It’s been a very strange year for Capt. Jamie Gaspard of Pure Adrenalin Fishing Charters out of Grand Isle and Fourchon, La.
Normally-dependable tuna have been somewhat hard to find, but giant grouper and a host of other fish have more than made up for them.
But none of that prepared Gaspard for the odd-looking creature that hit his deck about 3 p.m. on Aug. 15.
It actually looked like something more at home in Jurassic Park.
“The only thing it was missing was a hissing noise,” said Gaspard, who was fishing 2,000 feet down in about 5,000 feet of water 120 miles out of Fourchon, La., in the Green Canyon.
The strange-looking creature actually was a lancetfish, or Alepisaurus, which means scaleless lizard. This vicious-looking predator has a long slinky body, huge eyes, teeth larger than a barracuda, holographic coloring and a large, sailfish-like iridescent fin.
Lancetfish can grow to about 6 feet, and are sometimes caught by commercial tuna long-liners. They are found in all deepwater oceans except the polar regions.
“The eyes were glowing,” Gaspard said. “We put it on ice, and the damn thing was moving around five hours later.”
The captain, who has fished the area for 23 years, had never seen one before — and now is trying to find someone to mount it for him.