Gators on the Fly!
Well, as reported, I drove through Miami on the way the Glades in Everglades City. The weather sucked. It was blustery, thundering and blowing like hell, so I used the ultralight spinning rod as the wind was unmanageabel for a five weight. For purists, I do tie my own jigs. :
Anyway, I caught some small bass, some oscars and mayans and some bluegills. I also hooked into a nice small tarpon. Range report: four pound test line on a cheap Shackspeare ultralight is not going to cut it on a fifteen pound tarpon. :-) Still, I got three jumps out of him so it was cool. No peacocks or snakeheads though.
I got tired of the rain and drove west on the Tamiami Trail. Near Ochoppee, home of Joannies blue crab, a dive biker bar that's been there since the forties, I stopped to fish. I got out the fly rod and hooked a nice chicilcid. Not being born yesterday, I don't play the gentle release game practiced on trout streams. Instead I use the Florida "chuck and dunk". This consists of holding the fish at a forty five degree downward angle and propelling it into the water. This forces water into the gills, and according to FWC, gives a good survival rate. Now, why not just release the fish the normal way you might ask? Here's the answer. I was on a little bridge leading to a private house over the canal. I unhooked the fish, chunked it in and the water exploded. There was a six foot gator lying under a weed bed I'never seen. If I'd been more genteel with that fish, I'd have been short an arm. That scared the **** out of me. One minute its a calm canal, the next a six foot alpha predator is reminding me that shark week is for sissies. You gotta love the glades!
I apologize for the typos, but I'm on my tablet. I'll post as events warrant with snook and tarpon.