We spend a lot of time promoting fishing in Terra Ceia Bay. From Tarpon to Snook, we are proud of our location and habitat. Therefore, we don’t often speak of the fish we hope to avoid. Since it’s the season for scary, we’re here to shine the spotlight on a few scary fish you may see lurking in Tampa Bay.
Sharks usually sit right next to alligators on the list of “scary”. Tourists, locals, and seasoned marine professionals share a fear of these apex predators for a good reason. They’ll explore their territory, steal your bait, and bite that hook if they get a chance. And because Tampa Bay is a breeding ground for sharks, we see a LOT of them.
Despite the numerous species of shark in our bay, the scariest of them all has to be the Goblin Shark. With pink skin, a protruding horn off its head, and layer upon layer of teeth, there’s no wonder why men spoke of dragons and sea monsters. We have no idea how large these fish can get, but the largest of them measured over twenty feet long and was caught right here in the Gulf of Mexico.
Thanks to Hollywood, we’ve all encountered one of these grotesque species on t.v. Also known as Lanternfish or Sea Devil’s these fish are stealthy, haunting, and a little cunning. With a glow-in-the-dark lantern to draw their prey into the jaws of their razor-sharp teeth, it’s no wonder children’s stories have used their unique character to scare us into fearing the deep.
Fun fact: As scary as they seem, we often see them in fish markets labeled Monkfish. Their mild, sweet meat lacks any trace of fishiness, making them a delicacy on restaurant menus.
Although scary, the species we’ve listed so far are ones we can eat. Not only are there several fish that fall out of this category, but there are a few you want to avoid touching at all. Lionfish are one such species. With venomous spikes that can cause severe pain, respiratory distress, and paralysis, we suggest steering clear all together.
For some, it’s size, and for others, it’s looks. But if we’re all honest with ourselves, the scariest fish is the one we didn’t catch. Going home with a scorecard that proves the fish have a one-up on our skills is not only degrading but a little scary. They’re smarter than we think, and there are times (okay, many times) when they win. That’s why we call it fishing, not catching, after all.
Here at Fisherman’s Cove RV Resort, we have made a point to set you up with the best chance of catching fish. With our private boat ramp leading to inshore, near shore, and offshore waters, plus a fully-equipped fishing pier and on-site fishing pros, we’re ready to up your game. Scary fish or not…we hope you have a Happy Halloween and look forward to hearing your fish stories soon!