October Reds – Revised

or

“Fish-eye View”

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Using this series of photos I took, I want to share with you the things I observed about the red drum–the fish we commonly call “redfish”, all one word!

I’ve never observed these fish underwater before, and I think this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a fishing rodeo weigh in.  This past Friday and Saturday was the Louisiana segment of the Inland Fishing Association’s Red Fish rodeo, wherein 86 teams launched from Falgout Canal down here in Bayou Dularge, LA and headed to waters far and wide in search of a 2-day, 2-man, 2-fish catch.

This rodeo was unique, at last to me, in that after the living fish were weighed in, they were then placed in a holding tank owned by the Aquarium of the Americas (New Orleans), and an employee tagged them.  At the end of the weigh in, the tank was then dumped into the bayou, and all the reds were left to live another day.

And I must confess that I thought more than once about getting my rod and reel and sitting on that dock just waiting for the big dump.  But, being the sports woman that I am, that would not be “fair chase fishing”, and I figured those reds had done their good deed and were probably already traumatized enough.

As an afterthought, I must put your mind at ease . . . none of the fish were floating belly up early next morning, either, which I was very glad to see.

I’m going to do this a little differently.  Instead of writing about what I observed, I’m going to post the photos and let you decide what YOU see.  Then, you can comment about OR ask questions about what you see.  Just refer to photo number when you post your musings.

It will be fun to see who knows what and who has some creative ideas about what they might be looking at.

Remember, these were taken inside a tank, with the reflection of the glass, the sun, and the incidental flash having an impact on final result and glitches in some of the pics.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy them.  And at the end of it all, I think I’ll enter your comments into a little contest . . . . prize to be announced later!

Here we go . . . .

two.reds

1

tails

2

tail.scales.tag

3

Tail

4

tag

5

silver.scales

6

red.tail

7

Red.scales

8

red.heads

9

Red.Dot

10

orange.eye

11

multi.dots

12

gill.plate

13

Dot.on.skin

14

So, bring on those questions and observations of these up close and personal photos of reds in their not-quite-native habitat, but it’s about as close as I’ll ever get to seeing them underwater.

BW

Post Script:  So it looks like this post was a royal flop, in spite of the faithful few loyal reader-commenters.  I’m so grateful for y’all.  Any way, I’ll go ahead and mention some of the things I observed.

1)In the water, when the light shines just right on the side of the fish, there is a darker, bronze-colored stripe down the length of the fish’s body.

2)Not all red fish have the same color skin, fins, or eyes.

3)When they feel threatened, they bunch together, with all their heads touching OR all their tails touching.

4)Some fish have eye spots randomly placed on their bodies and not just on the tail, but ALL of them have the eye spot on the tail.  Not one of them, in over 100 fish were missing the eye spot.

5)In just the right light, the tip of the tail fins are a beautiful blue color

6)The color of the fish is determined by what they eat and the water they came from; and the color we see is from the skin, showing behind the scales, as the scales are translucent white.

7)The scales are not uniquely visible, but appear to form a honeycomb pattern on the skin.

8)The tags that were used are marked with a message that says, “Reward.  Call 800—–” but I can’t read the entire message.

Well, folks, that’s about it for now, and I hope this makes the article a little more interesting!

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Comments

October Reds – Revised — 34 Comments

  1. Wendy,
    The pictures are great. I just enjoy hearing what you have to say, readily admitting I am somewhat dumbfounded, being that we’re both BHS graduates and your abilities of expression shown in your writings. Wait a minute, did we graduate, or did they just kick us out to get rid of us?

    • Ha, Clay! We DID graduate! Unlike you, I LIKED my English teachers! But I might have missed my calling as far as a bachelor’s degree, since I didn’t know I was a writer way back when . . . . the things we learn as we go along this journey called life . . . be well, my friend! And stay warm up there in ND!!!

  2. They look as though they are staying close together and what do the dark places signify? As you can tell i know nothing about fish except i love to eat redfish. I always enjoy your writings.i a

    • Gue`, explained it correctly below. There is most always a dark spot near the tail of the red fish, and it’s called an “eye spot”, and it is designed to confuse predators, and I think, it’s even there to confuse the prey! The prey wouldn’t know whether the red was coming or going. They often swim near the bottom, cruising oyster reefs for tiny crabs, and bait fish, etc. What was cool about watching them in the tank was noticing that two of the fish had the red spots elsewhere on the body. In some “fun” rodeos, there is a category for what they call “leopard reds”, and the fish with the most black spots on its body is the winner!

  3. I’ve got captions for two:

    Photo # 1: (Fish on the left) “Hey, Frank…. Did you see that? What the heck was it?”

    Photo # 11: Jeepers, creepers… Where’d you get those peepers?”

    I think the dark spot on the tail would confuse a predator into thinking it’s the fish’s eye. It would strike at the wrong ‘spot,’ allowing the fish to zip off in the opposite direction and to safety.

    The scales are really neat looking, like opalescent gold jewelry.

    • I love your captions, Gue`. Funny you should use the name Frank, because there was once a great man who fished down here who was tagging fish before it was popular, and his nickname was (as Blu mentions below) “Tagman”. And you are so right about the eye spot. Hey, did you google that? LOL!!!

      • No, no Googling. I’ve read too many Nat’l Geos and watched too many nature shows on TV. Birds, fish, insects all use camofluage or mimicry to confuse predators and prey.

        A couple of weeks ago, I flicked at a piece of what I thought was dried grass on my front door. It waved at me and moved over. It was a stick mantis! lol

  4. I like the metallic coppery look of these fish. Reminds me of some copper jewelry a local artist makes here. She found out by rubbing oil and heating the coppery she got the same color of these fish.

    • Kim, I especially love that photo. While taking them, I was trying to capture the different shades of silver, bronze, and gold-ish copper of these fish. They are varying shades depending on diet and the waters from which they came. I was going at it from an artistic standpoint and plan to do something special with some of the photos. That one inspires me to want to paint something or design something, like a fabric, with that pattern on it. It’s strange that the color comes from the skin and not from the scales, as they are white once they are plucked from the fish. Pretty neat!

      • And I thought I was a little far out when I was typing my comment (compared to everyone else). I love the color they are when in the water. I totally understand seeing that making you want to paint something. I feel that about scenes I see too. I did not know it was from their skin. People here are amazed when I show them the gar scales here. I have a little bowl on display next to my gar scale jewelry. Some people think the gar are white because the scales are white. That bowl of scales is my conversation starter in my booth. Maybe I ought to design some gar scale inspired jewelry…….hmmmm…….I’ve got to think about that one.

    • Hi Raoul! I talked to Mrs. Carolyn Saturday before my tour, and she said to tell you and Mary hello. She chatted with me about how she and Red used to enjoy visiting with y’all. Guess she misses y’all as much as you miss her and being down here! You are most welcome–anything I can do to keep you connected to the bayou, Raoul! Thanks for continuing to read the blog. BW

  5. Here are my captions. (edit if you must)
    1. Help, I’m claustrophobic, I can’t breathe.
    2. Look at all that tail.
    5.Can someone PLEASE get this splinter out?
    9. Ok boys, huddle up!

  6. After reading your postscript with your observations, I had to go back and look at the photos again.

    That’s some really cool information. I’m always ready to learn something new and I did!

  7. Great photos! That last one made me think of corn on the cob for some reason. 🙂 Probably because I am just getting my appetite back follow my knee replacement 2 1/2 weeks ago! I would love some COC and some fried fish and these photos are making me hungrier!

    • So glad to hear you’re recovering, and we assume all went well? I know it’s a long process, having watched my mother go through the surgery many years ago. I think the therapy was the worst, although I’m sure they’ve improved upon this procedure by leaps and bounds since then . . . . somebody get that woman some corn on the cob and fried fish STAT!!!!

      • I’m still waiting. 🙂 Actually I am fixing fish and coc tomorrow night. See what your column did to me? 🙂 Therapy is painful still. But, my therapist said I am WAY ahead on it!! Said I was working my pants off that he could tell. And he is right. I have lost 13 lbs and my pants need to be took up because I have to hang onto them. LOL Got laser surgery scheduled before Christmas on the other knee. It should go a whole lot faster than total replacement. I should be ready to fish by summer!

  8. I’m back home, catching up, and may have an explanation for fewer comments on this post. When I clicked on the post title in the email, it took me to a “page not found” notice. When I clicked on “read more” link, I also got “page not found.” When I clicked on Bayou Woman, it brought me here.

    Did you post this from an iPhone? Some people are finding that the email links don’t always work if they post from an i-gadget.

    Now! to the fish! The photos are just great. I really like the scale patterns. The first photo amused me the most. I can imagine the fish on the left, the one giving the evil eye to the other one, saying every sort of thing!

    • Oh, no, Linda, I never post from any kind of smart phone . . . I’m neither that patient nor that smart, LOL! what happened was I posted it originally, then revised it with the PS and retitled it and the slug for it. Not sure why that messed things up, but glad you made it here and glad you made it home. Can’t wait to read bout your travels. The evil eye pic is probably my favorite!!! It’s like, “Hey bud, give me some space, eh?”

      (And since you are so familiar with WordPress, I’m getting a little concerned about all the people from the middle east who are following only because now when I open my comments page, there is a banner at the top which says, “This page has been translated from Arabic to English”, and I have no clue why that is there, what it means, and I was almost freaking out that my wordpress account had been hacked and the entire site is now being seen in Arabic to everyone but me!! Any thoughts?)

      • I’ve never seen that kind of banner, but in my stats there occasionally are referrers from google translate. I have someone in Portugal who seems to be a regular reader, or many readers in Portugal. In any event, they translate the page.

        I wouldn’t worry about it, but if you’re concerned, you always could just go over to the forums and inquire. Just put in a subject line like “Mysterious banner appearing at top of page” and someone will give you an answer. It may take a day or so for someone to respond, but last night when my visual editor stopped working I beat it right to the forum, discovered many people were having the problem, and they had it fixed up in a couple of hours.

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