Southern California anglers caught two unusual sea creatures this past week.
Sergio Fainsztein was red hot last Saturday on the Westerly out of Long Beach Sportfishing when he hooked what he thought was another wintertime sand bass. As the fish neared the surface, he discovered it was something rare.
“Triggerfish!” yelled Capt. Ricky Perez.
Crew member Todd Lee netted the big trigger and lifted it over the rail. After watching footage of the catch, Rick Feeney from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County further identified the unusual creature.
“That's a nice fine-scale triggerfish,” Feeney said. “They are fairly rare up here, I would assume because of the cooler water. We have two in our collection from SoCal.”
Feeney emphasized the importance of taking a photo or video when anglers catch something rare.
“That's two [triggerfish] out of about 50 lots on our shelf,” he said. “Most of our specimens have been collected in the last 80 years. ... It is important, if you're not sure about a rare fish, to take a least a picture of it and send it to a museum, just to have a record of it."
Another strange catch that could only be described as a slimy glob came over the Westerly’s rail Monday.
“I’ve been a captain for 35 years and have never seen anything like that,” Larry Moore said. “I wouldn’t even want to touch that thing.”
Turns out the gooey glob was not as diabolical as many thought—it was a sea anemone.
“The species is widely known as Metridium giganteus, but the correct name is M. farcimen,” said Gordon Hendler, curator of echinoderms at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.