Exotic Freshwater Fish To Catch
When you seek out exotic freshwater fish to catch, you not only spend time on a fun and relaxing hobby, you help improve your local environment. Many freshwater bodies of water have trouble with invasive species that have been introduced illegally. Some are dumped from fish tanks while others, like the Asian carp, were accidentally introduced by fish farmers. When these exotic freshwater fish escape, they compete and sometimes prey on native species and upset the ecological balance of the local environment. Many fish and game authorities encourage fishing for these species, and, in some cases, there are no limits to catches. Check local laws before fishing, of course, but, when you fish, be on the look out for these exotic freshwater fish:
- Asian Carp. This fish is currently threatening the Great Lakes, and federal authorities are going to great lengths to keep them out of those waters. They were originally brought to the US from Asia by catfish farmers who wished to use the voracious eaters to devour algae that formed in catfish ponds. Asian carp can grow to over 40 pounds, and can hurl themselves out of the water, causing injury to fishermen. They are a tough target for sports fishermen, and, fishermen go after them each year at the Redneck Fishing Tournament in Illinois.
- Blue Tilapia. These escaped from cultivation in the 1960s, and can be found in freshwater in warm regions such as Florida. This is a great exotic freshwater fish to catch in urban and suburban waters such as ponds. They can be caught using bits of hot dogs, dog food, or balls of bread. Like commercially farmed tilapia, blue tilapia have firm, mild white flesh that is perfect for eating.
- Walking Catfish. These hardy exotic freshwater fish are named for their ability to drag themselves from one body of water to another and breathe air. In many locales, there is no bag limit on walking catfish, which means that you can catch as many as you want. They're not commonly eaten in the states, but, they are eaten in Asia, where they originated. It's illegal in some states to transport live walking catfish, so, if this is an exotic freshwater fish that you want to catch, make sure you put them on ice before taking them home.
- Oscars. These predators are aquarium favorites, but, they can cause a lot of damage in the wild. Sports fishermen like these exotic freshwater fish because they put up a good fight once they are on the hook. Once you have them home, they also make great eating, as they have firm, flaky flesh with a good flavor.
- Bullseye Snakehead. In their native range, these fish are eaten, and even considered to have medicinal qualities and to make internal injuries heal more quickly. They are a great sports fish, and put up a lot of fight, which many anglers find exciting. In states where they are present, there is no bag limit, so, catch all you want.