5 Fish That Will Bite Back!

When you’re landing a fish, there are times when you can be a bit distracted and reach down with bare hands to lip it, rather than tackling the net.

Not a good choice.  Especially  if you’re fishing in the Western hemisphere where some of these fish are just so bad ass with rows of sharp, snarly teeth that will bite into your hand/fingers without a second thought.

Here’s a list of 5 fish that will bite – so be aware if you’re fishing where these fish are.

bowfin1. Bowfin

At first glance, the bowfin looks pretty harmless. Its teeth, which are immovable outgrowths of its jawbones, aren’t readily apparent. But if you examine a bowfin’s mouth up close—if you’re stupid enough—you’ll get the definite impression that, given a chance, it would chew your arm off. Nicknames include mudfish, dogfish and grinnel, but more vulgar monikers are often used by frazzled fishermen with broken lines, mauled lures and shattered poles.

Don’t land one with a lip-lock. If you do, there’s a good probability you’ll come away missing a digit.

Lingcod2. Lingcod

Many saltwater fish are armed with mouths full of sharp teeth, too. Consider the lingcod, whose toothy maw resembles that of a sci-fi monster destined to eat the entire crew of a spaceship. This fish is covered with brownish-red blotches that make it look like it has some kind of skin disorder. Maybe that’s what makes it so ornery.  A 40-pounder I hooked off Seward, Alaska, slammed me into the gunwale so hard I had bruises for weeks. Pity the person who hooks a really big one, which can top 80 pounds. You’ll find lingcod year-round in West Coast waters from Southern California to the Gulf of Alaska. They’re aggressive and easy to catch on jigs and cutbaits when fishing around rock piles and reefs. If you’re tough enough to handle one—and it doesn’t snap your line—steer clear of the huge, gaping mouth studded with big teeth.


bluefin3. Bluefish

Bluefish are abundant and popular sportfish in many areas, particularly along the Northeast coast. Lots of folks like catching them, but novices may not realize these sleek, powerful marine fish pack a dangerous set of dentures. I’ve seen them bite right through a hook. I’ve even saw a fellow angler lose part of a toe to one that thrashed in the bottom of our boat. Schools of bluefish often “blitz,” pushing baitfish near shore as they feed. Swimmers, surfers and others in the water sometimes suffer serious bites if they’re unfortunate enough to get caught in the feeding frenzy. If you handle one carelessly while fishing, there’s a definite risk it could remove some big chunks of flesh from any body part that gets near those chomping jaws.

black Piranha4. Black Piranha

“They are the most ferocious fish in the world,” Theodore Roosevelt once wrote of piranhas. “They will rend and devour alive any wounded man or beast.” Mean doesn’t begin to describe them. Most of the 17 species in South American waters are beautiful creatures, but not the black piranha. The biggest of its clan and weighing as much as 13 pounds, this purplish flesh-eater looks like the embodiment of pure evil with its blood-red eyes and jutting jaw lined with razor-edged eeth. A fearsome 5-pound specimen in Brazil exploded on a big prop bait I cast, sending a spray of water high into the air. When I lifted the fish over the gunwale, it bit cleanly through the 3/0 treble hook impaled in its jaw. They’ve been known to take off fingers and toes with equal ease.

payara5. Payara

They don’t call it the “Dracula fish” for nothing. This South American favorite has the countenance of a vampire, with two fangs as long as your little fingers erupting from its lower jaw, plus dozens of other sharp teeth. With needle-sharp tips and knifelike edges, these dentures are perfect for impaling the payara’s favorite dinner: live piranhas. And you know any fish that eats piranhas must be one tough customer.  While fishing for payara on the Rio Paragua in Venezuela, we often reeled in piranha baits so full of holes they looked like hamburger meat—the result of payara attacks. The fish’s long lower fangs fit nicely into sheaths in the upper jaw, but the payara’s strike is as swift as a cobra. It can open wide and impale you before you know what happened. The result is guaranteed to be extremely bloody and painful.

Source: Game&Fish
Photo credit: Game&Fish


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