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Discussion Starter #1
A few years ago I went out on a buddies boat off of Atlantic City, NJ and (being a freshwater fisherman) we didn't know what kind of fish we were catching.

Its been about 4yrs now and we have yet to be able to I.D. one of the fish we caught. Can anyone tell me the best source for identifying East Coast salt water fish?

It had a kind of black and brown camouflage look to it. It probable weighed about 20lbs.
 

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What was the overall shape of the body? Did it have large scales or small? What shape was its mouth? How were the fins shaped?

I've never fished in those waters, but the description of black and brown "camo" pattern makes me think of somethiing in the grouper family.
 

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With out a picture or if you caught it trolling or bottom fishing it would be hard to say but by the color and size I would say some type of grouper or Sea Bass family. If your a member of the IGFA(international game fish Asc.) They have people that can help indentify fish. I have found fish by doing google searchs. Try doing a grouper search first and then try a search for sea bass. If its not that well you got to get creative. I caught a fish in Costa Rica last year and did a search of costa rica bottom fish species, off shore fish of Costa Rica and big game fishes of Costa Rica. I got a hit on one those responses and figured out what I had. One can also go down to the local book store or library and look in fish identification books. I own fish encyclapedia of the gulf and fishes of Hawaii I would imagine there would be one for north or mid atlantic fishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its not any of those fish.

I've done a ton of searchs on the web and never identified it. I've also gone fishing about 10 times in the same Bay and have yet to ever see a fish like it again.
 

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Get yourself a copy of the Audubon's Field Guide. They have them for insects, mammals, birds, reptiles......even cloud formations. They are comprehensive and have high quality pics on the highest quality paper stock you'll find anywhere. They field guides that are built to take into the field.

If you can't find it in the AFG, then you didn't catch it.
 

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Wuzzy, the paper they use is more than likely a paper (not made of paper) called YUPO. It is a synthetic paper that, when used with the proper inks, is waterproof. The paper itself has an excellent quality feel about it and can be used in the field, rain or shine. One of my vendors had to do a book and one of the ink tests was to print the book and after the ink cured, they tossed it into the bathtub full of water. The book couldn't change when soaked overnight. Cool stuff! My bindery has bound prayer books for Catholic soldiers, military stuff for the troops, chart books for sailors, triathalon books etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That doesn't look like it, sensop, but I just clicked on the "black grouper" link and it looks a heck of a lot like the fish my friend got.

I emailed my friend and i'm waiting for him to check out that picture.
 
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Did it have a friggin Lazer Beam on its head?

I'm leaning towards Black grouper... I love em.... (fishin in the Gulf)
 
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