Sunday, May 3, 2009

River of grass

Where do you go for a vacation when you live in Key West? The mainland! I took the canoe and headed to the Everglades for a week of chasing gators and reds and snook, but thanks to some heavy winds I only managed to get in a couple of days of paddling. I still got in some fishing every day, whether from the canoe or the beach or the banks.

I love fishing on the surface. It increases the fun because you get to see the fish hit, and because the surface plug targets more aggressive fish you can count on some exciting (and very violent) strikes. It turns out that gators are also very interested in the wounded fish that the surface lure represents. This is not news to me, in fact I once cast a lure that a gator jumped and ate before the lure even hit the water. At the other end of that extreme is this guy - I cast to him expecting that same type of result, but instead the lure just landed right on his nose. And sat there. It was like a milk bone on a dog's nose.

After taking the photos, I kept twitching it until the gator had finally had enough and snapped his jaws shut on the lure. As bored as he initially was with this battle, he was now on a mission to pull me into the water. He won - no he didn't pull me in, but he snapped my rod in two. You'd think that $100 lesson would deter me, but rest assured that's not the last gator I'll do battle with. Fun is fun.

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