Posts Tagged ‘florida’

Wind-borne Reds

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I headed out solo this evening to try my luck on a nearby flat, knowing full well that the wind was cooking at 17 knots or so. Sure enough, the bay was chopped up and ugly, and I considered going home early before spotting a good school of redfish among the waves. I lost two big fish and then landed two thick, copper-sided reds that went back no worse for wear. The school was packed up tight and very aggressive, sending baitfish fleeing as they moved across the flat. I believe they would have hit anything that moved: lures, personal flotation devices, small barnyard animals, you name it. Their raw power was stunning; when they exploded on top they literally knocked the paint off my lures. Epic stuff on a windy evening…and uncanny timing given the latest fishing tip, below.

Ditch Fishin’

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

We gave the snook a deserved break this past week, opting to fish some remote canals for bass instead. Joe and I did just fine on bass and snook, and Abby and I fished a residential canal minutes from our home over the weekend and scared up a few fish. No records were set, but we took the first step toward a personal 2010 goal: to catch a peacock bass locally. We also brought PITA the Wonder Dog along for her first boat trip, and she showed angling promise. Sadly, we learned that some of the remote canals we fished will soon be filled in as part of the controversial Everglades Restoration Project. I’m sure these people’s hearts are in the right place, but the canals in question and the surrounding land are brimming with fish and other wildlife, including water birds of every stripe, otters, deer, alligators, and a host of assorted, furry critters. I’m doing my best to educate myself about the specifics of the plan, and I’d appreciate any insight our readers can provide.

Pythonasaurus Eatimus YerAssicus

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

rock-python Oh my toothyness.

A week or so ago I saw a report that wildlife officers had found a 14-foot long African Rock python in the Everglades National Park. Now, I know more and more large, exotic pythons are being found in the Park as the result of brain-dead imbeciles people releasing them into the wild, but this version is apparently capable of growing to 20 feet, and it’s a notoriously vicious breed that eats everything from goats to crocodiles to wild hogs. Oh, and the occasional human. One scientist quipped “It’s mean right out of the egg…” I see. Intrigued, I did a quick image search and found the above image of a diamond-patterned demon rock python biting a wire fence, displaying a world-class set of chompers in the process. Four layers of them, to be precise – in case the first two rows of paring knives don’t close the deal, I presume. ┬áNow, I realize the media loves to overhype this stuff and I doubt they’re the savage threat to humans that a host of hyperbolic articles imply, but when I venture into the Glades later this week to scare up some bass I’ll likely be a bit more timid when retrieving a snagged lure. In fact, I may be downright prissy.

Cold weather calamity

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

dead-snook
The photo above, sent to me by an anonymous source, was recently taken at the boat ramp in Flamingo, Florida. In a single frame it confirms what many Florida-based anglers have feared: many snook did not survive the unseasonably bitter series of fronts. There are now scores of reports from around the state confirming what may be the worst fish kill of this generation and possibly the one that came before, with snook the hardest-hit species of them all. I’m planning a trip deep into the Glades next week, and my heart is heavy.

Cold fronts kill thousands of snook in Florida

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

frozen-snook
Reports from around Florida confirm that snook are dying by the thousands due to a series of record-breaking cold fronts. Snook are notoriously intolerant of chilly weather, and prolonged exposure to water temperatures below 60 degrees usually proves lethal. Though snook are the most vulnerable species, water has claimed many other types of fish, including mullet, catfish, tarpon, mojarra, snapper and gag grouper, as well as countless smaller species that are an important forage food for Florida’s game fish, including ladyfish and pinfish. To those of us who catch and release snook and carefully monitor their status, this is a big blow. Alas. There’s a wistful irony in Mother Nature ultimately being the biggest threat to snook populations since commercial fishing for them was banned in the late 1980s. For more info, visit this site.

To report a fish kill, visit FWC here or the Snook Foundation here. Please record pertinent fact such as date, time, GPS coordinates (if possible), number and size of dead or near-dead fish, and conditions observed. If you see someone illegally harvesting dead or dying snook, dial #DEP on a cell phone, or call (877) 2-SAVE-FL (1.877.272.8335).