Groundfish Poetry

Poems I wrote up to educate a group of 15/16-year-olds about ground fish. Hopefully you too will remember a fact or two from my attempts at rhythms and rhymes. I will be adding and crediting photos from online later to give you a better idea of what animal I am talking about (or you could just google the name!)


Black Sea Bass

I am almost always born female
But as I grow older I become male
And if I am male I may turn blue
With a blue hump on my head too
That’s only for mating season
I’m usually black for a reason
To lurk among shadows to eat
Any crab, clams, worms, or shrimp meat
And hide from flounders, little skates
Spiny dogfish, monkfish, and spotted hake

Chain Dogfish
I am not a dog nor a cat
Though named a fish version of that
I’m a small ground-dwelling shark
Pretty with a dark networks of marks
I am mysteriously fluorescent
May use it to make sure a signal sent
I prefer rough bottoms for protection
But am often swept up in fishing action

Cod
Green or sandy brown with a white lined side
Coloration depends on which depth I reside
Active I hunt for crustaceans and mollusks
I will even eat squid and other gadus
I’m plagued by parasites attacking my gills
Overfishing as well by gill nets and trawls
Fried or breaded and baked is my fate
My once abundance providing name to a Cape

Cunner
I am Bergal, Conner, Chogset
At home in rocky environments
Changing color is one of my traits
Stealing baitfish, and also being bait
I’m like the tautog but smaller
With a pointy snout, no throat molars
I do tend to eat their leftovers
And live near the same protective boulders

Goosefish
I’m all mouth yes I am
I’d eat three whole hams
Possibly fifty yams, if that were an option
But I live in the ocean
So I take seabirds and herring
With a modified fin used for luring
Little fishes come to the fishing rod
Where I wait patiently camouflaged
And then GULP, down the hatch
It’s why men are wary when I’m in their catch

Haddock
I am much like the another whitefish
White-bodied, black lined, a seafood dish
You may see a dark blotch above one fin
Called St. Peter’s Mark or Devil’s Thumbprint
I eat small invertebrates, oh the delicacies
And you most definitely will eat me
From fresh or frozen to baked, smoked, or dried
I am particularly adored when I am deep fried

Little Skate
I may look like a kite or a ray
But I am distinct evolutionarily
I have one dorsal, two pelvic fins
But no spine to offer protection
For reproduction I’m oviparous
My egg sacs called a “mermaid’s purse”
Food for groundfish is often my fate
I am an elasmobranch, a little skate

Pollock
Like my close relatives I have a lateral line
That is white on a greenish black side
I am also eaten because of their overfished populations
But you’re most likely had me as crab, imitation
Lesser known than my two cousins cod and haddock
I am named usually “whitefish” but really I’m Pollock

Tautog
Some call me blackfish
Though I’m sometimes more orange-ish
Mottled with different colored blotches
Helps me hid in rocky crevasses
My thick rubbery lips and skin
Helps protects from environment
Molars in mouth and throat crush
Crustaceans, mollusks to yummy mush

Yellowtail Flounder
As adults on our side we lie flat
Though we don’t start off like that
One eye migrates as we mature
Both eyes looking up detect predators
But our camouflage is famous
And useful for an ambush
You can find us a many fish markets
We look like the ocean’s flying carpets

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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One thought on “Groundfish Poetry

  1. Jennifer Holmes says:

    I love these, they are just wonderful;.

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