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Updated: 08/28/2014 08:00:01AM

Fun with blowfish

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By Capt. Ralph Allen

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One of the coolest things about fishing in Southwest Florida is the incredible variety of fish that you may encounter. The mix of fish species that might be seen during a day of fishing is fascinating, and it’s seldom that the same assortment is found on successive outings. Snook, tarpon, redfish, grouper, snapper, mackerel and other popular sport fish are most likely to appear in proud photos, but there are dozens and dozens of fish that, while they might not be as popular as the big-name guys, are every bit as interesting.

Mother Nature has produced a bunch of different fish designs. Some are slender and speedy; others are chunky and slow. Some fish sport gaudy colors and patterns while others are well-camouflaged masters of concealment. Some are equipped with large, sharp teeth while others have no noticeable teeth at all. The physical characteristics of any species of fish are related to its defensive (avoiding bigger predators) and offensive (finding prey) survival strategies.

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