Two laps of Florida

January 5, 2014

Part 3:  Now we’re far north of the Keys

IMG 4140 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

First on our list of spots on-route to Tampa was a canal where Ken and I had previously caught grass carp and midas cichlid.  Ben got to work and caught a midas cichlid of his own.

In the meanwhile, I was trying to replicate our previous success with grass carp.  Ken was a champ at netting the fish!  Thanks Ken!

DSC01465 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

Last year’s success, replicated!

DSC01468 1024x717 Two laps of Florida

And I caught my own midas cichlid to boot.  Gorgeous fishies they are!

DSC01477 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

Next was another spot Martini had recommended for African jewelfish, but instead we found an unsuspected new lifer!  A pleasant surprise.

Golden topminnow IMG 4151 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

Tragically, at this point I realized I had left one of my rods behind at the previous spot.  My ultralight rod was gone!  It was a testament to just how tired I was at this point in the trip and we were only half-way through.  Oh well, ‘gotta catch ‘em all – at all costs!

Our next spot was a revisiting of the Everglades for Ben to catch up on some lifers.

Hailing from Toronto, where it snows during Christmas time, this was a strange scene to behold…

IMG 4172 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

IMG 4169 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

I caught a very dark bluegill with some purple sheen to it, I thought it was pretty neat!

IMG 4167 1024x767 Two laps of Florida

And of course, one of my favorite aquarium fish…

IMG 4161 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

At our next everglades spot, I walked off from the group for a bathroom break.  I stumbled upon the coolest little canal, tucked away from view.

IMG 4193 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

I also spotted some micros darting around so I called the group over.  At long last, we found African jewelfish!  This one was a long time coming.

African jewelfishIMG 4200 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

There was an alligator hanging around trying to steal our fish and keep us on our toes.

I also hooked an oscar on a tanago hook with 2lb line, it screamed line just like any other shark would… yes I couldn’t stop thinking about sharks!

IMG 4209 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

Ken and Ben both caught their lifer black acara cichlids.  They helped me spot them until sundown, but I wasn’t able to catch one for myself.

After a long drive that night, we arrived in Tampa.  And immediately resumed fishing!

There was a lot of bait fish around in the murky salt water and some were new species to me.

Pinfish (caught previously)IMG 4227 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

Scaled herringIMG 4243 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

PigfishIMG 4249 1024x768 Two laps of Florida

As an unpleasant surprise to all of us, despite there being so many bait fish around, there weren’t any predators.  Our rods lay untouched for most of the night.

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