Ascending Mackerel

Many kinds of very small marine crustaceans and fish evade larger predators by spending the daytime in the depths beyond the reach of most sunlight.  At night under the cover of darkness these small animals ascend to graze on the richer planktonic soup of surface waters.  Larger fish like the Pacific mackerel follow, lured upward by the ascent of their prey and also because they are less easily detected in surface waters at nighttime by even larger predators.

These mackerel were caught at night, a few miles from shore.  Spotlights off the sides of the boat illuminated long, stream-like schools of mackerel slicing through the water just below the surface.  Fish would occasionally break sideways from schools to chase live anchovy-baited hooks cast from the side.  This composition attempts to capture the movement of the stream-like schools of mackerel that graced the surface waters that night.

Size:   36 x 28 inches  (2002)

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