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Author:Vic Dunaway
Publisher:INTER-MEDIA OUTDOORS, Mar 2000
Item #:104346

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104 color illustrations of the fish you my encounter are presented in meticulous detail to help you identify that critter on the end of your line. Info about each species gives you a quick reference guide regarding the Gulf of Mexico, covering such essentials as range, size, fishing methods and edibility. 194 full-color illus; 264 pgs.

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The good, the bad, the ugly--for the very first time, they're all here together in a book of their own, a book that illustrates and describes virtually every kind of fish an angler fishing the Gulf of Mexico, from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and down to Cuba--could expect to find on the end of a line.

In this book you'll find the scoop on every hook-and-line species from the mightiest Marlin to the lowliest Lizardfish, along with advice on how to catch each one and how good it is to eat.

Because it's designed as a practical guide for fishermen, every effort has been made to keep biological jargon at bay. However, there is one nod to the world of science that is unavoidable--the inclusion of scientific names so that each of the species can be definitely pinpointed. Without scientific names, confusion would reign, because most species are known by more than one common name and, in many cases, two or more different species share the same common name.

It would have been nice to sort the species by their preferred environment--offshore, inshore, reef, flats or whatever. But as fishermen realize all too well, fish have tails and can swim where they please. The same kind of fish you catch on a flat today and in a bridge channel tomorrow may well strike your bait out on the deep reef next weekend. The constant element of surprise is one of the most appealing aspects of angling in this great area.

Alphabetical and strictly scientific classifications would have other drawbacks, so it was decided to use a mixed system that lets the species fall into whatever groupings would be natural. Most of the chapters cover a particular family of fishes. Some, however, deal with species that are not related but have certain habits or attributes in common. All are listed in a complete index at the end of the book.


Ciguatera is a type of poison carried by certain individual fish in tropical waters. Although only a minute number of fish are affected, people sometimes acquire the toxin, mostly by eating very big specimens of predatory types, such as the Great Barracuda, Amberjack, and even some larger varieties of Grouper and Snapper. The resulting illness can be serious and lingering, but is rarely fatal.

Ciguatera seems to be more common in some species than in others, but its occurrence is rarely predictable. In a given area, a few fish of a particular species may be carriers of the toxin while the majority of individuals of that same species are perfectly safe to eat.

The toxin comes from microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates that attach themselves to marine algae. Grazing fishes acquire the toxin by eating the algae. Predators acquire it by eating the grazers; however, it must accumulate in the muscle tissue of the predator for a considerable amount of time before reaching levels that are dangerous to human beings. It is always wise to let the big predators go and eat the smaller ones.

A second kind of marine fish illness--Puffer poisoning--is more serious--often fatal, in fact. But it is also far more easily avoided. All you have to do is refrain from eating any of the Puffers.

In fresh water, the roe of Gars is also known to be poisonous.

Fortunately, toxic fish are relatively rare. Our waters offer a tremendous variety of delicious species for all to enjoy.



"What's the name of this fish anyway?"

"Is it good to eat?"

Those are two big questions that many thousands of fishermen constantly ask as they encounter the huge variety of fish in Florida's inshore and offshore waters.

Until now, there has been no complete, easy-to-use identification guide. Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico fills that need. All the fish you're likely to catch are shown on these pages. Well over 190 of them. No more guesswork.

I.D. information, edibility ratings and other important information are provided by none other than Vic Dunaway, founding editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine. A legend, who really is just that, Vic knows his sport fish like no one else.

Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico also features all original illustrations by Floridian Kevin R. Brant, who carefully produced the images exclusively for this long-awaited book.

We trust that you'll find Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico to be a helpful companion for your angling days in state and neighboring waters, where the fish are both diverse and delectable.

--Karl Wickstrom
Publisher, Florida Sportsman Magazine


If you had to choose one person who knows his Gulf fish and how to catch them better than any other angler of our time, it would have to be Vic Dunaway.

Vic's seen virtually all of them, up close, on the end of his fishing line.

Moreover, Vic has sampled the culinary value of seemingly every finny thing that swims.

In this Sport Fish of Gulf of Mexico book, Vic shares with you his half-century of experience, telling you how to I.D. a fish, how to catch it, where it resides and whether it's good to eat. (You may find that you've been discarding some fish that are actually excellent table fare.)

Vic is no snob when it comes to finding good food. We can all benefit from his hard-earned knowledge.

As founding editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, author of best-selling books, contributor to national magazines, and TV personality, Vic is widely acclaimed as the dean of Florida outdoor writers, an expert who plies quiet streams for bluegill one day and searches the seas for marlin the next.

His work is illustrated with paintings, especially commissioned for this book, by Kevin R. Brant, a fast-rising artist who also has spent many a year building a firsthand relationship with the characters he paints.

The result is a long-awaited reference book you'll use for all your fishing days.


Chapter 1 -- The Croakers
Chapter 2 -- The Flounders
Chapter 3 -- The Snooks
Chapter 4 -- The Pompanos
Chapter 5 -- Rugged Individuals
Chapter 6 -- Inshore Jacks
Chapter 7 -- Offshore Jacks
Chapter 8 -- The Mackerels
Chapter 9 -- Tunas and Bonitos
Chapter 10 -- The Billfishes
Chapter 11 -- The Snappers
Chapter 12 -- The Groupers
Chapter 13 -- The Grunts
Chapter 14 -- The Porgies
Chapter 15 -- The Triggerfishes
Chapter 16 -- Colorful Reef Fishes
Chapter 17 -- The Sharks
Chapter 18 -- The Rays
Chapter 19 -- Mullets and Mojarras
Chapter 20 -- A Motley Crew
Chapter 21 -- Baitfishes





Answers to these common questions, plus many others, are finally answered in this new book by Florida Sportsman Senior Editor Vic Dunaway.

194 fish illustrated in full color with:

-- Common and scientific names

-- Distinguishing features

-- Food values

-- Average and record sizes

-- Range throughout the Gulf of Mexico

-- Main habits

-- Game qualities

-- Best fishing methods

Original Art by Kevin R. Brant
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