Alligators are naturals when it comes to catching fish. For a granny like me it is a long delayed skill I’m trying to learn.
|Alan with his bird followers|
Friends and I gathered at Myakka State Park this week to fish for tilapia. Myakka has an over abundance of tilapia. They are easy to catch and easy to cook up for a fantastic fish fry! I chose a spot on a high bank, put a worm on my hook and tossed my line. Right away, we all began reeling in fish after fish. Many were too small and tossed back, but there were the occasional 2-3 pounders. The males are the prettiest colors of blue, pink and aqua.
|Look at Ugly behind my bobber|
We were pretty absorbed with reeling in fish, re-baiting and reeling in again. Suddenly, Carol said – “Jeff! Is that a gator down there”? Sure enough, there was a ‘dead log’ that glided slowly toward our fishing spot. As you would expect, our activity of catching fish was now tempered on watching that gator who was watching us just as intently. Calvin saw a few more alligators down the bend in the river. Except for the first one I’ll name Ugly, the others stayed where they were. Ugly would cruise up and down where we were fishing. He/she’d disappear under the water sometimes. I was nervous when I could see him and even more nervous when I couldn’t!
Al had chosen to use a cast net for his fishing method. Once Ugly figured out Al would have more fish than we did, he began to follow Al up and down along the bank of the river. Storks, cranes and egrets followed as well. In order to wade across the river, Al had to toss fish on the bank to distract Ugly.
|Here he comes!!!|
Finally, I hooked my biggest fish of the day. I was shouting “Get the net, get the net”! Then, here came Ugly right after my fish!! I screamed and tried to run away from the water. My feet got tangled in the tall grass and I fell, rolling down the opposite side of the bank away from the water. Ron came running and whacked Ugly on the snout with his fishing pole over and over. I could hear the pole whistling through the air and the whop, whop whop as it hit Ugly’s head. Ugly gave up and slid away into the water. But I had my fish and he didn’t get my pole either! Once the excitement was over it was time to laugh and laugh and laugh.
I cast a few more times after that, but the fun was out of it. Ugly had won, even if he didn’t get my fish.