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Alligator Snapping Turtle

FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior MemberPanama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand
I snagged an Alligator Snapping Turtle with a Vu-Du shrimp between White City and the mouth of Lake Wimico last Friday. It weighed in excess of 50 ponds and was really big. I though it was a log and was hand lining it in on 20 pound braid when it surfaced next to the boat opened its mouth and hissed at me. Head about the size of a volley ball. I had read about turtle poaching and their being sold for food and didn't know if it would be legal to keep. It was snagged in a front flipper just under the skin and I was sure I wasn't going to reach down and try to unhook it. After a brief discussion with my fishing partner we decided to try to jerk the hook out and if that didn't work to cut the line as close to hook as possible. Luckily the hook pulled out with a light jerk and our prehistoric looking monster was on its way. Turns out they are protected and most often caught on trot lines and bush hooks. They get to be over 200 pounds. I had no idea that turtles that big are indigenous to the panhandle. They are mostly nocturnal and spend 99.5% of their life in the water. I've been fishing in Florida for over 65 years and it was the first one I've ever seen. Turned out to be the only thing we caught that day.

FLCoyote

Replies

  • Red FishRed Fish Senior Member Panama City BeachPosts: 1,163 Officer
    I saw a giant crossing an open field as I approached a farm pond. He was headed to the road. I knew if he made it, somebody would kill him. I walked out there and grabbed that joker by the hind leg and he got rowdy real quick. That thing was trying to bite me and my dog was trying to eat him. I was running dragging him the best I could across that field to put him back in the pond. I am still amazed I didnt get bit. He had to be close to 100lbs.

    How has the fishing been over there?
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • otdrzmn04otdrzmn04 Junior Member Posts: 43 Deckhand
    We have them here in Indiana and they are bad dudes!! They can reach out almost there body length in a split second have huge biting force. Ive heard of people making turtle soup with them here and its supposed to be really good, ive never had it. Best advice I can give is take a pic or two and let it go with a long dehooker or paddle!
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior Member Panama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand
    Red Fish, fishing in the White City area has been great for Hybrids and Freshwater catfish. Not so good for Trout and Redfish. I caught and 8 LB, 27" Hybrid on 28 Dec that made the FWC big catch website and about two weeks later caught 18 Hybrids up to three LBS. Other than that I caught a 20 LB Carp and one slot Redfish. Going this Wed so may have a better report.

    FLCoyote
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    Cool encounter!

    I had about a 15 pounder in the creek my house. Watched a white trash POS and thugged out black dude approach creek on foot wit a cast net, net him and hurriedly scamper off. They don't stand a chance near people.

    I believe the lack of reds and trout here of late. I don't do much of that kinda fishing, but I've been driving across chipola and apalach once a week for past month or so and they are just now looking normal ish.

    I know you said icw into wimico, which is tidal, but surely all that water pushes your estuary fish back into bay, even if it is Jan / feb, right? And would most definitely explain abundance of hybrids down that way. Correct me ifv I'm wrong.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior Member Panama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand
    Went Last Wed with a neighbor (White City/Wimico), we fished hard all day and ended up with 18 Fresh Water Catfish and two Hybrids. Really slow fishing , moved about eight times catching one or two fish at different locations. Usually the ICW has a lot of Salt water species in it this time of year. So far in five trips the only salt water fish we've caught was one Sheephead. The fresh water flowing out of Wimico is keeping the fish out of the ICW and very little of anything is getting caught in the canal itself. Last week the water was really murkey and full of grass. Still its my favorite winter time place to fish, usually from Thanksgiving until the Spanish show up in P.C.
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