This week’s Florida trip brought back so many memories. Thousands of bank-fishing trips as a child came to mind. The gear was simple in those days, an ultra-light combo spooled with four-pound line and a Sucrets box full of our homemade jigs was all I needed. Today’s reels are much improved and I wanted to test some new, ESP Ultra Light Rods this afternoon.
The sun bathed the western sky a mix of pink-red as I made my way to the dock. The last thirty minutes of the day tends to make fish and wildlife more active. With one eye on me and another on the water, a Blue Heron silently watched my approach from a nearby piling. A small Black Crappie crushed my Road Runner on the third cast. Lake Apopka seems to be on the mend.
Three Alligators swam about each other while giving the largest, his space. Unlike last year’s visit; the Gators kept their distance from the dock. An aggressive male made fishing tough on my last trip here. He followed my every move. Someone had been feeding this gator. It only takes one feeding to connect humans with food and their tiny brain locks on. Just a week later, the same gator chased a man while cutting his grass and was quickly removed by a licensed trapper.
The Florida Wildlife Commission used to relocate gators but that created more trouble. With over 8000 problem gators a year; the relocated gator always ends up in another’s territory. This means a fight to the death is sure to come. Nowadays, gators are simply put down.
When someone feeds a gator now; it could mean a heavy fine to the violator and a death sentence for the alligator. If you like to bank fish, watch where you step and NEVER feed the gators.
For more info about alligators, visit: http://www.myfwc.com/NEWSROOM/Barreto/08/News_Barreto_08_04b.htm.