It was a hot, hazy afternoon, and I was fishing in the Chesapeake Bay east of Annapolis.
At the wheel of the boat was John Rodenhausen, a skilled angler and captain who is Maryland Director of Development for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He used a sonar system to guide us over an oyster reef at Tolly Point. He suspected the reef’s contours and crannies would shelter a multitude of fish and crabs.
“Look at the fish finder!” he proclaimed. “Look how many fish are down there right now!”
We slipped bloodworms onto our hooks, setting two per line, and cast into about 18 feet of water. Within about 30 seconds, I felt tugging and reeled in pair of Atlantic croaker, each about nine inches long.
“Hey! See, here we go! We caught a couple croaker,” Rodenhausen said, examining the fish as I gently removed the hooks. “See, it’s got a downturned mouth, so he can feed on those mollusks and worms and little critters down on the bottom.”
From the fish rose a sound like a bullfrog singing. Urrrrrup! Urrrrup! Urrrup! “He’s croaking away!” Rodenhausen said. I did not know fish could talk.
(To hear the sounds, listen to my radio program on the subject).