Overeating cod bloated on caplin
The word on the water during much of the summer recreational fishery was a familiar one — the groundfish were there, but they were often too bloated on caplin to be tempted by an artificial lure or any other bait at the end of a line.
During a recent late-morning excursion to the waters off Burnt Head, near Cupids, aboard the Jenni-Kei III out of Port de Grave, the screen on the vessel’s fish sounder was filled with readings indicating the presence of caplin, which are members of the smelt family.
“I had one codfish that I hauled up that was smaller than the caplin in its mouth,” quipped Randy Tucker, owner of the Jenni-Kei.
It appears caplin are a tasty delight for codfish, and many fishermen reported incidents of landing codfish with their stomachs swollen with caplin.
This was a common refrain from most cod enthusiasts: “ The government knows when to open the recreational fishery.”
The summer recreational fishery opened July 24 and closed this past Saturday..
The fall fishery is scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 3, and that’s when the cod will be hungrier, people like Tucker say.
“ We won’t have any trouble catching our quota than,” Tucker stated.
Tucker and members of his family spent more than an hour on the water one recent afternoon, and returned empty-handed. The many boats in the immediate area didn’t seem to be doing much better.
But the weather was ideal and the scenery was magical, with whales feeding nearby on caplin and sailboats slicing their way through the choppy waters.
“ There’s no place like this,” Tucker said.
Sea gulls battle for the cod entrails in the
Randy Tucker of Port de Grave displays a cod fillet.
The screen on this fish sounder aboard the Jenni-Kei explains why the codfish aren’t biting. The sea is filled with caplin.