NANFA-- Brackish water report

Allen Boatman (
Sat, 21 Sep 2002 21:22:35 -0400

Well, I went fishing with our youth from church on Saturday September
21st. We started with live shrimp working the flats of Tampa Bay. The
area was just south of The Courtney Campbell Causeway, and east of the
Hyatt of Westshore. As usual I got bored, so I took out the stuff I
brought just in case. My Cummins net with 6 handle, an 8 ft. seine and
some buckets and a 1 gallon critter keeper. I started in some shallow
flats. Working the grass at shore I was catching little. There were a few
female C.veriegatus and some hermits. In my whole time out today I must
have seen 3 different color patterns of the veriegatus. Another I caught
that initially looked like veriegatus but the nose was longer though and I
looked harder and then looked it up when I arrived home. It is called
Adinia xenica. I then moved into the mangroves and the little isolated
pools among the mangrove roots and grass. It was a really cool place with
scarlet ibis sitting in the larger mangroves. The water was crystal clear
before the storms started blow in some turbidity, but that wasnt until I
was ready to go home. Anyway, back to the cool stuff. I swept some
schools of F. similis and pulled up some incredible males with orange
bellies and orange gill plates. The lines were beautiful and the fish
were large, about 4 inches. On one of the next swipes with the heavy
duty, super expensive dip net through the mangrove roots, I torqued the
handle a little too much and a loud and sickening crack told me what I
didnt want to hear. My trusty dip net now had 3 less reach and a very
sharp end. While walking around in the water (actually scuffing around so
as to avoid stepping directly on top of a stingray) I stepped on a number
of clumps of oysters in the silty mud and sand. When I got home later on
my wife had to scrape the mud out of all the deep slices in my feet and
toes and add hydrogen peroxide and polysporen. Next, I caught something
I really had wanted to look at. I caught Floridichthys carpio!!! The
females were everywhere but
I caught at least 4 or 5 males. One of the most incredible things about
these Cyprinids, besides the great banding and super orange fins, is the
BLUE CAP these fish have on their heads!! WOW!! I was wishing I had a BW
setup all ready, but alas I am spacially challenged (not just mentally
eitherlol.) You have to look at it just right in the sun, but it is just
an incredible, flashy, metallic royal blue. I found another nice fish,
plain as it was, I had heard of it and I had found both males and females.
Lucania parva. Most I caught were a little larger than their L. goodei
brethren. There was some reddish markings on the lead edges of the anal
and dorsal fins for the males. I got tired quickly with the extra short
net and hot Florida sun, so after three hours we packed it up (the other
guys had been fishing.) I asked if after we made our Checkers run if we
could swing by a natural spring in the middle of the city of Tampa named
Sulfer Springs. They said why not, as long as they had something to munch
upon, they didnt care. So there we went. I was swiping through a neat
part of the spring were the tannic, brackish water of the lower
Hillsborough river met the chilly, super fresh water of the spring, and I
caught some really nice veriegatus, but released them. They were both
well marked females. I looked closer and noticed some neat cichlid
looking fish. All the sudden the gravity of the view hit me. Mozambique
Tilapia!! They were everywhere. The young were everywhere in hords as
well as adults. A real bummer. I also saw bass swimming right next to
Sheapshead and some very large H. plecostomus. Few bream were there,
most likely due to the tilapia.

All in all a pretty neat day.


Ps- just so you all know, I am a killienut, so if I get wrapped up in
killifish or seem to only be after them, now you know why.
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