Gudelsky park and he saw two guys fishing from the route 50 bridge who lucked into five keeper tautog.  Overall Nick had some decent fishing with several different species including this ugly dude.

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The stargazer.  We don’t catch a lot of them in the back bays of Ocean City, but we do catch enough that I wanted to let you know a little about this bottom dweller.  The stargazer is a muscular bottom feeder that buries itself in the sand to ambush unsuspecting baitfish a lot like a flounder.  They also inhabit the same areas of the bay as flounder, hence the reason that we will catch them in Ocean City on minnows, mullet, small spot, Gulp and lots of other baits used for flounder fishing.  There are two reasons to be really careful when handling a stargazer.  1.  Stargazers are venomous.  They have poisonous spines on the back behind their gill plate just above the pectoral fin. (White circles below)  2.  Stargazers can pulse electric shock.  Stargazers are one of only a few fish that are bioelectrogenic.  Meaning that they can generate true electric impulses with their body.  The spots to look out for on our stargazer are just behind the eyes on the top of the head. (Black circles below)  Back in the late 90’s when I was a mate on the party boat Tortuga with Captain Dan Lampe we caught a stargazer and put this to the test.  We put the positive and negative leads of our battery tester on the two spots on the back of the head.  At first nothing, but when the fish shook it’s head and tail it pegged the needle on the volt meter.  Needless to say, we didn’t touch it with bare hands, and you shouldn’t either.  The best idea is to use a pair of pliers to remove the hook.

stargazer

Offshore, mahi are still around in pretty good numbers.  The Boss Hogg out of Sunset Marina had another limit of 60 fish yesterday.

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