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Is It A Fish, Or A Fall Leaf? A Closer Look At A Master Of Disguise

Is It A Fish, Or A Fall Leaf? A Closer Look At A Master Of Disguise

If you couldn’t already feel it in the delightfully brisk air, you can certainly see it by the swirl of red, orange, and yellow leaves lining your favorite lake. Fall is here! Of course, you’re an angler — so while you’re inspired by the leaves falling from the trees, you might also want to learn about the leaves beneath the surface. Or at least, the things that look like leaves beneath the surface.

That’s right, the aquatic landscape is full of flora and fauna as diverse as that on land. Or maybe even more so — after all, NOAA has stated that we’ve only explored a miniscule 5% of the ocean. Who knows what else might be lurking in the depths?

For now, though, that 5% is interesting enough! Just read on to learn more about the fish that disguise themselves as leaves in waterways around the globe.

Meet The Amazon Leaf Fish

Just like there are leaf bugs on land, there are leaf fish in the water — in certain corners of the world, at least. In South America, the Amazon leaf fish can effortlessly disguise itself among plant debris in local rivers and lakes. But don’t mistake its leaf-like appearance for a cool, calm passivity. Rather, the unassuming leaf fish is actually a major predator that can swallow fish whole — in addition to snacking on flies, shrimp, and other smaller critters.

Another Master Of Disguise

As it turns out, the Amazon leaf fish isn’t the only underwater denizen to use its plant-like appearance as a means of camouflage. In another part of the globe — specifically, Australia’s southern and western coasts — the aptly named leafy sea dragon blends in with floating seaweed thanks to its leaf-like appendages.

Fishing For Fall Leaf-Dwellers

You might not be cruising through the Amazon or Australia anytime soon, but you can definitely have fun fishing around real fall foliage closer to home. Here are some tips for landing the catch, as long as the season permits:

  • Use the right tools for the job! Fall brings a wide variety of different weather conditions, some of which can affect your game on the water. For example, is it one of those brisk, overcast days? Opt for tackle with movement, like crankbaits and spinnerbaits, to drum up some attention underwater — literally! This tip also applies to areas with heavy underwater vegetation, which you might experience as more fall leaves enter the aquatic environment.
  • Follow the leaves! You might think that those interactive leaf color-changing maps are just useful for planning your sightseeing adventures, and that’s partly true. However, they can also be a handy tool for predicting when fall turnover will happen in your local lake. This is because the surge of leaves that fall into a body of water can reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen that’s present in the H2O, further catalyzing the turnover process.
  • Keep local guidelines in mind. Some popular fishing holes may change to catch-and-release at this time of year, for example — so you’ll want to ensure you’re taking the right approach for your day on the water.

What’s the coolest fish you’ve caught (or seen) this fall? Share your Blackfin fishing boats experience with us on social media — and happy travels, from our family to yours!


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