Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wildlife Wednesday - bream

Following on from the last two Wednesday fishing posts (Flathead and Giant Toadfish), is today's catch from the same trip - a Silver Bream.

Before you get too excited, can I just say that I was a little creative with my photography with this fish. It's actually smaller than my hand, so it was nothing to be excited about! I just took the photo up close to give the impression of a much larger fish. If you don't know bream, you might be overly excited for my catch.

And what do you know...I call this fish the wrong name! In reality, it's a Yellowfin Bream. The trusty Australian Museum has corrected me again. You can find the bream webpage here for more information. Gosh, you'd think I'd know something I've been catching since I was a kid, wouldn't you!?!?! It seems not.

Anyway, let me tell you what I do know. These guys are fun to catch. Bream are kind of shy feeders. So they almost 'peck' at the bait. If you're holding the fishing line, it's like little grabs at it. But when they get hooked, these guys fight like billyo. You're pulling them in, and they're constantly swimming away, or trying to, fighting you with every molecule of their being. It's the size of my hand, or smaller, yet it's been the best fun pulling it in. It's not the pisss-zing of the line racing through your hands like when a big fish takes off. It's not the dead weight of an octopus or a crab. It's not the darting runs of a flathead. It's constant fighting against you, even though there's no way of the fish winning. As a kid, that was so reassuring. You could wrestle with this fish and feel a sense of accomplishment at not losing it in the struggle to land it. You might be able to tell that I've lost my fair share of fishes!

Silver Yellowfin Bream and Reddies (Red Bream, which are baby Snapper, or at least I think they are!) were my favourite fish to catch as a kid and I don't think it's changed. They have that row of dorsal spines you can see in the sunlight in the photo, but other than that, they're pretty harmless. You can easily hold them to unhook them without being spiked (unlike the flathead). And they're polite - once you hold them, they usually lie still and don't thrash around. This is important for a kid wrestling with a fish and a hook, trying not to drop the fish and get the line tangled, and have your dad yelling at you. NOTE: I'm wrong again, the Museum website says that there is a strong spine in the pelvic and anal fins (the ones underneath the body; anal being closest to the tail) - but the fish usually lies these down (like in the photo) and I've never had a problem with them (polite fish, see :) ) The fin that lies just behind the gills is the pectoral fin and it's non-spiny.

As an adult, I still enjoyed catching these guys. I enjoy that I can pop them back in the water, without contemplating anything else, and hopefully they'll live to see a long life. They grow up to 65 cm in length, so this baby has a way to go!

Do you have a favourite fish to catch while fishing?

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