I arrived at the airport Saturday around noon time. By the time I had
checked into the hotel and corralled the needed shipping supplies, it was
I had chosen the Hillsborough River state park based on the info from
Monster Florida Fling. While I was on the way, Allen Boatman called me and
informed me that the name of the place on the trip was incorrect. I really
needed Togo tithe Morris Bridge park.
When I arrived at the park, I looked around a big and put the waders on.
Not for the cold, but to keep the rental car dry.
The water was a couple of feet higher than it apparently was at the end of
January. I also did not have a seine, so that was also limiting. At the
park, I collected:
Fundulus cingulatus (1 female)
Lepomis sp. (juvenile - may have been warmouth)
re: the alligator-
While I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I was pretty annoyed that I had
not collected more of my target fish species. I noticed a baby gator and I
scooped it up. I looked at it a minute and it started croaking. I rapidly
put it back in the water and decided that this was not a healthy environment
for someone in waist deep water. As I was leaving, I became distracted by
some floating plants and I forgot to exit the water. A couple of guys came
over to the water and said:
"Damn! You're *beep*ing crazy man!"
Thinking it was a general statement regarding the waders, I asked what they
"There's a mama gator around here. There were 30 baby's right here a little
while ago and the mama was jumping out of the water at us! You're crazy!"
At that time, I scrambled out of the water and looked around. About 10 feet
behind me, there was a relatively large (6-8 feet according to the crowd
which immediately gathered) female gator. YIKES! I also have no desire to
be eaten by a gator, so I got ready to leave. Before I left, I want back to
the water, and the crowd was poking the gator with a stick. A short stick.
The next day, Allen and I met and went fishing. My target species included
flag fish, golden top minnows, and heterandria formosa. Allen took me to a
couple of spots near his house and we found all of the above in incredible
abundance. We even found a couple melanistic chrysotus. We also saw a
banded water snake. In one scoop, I caught I very small snapping turtle,
much to my surprise.
At Allen's house, I bagged the fish for shipping the next day.
I had to work Monday and Tuesday, and I shared a car with someone who didn't
appreciate fish much, unless it was batter-dipped or broiled.
All in all, a good trip, although I am a little more paranoid than I was
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to
/ nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org