Howdy everyone!

Have ya' had enough of the rain yet? How about now?

All kidding aside the rain means more runs of steelhead and our pro-staff has been getting out and hitting them hard. Captain John has been drifting the Elk, Sixes and Coos systems and bringing in fish. If you want to charter him you can always call us but remember the season is going by fast!

Aside from steelhead the surf perch fishing remains good to very good. New Guy Nick from Basin Tackle keeps going out and rewarding himself with meals of fresh perch tacos.

Crabbing in the bay and off the docks remains slow but when the ocean lays down I think it will be good to the north as it usually is. We’ve had a few customers head out this week and get in some ocean fishing; they report a good rockfish bite and a slow ling bite. Hopefully the ocean holds out a few more days but I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

One of our good customers, Matt, dropped by the other day and shared a picture with me of something he and his crew caught off the “glass house” area. It’s a species of fish that had no business being in that area and boy, were they surprised when they brought it up. In fact these creatures usually live in much deeper water at depths to 3,000 feet! At 3,000 feet there’s about 1,300 pounds of pressure exerting downward; yeah, crazy.

Well, not to keep you in suspense any longer — have y’all ever heard of a “ratfish”? Well, you have now and that’s the topic for today’s story.

The ratfish, or more correctly the spotted ratfish, derives its name from its rat like tail that makes up about a third of its overall length. It’s been described by some experts as having a “rabbit like face.” As a child I had rabbits. My rabbits were cute and cuddly. I have no idea what alternative reality these “experts” grew up in but I suspect they had terrible parents. Cute bunny like nose (not) to tail these fish grow to a maximum of about 2 feet in length.

Their body is smooth skinned and light brown, covered in white spots, and it eyes are light green (sounds like an online dating profile). The ratfish uses its four top and two bottom teeth to eat clams, crab, shrimp and any other creepy crawly that it comes across. The ratfish feed on this type of slow moving prey because it turns out they are feeble swimmers. How would you like to be a fish categorized as a “feeble” swimmer? Ouch.

Ratfish are oviparous which is a complicated way of saying they lay eggs. They will lay two eggs every 10 to 14 days in an area of muddy ocean bottom where they will sit and incubate for about a year until they emerge as fully formed 6-inch long ratfish.

Whether you are fishing steelhead with Captain John or reeling in a ratfish I hope to see you out there. Now if y’all will excuse me I have to go out and feed my oviparous chickens.

Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at 541-888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or email at basin_tackle@yahoo.com. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg  and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.

 

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