Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post Reply
User avatar
OldTownYakBoi
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:46 am
Location: Galveston

Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by OldTownYakBoi »

I was out this evening in the surf off the east end of Galveston and saw something I’ve not seen before. At first I thought it was the end of a palm tree sticking out of the water… As I got closer to it I saw the white sides of a fish, it had a handful of black stripes down it’s side, similar to a sheepshead l, but it clearly was not so. The best way o could describe it is it looks like a rooster fish does, it had the same exact rooster on the head of the fish, sprawlaing 4-6 inches tall… it hung out for a few minutes right in front of me and was actively feeding, I casted my 51mr lure at it probably a dozen times before he swam out of sight…. I’m really hoping someone can help me identify what I may have seen.

The fish looked 5-8 pounds
User avatar
OldTownYakBoi
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:46 am
Location: Galveston

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by OldTownYakBoi »

This is exactly what the fish looked like, expect much larger. Would it even be possible to have a rooster fish here? I was going nuts when I saw it, so exciting
A5C9B729-1CA9-4249-8967-2E2F978EAE4F.jpeg
User avatar
Ron Mc
TKF 5000 Club
TKF 5000 Club
Posts: 5703
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Contact:

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Ron Mc »

OldTownYakBoi wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 8:30 am This is exactly what the fish looked like, expect much larger. Would it even be possible to have a rooster fish here? I was going nuts when I saw it, so exciting
how about Atlantic spadefish? They fit the geography and life cycle pattern, ending up in the Gulf.
https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishing/sea-cent ... -spadefish

Image

In the 80s, when Steve's brother Dennis lived in Rockport, he kept a cast-net specimen aquarium, and had a small spade.

Roosterfish is strictly Pacific:
Native Range: Marine; San Clemente in southern California to Peru, including Galapagos Islands: rare north of Baja (Eschmeyer et al. 1983; Nelson 1994; Fischer et al. 1995). Nonindigenous Occurrences: A single roosterfish was introduced into Salton Sea, California, in 1950 (Walker et al.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed May 31, 2023 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Kayak Kid
TKF 10,000 Club
TKF 10,000 Club
Posts: 34520
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:01 am
Location: Houston,

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Kayak Kid »

One of my favorite hangouts in the late sixties/early seventies was Zihuatanejo Mexico. It was a small fishing village then (compared to what it is today). i stayed at a small hotel right on the beach called the Gatelejo (sp?). They cooked my catches for me each night, which I shared with other guests.

The sail fishing was epic. We began trolling as soon as we entered the Pacific from the small bay around which Zijuat. was located. But, for me, the rooster fish on relatively light tackle was my cup of tea. Trolling the Pacific surf line produced some heart wrenching moments, but the rewards, both in exciting rod bends as well as culinary delight, was well worth it.
dnordin
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2022 7:10 pm

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by dnordin »

The fish pictured is a rooster fish, I don't think there is another species with that dorsal fin. Interesting as they are a west coast fish. How it got in the gulf is anyones guess, maybe a commercial fishing boat dumped it, more likely it came from ballast water from a ship that traversed the Panama canal and discharged its ballast water in the gulf. If the fish was small then it may have found a way to thrive. Ballast water treatment is now a requirement by the International Maritime association and has been since about 1993. But nothing is 100% effective. Upon more thought I think this fish was a stowaway that thrived. Invasive species are always undesirable, but I'd love to catch a rooster fish without having to travel to Baja to do so.
Last edited by dnordin on Fri Jun 02, 2023 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Ron Mc
TKF 5000 Club
TKF 5000 Club
Posts: 5703
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Contact:

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Ron Mc »

the math here is pretty easy - that photo was copied from the internet, not taken in the gulf, not taken on a TX beach.

Dollars to donuts (of course they're about the same now), OTYB saw (and didn't catch) a spadefish.
mwatson71
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:03 am
Location: 77005

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by mwatson71 »

When I was a kid we traveled from Dallas to Galveston every summer as our family vacation. One summer after a hurricane we saw several aquatic life that one would never expect to find in the Gulf. The most interesting thing was a black and yellow snake. There was also a crocodile (not an alligator) that was wrestled off of a beach by TPWD. Even they were talking about the strange things washing ashore.
User avatar
Ron Mc
TKF 5000 Club
TKF 5000 Club
Posts: 5703
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Contact:

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Ron Mc »

Great story.
Salt water crocodiles are native to Texas, though rare.

And we're still owed a reply by our OP - @OldTownYakBoi
User avatar
Endo
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:00 pm
Location: Austin

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Endo »

My google fu says that crocs are not native to texas and not found here. Seems like there is an american croc that lives is south florida though.

But agree, it was likely a spade fish that was seen.
User avatar
OldTownYakBoi
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:46 am
Location: Galveston

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by OldTownYakBoi »

Thank you for all the comments and apologies for the late response. I believe I’ve finally successfully identified the fish as an African Pompano. It did not look like a spade fish and a rooster seems far fetched, it had the shape of a jack crevalle and faint black stripes like the African pompano. It would have been awesome to catch it, it seems they’re excellent eating. You never know what you’ll find with your feet in the sand battling waves, no fences out there. That’s the greatest thing about surf fishing, you never know.
0CBD0D85-4EDA-4DE0-890B-5C1EAE38506F.jpeg
User avatar
Ron Mc
TKF 5000 Club
TKF 5000 Club
Posts: 5703
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Contact:

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Ron Mc »

that's a serious world traveler - range shows TX coast has the same probability as Indian Ocean.
mwatson71
Posts: 557
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:03 am
Location: 77005

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by mwatson71 »

https://fishgame.com/2019/05/surprises- ... -2019/amp/

African pompano not unheard of in Texas gulf waters
User avatar
Endo
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:00 pm
Location: Austin

Re: Exotic fish spotted in Galveston Surf

Post by Endo »

Very interesting. Never heard of those.



.
Post Reply