Our Fishery's Health By Tampa Fishing Charters

With the increase of fishing technology and the amount of people in the Tampa fishing community how are our fisheries responding? I come from 4 generations of professional fishermen. As far as I can determine, my family started fishing the Tampa Bay area in the 1920s. Through many conversations with the old timers in my family, I have been able to grasp a picture of our ecosystem that is unique to most other fisherman. The Tampa Bay fishery took a gradual turn for the worst in the 1970s and has been in a downward spiral ever since. As I commonly explain on Tampa Fishing Charters*, three things have adversely affected our fishery;

1.The Army Corps of Engineers Effects on Tampa Fishing Charters

Some where along the way politicians and engineers thought it would be a great idea to cut a bunch of straight lines through winding rivers, creeks and lakes of Florida. The largest example of this is Lake Okeechobee. The largest lake in Florida's waters were created to naturally overflow its southern banks and drain through the Everglades into Florida Bay creating an amazing River of Grass.* However, to give sugarcane farmers land to harvest , the southern end of the lake was dammed to prevent this overflow. Then sugarcane farmers were permitted to farm the newly dried lands and pump their fertilized overflow back into Lake Okeechobee. In fact a dam was built around the entire lake and a straight lined waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean was built: on the west side of the lake it was the Caloosahatchee River and on the east side was the St. Luice Waterway. The lake would no longer flow south to nourish the Everglades and Florida Bay. Instead, highly fertilized freshwater was redirected through the waterway towards Jupiter FL and towards Captiva Island,* Sanibel Island and* Fort Myers Beach. The result has been an ecological disaster.

Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor have similar problem. Captain Rick Reddick of Tampa Fishing Charters and Clearwater Fishing Charters* has*noticed a tremendous decline in these fishery due to similar development. During the 1960's upper Tampa Bay was plentiful with large fresh oysters, scallops, creek chubs, fiddler crabs and many other exotic marine life, but the damming and development of the Tarpon By Pass Canal, Tampa Shores and A Cut, Double Branch, Rocky Creek,* Bay Crest, Sweet Water, & Dana Shores destroyed the Upper Tampa Bay fishery. Not to mention the man-made land barrier known as the Courtney Camble Causeway that stifled water flow to the upper bay. Until recently the causeway had multiple water flow passageways to allow cleaner water to flow into the upper bay, but those have been slowly removed or dammed.* Every naturally flowing creek and river around Tampa Bay has been tampered with.* This can only be done with the permission of politicians, the Army Corps of Engineers and local government.*

When a river, creek or lake is dammed, the water above the dam often becomes toxic due to lack of natural flow, fertilized freshwater run off and the warm days of summer heating up this stagnate water. During rainy* periods these dams often over flow their banks and produce an algae bloom that floats though Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This bloom, known as Red Tide, suffocates all marine life caught in it's path.

2. Tampa Bay Area Sewage Treatment Plants & Systems

A dirty little secret around Florida is that most local municipalities have been given permission to pump their treated sewage back into our ecosystem and mainly pumping it back into our waterways. The cities of Clearwater, Dunedin, and St. Pete, to name a few, all have "reclaimed water" pumped either into Tampa Bay or the Intracostal Waterway. These sewage pipes can be found in Upper Tampa Bay, Downtown St. Pete and Saint Joseph Sound.*

I have taken treatment plant workers with me* on charter and they admit that at times raw sewage must be dumped into our estuaries. The tanks that treat the sewage contain a microorganism that eats the contaminated water. These microorganism must have the proper ph balance in order to eat the sewage. These holding tanks and the pipes that transport the sewage to them have not been update in decades. As a result, when Florida receives a lot of rain, which occurs yearly, these antiquated pipes leak sewage and the holding tanks must be dumped in order to maintain the proper ph balance for the microorganisms. This is especially true during tropical storms, hurricanes, the normal FL rainy season and El Nino years.

3. Overpopulation in Tampa Bay

In 1975, I was born in Tampa General Hospital on the Hillsborough River, Davis Island - Downtown Tampa,* location:*Hillsborough County, Florida.* In July 1975, The population of Hillsborough County was 593,245.* As of July 2015, 40 years later, the population increased to 1,349,100. That is an increase of 755,855 or 225%. Florida is the boating & fishing capital of the world. Their is more per capita*boat ownership and fishermen in Florida, than any where else in the world and Tampa Bay is the largest saltwater fishery in the state.


*
The amount of people using the waters of Tampa Bay has almost more than doubled in my life time. With so many people on the water, the fishery has been hit hard. Personally, I think all inshore game fish species such as tarpon, snook, red fish and trout should be catch and release only. The amount of people harvesting from this limited resource has greatly depleted our stocks. Our fishery simply can not handle this increased pressure.

Does Red Tide Still Exist On Tampa Fishing Charters

Growing up in the Tampa Bay area we are used to summer red tides, but in the last five years we have noticed a change in the red tide patterns. Now, these crimson tides are occurring in the winter months. In years past, the cooler winter months have been effective at reducing or eliminating any red tides lingering from the summer months, but this no longer happens. This means that these clouds of death are growing stronger year after year.

The term "red tide" has become a convenient excuse for pollution created by the problems previously discussed. Antibiotics and other medicines that pass through the human body are not eliminated in sewage treatment plants. Our waters are full of staff infections, MRSA, steroids, antibiotics and fertilizer. This pollution is super charging our red tides.* As a kid growing up here, we used to swim, surf and fish in the red tides. During the red tide of 2016, I continued this practicing of commercial fishing with cast nets in these polluted waters. What a big mistake: I was infected with MRSA from the waters of Tampa Bay and almost died. I was hospitalized in March of 2016 for 5 days. I was operated on to remove the infection and treated with heavy antibiotics.* The long term results of this infection is loss of bladder function and many other painful effects, including emotional and financial distress. Its hard to make money fishing when our waters are polluted. It is time to wake up and realize that we are destroying our oceans.

Written by Captain Rick Reddick

813-787-0249

[email protected]

Tampa Fishing Charters

Clearwater Fishing Charters

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Replies

  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    The lake would no longer flow south to nourish the Everglades and Florida Bay. Instead, highly fertilized freshwater was redirected through the waterway towards Jupiter FL and towards Captiva Island,* Sanibel Island and* Fort Myers Beach. The result has been an ecological disaster.
    Actually it flows through the St Lucie Canal (C-44) to the South fork of the St Lucie River near Stuart and Jensen Beach, to the north of Jupiter.

    While I don't disagree with many of the points being made in your opinion piece, backing it up with facts instead of anecdotes may prove more impactful. Good luck with your cause.
  • rstoltenberg1rstoltenberg1 Posts: 26 Greenhorn

    2. Tampa Bay Area Sewage Treatment Plants & Systems

    A dirty little secret around Florida is that most local municipalities have been given permission to pump their treated sewage back into our ecosystem and mainly pumping it back into our waterways. The cities of Clearwater, Dunedin, and St. Pete, to name a few, all have "reclaimed water" pumped either into Tampa Bay or the Intracostal Waterway. These sewage pipes can be found in Upper Tampa Bay, Downtown St. Pete and Saint Joseph Sound.*

    I have taken treatment plant workers with me* on charter and they admit that at times raw sewage must be dumped into our estuaries. The tanks that treat the sewage contain a microorganism that eats the contaminated water. These microorganism must have the proper ph balance in order to eat the sewage. These holding tanks and the pipes that transport the sewage to them have not been update in decades. As a result, when Florida receives a lot of rain, which occurs yearly, these antiquated pipes leak sewage and the holding tanks must be dumped in order to maintain the proper ph balance for the microorganisms. This is especially true during tropical storms, hurricanes, the normal FL rainy season and El Nino years.

    Wrong. The only time it's even remotely legal to dump raw, untreated sewage anywhere is during a rain event when the treatment plants are at capacity. Then the DEP fines us, depending how many gallons that ended up discharging. We don't dump into the water's to maintain a certain PH balance. Most treatment plants are engineered to withstand "10 year rainfall events". The old pipe's don't leak water, when the water table in the ground rises to or above the buried utility it leaks INTO the pipe, Called I&I (inflow and infiltration). Source? Am a Wastewater Tech.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 648 Officer
    If you (YOU) stop commercial fishing and running charters, our waters will be much healthier. I'm not sorry for the sarcasm, that's what your asking all to do.
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 965 Officer
    Wrong. The only time it's even remotely legal to dump raw, untreated sewage anywhere is during a rain event when the treatment plants are at capacity. Then the DEP fines us, depending how many gallons that ended up discharging. We don't dump into the water's to maintain a certain PH balance. Most treatment plants are engineered to withstand "10 year rainfall events". The old pipe's don't leak water, when the water table in the ground rises to or above the buried utility it leaks INTO the pipe, Called I&I (inflow and infiltration). Source? Am a Wastewater Tech.

    Which happens all the time. It's just how it is. Sucks but there is no denying that the three major plants pump nasty *** water back into the bay on a regular basis.
  • SofthammerSofthammer Posts: 59 Greenhorn
    All good points but until everyone, and I mean every single soul respects our resource its doomed. The fish dont care if your a tourist, biologist, "FloGrown", a guide or just a kid with a cane pole. All too often its the guides in the tower boats that I witness **** the grass beds in search of bait razing their own resource. Wastewater treatment centers do what they can given their abilities. Politicians and Army Corps dont call the shots either. They just follow orders as well. Until we all stop pointing fingers and act like we own the resource and take it personally whens its destroyed nothing will change. Like idling through sensitive areas, dont keep more than you are going to immediately eat, you see trash, pick it up if its safe to do so..It wont kill you. The great numbers of people out there means if everyone helps slightly the effects will be greater than just *****ing about it. Here I am sounding like a tree hugger, but we're all in this together. No one is exempt from red tide or ****ty fishing..
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 923 Officer
    YEP!
    It's tough to swallow. The more you look into things the worse they seem to be. If you are over 50 you've seen much of the decline of our ecosystems. When I was a teen in Delray back in 1982 while fishing I recall this guy saying how the intercoastal used to be clean and clear when he was growing up in the 40's and 50's. Man still thinks he can control nature. Look at the moron in chief and crew who think it is ok to lift regulations on water pollution.
    Tampa Bay was slowly making progress, but the boom of the 90's thru 2008 resulted in a huge increase pollution in runoff. Many places in the state do not even have the option to hook up to city water/wastewater. Having septic tanks lining the banks of our pristine spring rivers, swamp drained rivers, estuaries and lagoons (IRL) has already led to severe problems, as the SAw on the Space coast. Then there is the mess to the south (as you mentioned) as a result of the Okeechobee mess. Everglades have been messed up. Florida bay is now messed up.
    How's the coral doing in the keys?
    It's time to elect people that care about the future of the earth. I know they exist across the political spectrum. Without clean healthy waters what will Florida become???
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 684 Officer
    All valid points. Electing politicians who truly care about the environment is a big part of the solution, but it seems to me that special interests in this country call the shots. Not good for the rest of us.
  • GratefulEdGratefulEd Posts: 315 Deckhand
    Moron in chief you say?
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 144 Deckhand
    permit_me wrote: »
    YEP!
    Tampa Bay was slowly making progress, but the boom of the 90's thru 2008 resulted in a huge increase pollution in runoff.

    Maybe so, but..."Once again, we have good news about Tampa Bay to report to
    you. Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as
    it was in the 1950s, and we are within 3,350 acres of reaching
    our goal of 38,000 acres of seagrass baywide. Tampa Bay is
    widely viewed as a national model of regional cooperation to
    achieve environmental results. The progress we have made together
    is also reaping economic dividends, with a recent study by the Tampa
    Bay Regional Planning Council showing that 1 in every 5 jobs in the watershed depends on a
    healthy bay"

    http://www.tbep.org/pdfs/tbep_progress_rpt_2015_webx.pdf
  • AnchorDropsAnchorDrops Posts: 32 Deckhand
    jbdba01 wrote: »
    Maybe so, but..."Once again, we have good news about Tampa Bay to report to
    you. Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as
    it was in the 1950s, and we are within 3,350 acres of reaching
    our goal of 38,000 acres of seagrass baywide. Tampa Bay is
    widely viewed as a national model of regional cooperation to
    achieve environmental results. The progress we have made together
    is also reaping economic dividends, with a recent study by the Tampa
    Bay Regional Planning Council showing that 1 in every 5 jobs in the watershed depends on a
    healthy bay"

    http://www.tbep.org/pdfs/tbep_progress_rpt_2015_webx.pdf
    I love it when someone replies with facts instead of anecdotes. Thank you!
  • Reel Gator 2Reel Gator 2 Posts: 135 Deckhand
    I was born 1947 at the old St Josephs Hospital on Henderson Blvd in Tampa Heights...my dad was born in Tampa also. I can vividly recall the fishing we did as a family at Ballast Point Pier and the 22nd St Causeway on MacKay Bay and Borein Bridge in downtown Tampa, those waters are now super polluted and fish will glow in the dark.

    I disagree about the winter red tide, as I recall more than a few red tides along the gulf beaches in Feb/March back many years ago that wiped out everything.

    Snook aren't really that threatened, charter guys want releases because they want their clients to have it easy, sorry, I disagree about snook. Redfish and trout fishing is a shell of itself mainly because grass flats are so important to their population and snook live way up in Hillsborough River, along with tarpon. I disagree a lot about releasing tarpon because they become shark bait 90% of the time since they fight so hard. Anglers have to really improve their skills releasing a revived tarpon. I no longer fish for tarpon because of the high mortality rate. Not saying everyone should...its my choice.

    Back in the early 1960s the grass flats were thick at MacKay Bay, Ballast Point Pier etc etc and Spanish mackerel were caught because of the white bait that gathered way up in the bay. No longer.

    I used to have a commercial license years ago and gave it up. I'm not against commercial fishing, but long liners have **** our resources. So much bycatch is killed needlessly. I also hate that Florida's resources are being shipped to the Orient to feed their insatiable appetites.
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 144 Deckhand
    I love it when someone replies with facts instead of anecdotes. Thank you!

    You're welcome. I do love fishing in Tampa...but it's slowly becoming like Miami - lots and lots of pressure. Progress - it's a *****. Perhaps I'll end up in Yankeetown.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,288 Admiral
    jbdba01 wrote: »
    You're welcome. I do love fishing in Tampa...but it's slowly becoming like Miami - lots and lots of pressure. Progress - it's a *****. Perhaps I'll end up in Yankeetown.

    stay south..
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 1,401 Officer
    Listen to the “flats mofia” show on 102.5 the bone if you need help finding good fish. Lol. What a joke.
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • GratefulEdGratefulEd Posts: 315 Deckhand
    Menhaden. Not a single mention of the menhaden that filled the bay. Nor the environmental impacts due to their absence, or how they came to be absent?
    seriously?
  • Tarpon MonoxideTarpon Monoxide Posts: 519 Officer
    jbdba01 wrote: »
    Maybe so, but..."Once again, we have good news about Tampa Bay to report to
    you. Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as
    it was in the 1950s, and we are within 3,350 acres of reaching
    our goal of 38,000 acres of seagrass baywide. Tampa Bay is
    widely viewed as a national model of regional cooperation to
    achieve environmental results. The progress we have made together
    is also reaping economic dividends, with a recent study by the Tampa
    Bay Regional Planning Council showing that 1 in every 5 jobs in the watershed depends on a
    healthy bay"

    http://www.tbep.org/pdfs/tbep_progress_rpt_2015_webx.pdf

    Many people that don't know the history of Tampa Bay are mislead by this media puff piece spin.

    Although I would like it to be otherwise, I will have to call BS on this public relations puff piece.

    Holly Greening is full of prunes: "Once again, we have good news about Tampa Bay to report to you. Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as it was in the 1950s, and we are within 3,350 acres of reaching our goal of 38,000 acres of seagrass baywide."

    Her false statement that Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as it was in the 1950s," is false. God I wish it was true but it is false.

    If Holly Greening or anyone else believes that "Overall water quality from 2011-2014 remains as good as it was in the 1950s," I have a simple challenge for you. I will take you to Old Tampa Bay oyster leases where back in the 1950's these oyster beds leases produced succulent fresh clean tasty non polluted oysters for the market. I will take you there so you can eat a few of those oysters. Should not take a week, by then you will be at the emergency room of the local hospital being treated for either of several different viruses or virulent bacteria. You may even have a limb amputated or die as it has happened from polluted oysters before.

    If Holly Greening would like to put her money where her mouth is and eat a few of those mmmmm tasty Tampa Bay lease oysters she can tell us first hand from her hospital bed that the bay water is as good as the 1950's as she claimed. In the 1950's oysters could be eaten out of the bay and were in fact commercially harvested. Today no one in their right mind would eat a Tampa Bay oyster because the Bay is too polluted to eat the oysters.

    There is a lot more to a healthy bay than just saltwater water and grass. Back in the 1950's, 60's, 70's and early 80's there were tons of menhaden in the bay. Those thousands of tons of menhaden were filter feeders and filtered the bay water and were part of the ecosystem that kept the bay healthy.

    Without the natural filter feeders menhaden filtering the bay the bay will never be as good a water quality as it was before the menhaden were systematically wiped out. But you won't see this in the news release because the historical facts don't fit in their narrative.
  • GratefulEdGratefulEd Posts: 315 Deckhand
    Thank you. Anyone know what happened to the menhaden?
  • Reel Gator 2Reel Gator 2 Posts: 135 Deckhand
    Yes the menhaden are being caught by my cast nets and they are still out there if you care to venture out 4am or 3am as I do. But of course they aren't as plentiful as 1950s. Ladyfish seemed to have thrived and Spanish mackerel, although not many in polluted bay waters, are still caught in decent numbers.

    Here is something to digest for those of you not around fishing in the late 1950s through late 1960s. The state regulations on trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, grouper, snook, etc etc? Ok...how about 12 inch size limits with NO bag limits. You could catch 100 macerel, trout, grouper, redfish. The only species really regulated? Snook, tarpon and billfish. Snook only had to be 18 inch and you could keep four. Jewfish...errr Goliath grouper? Open for harvest through most of that time span. Yankees were the worse at abusing fish...they would down here and catch 100s of fish and pack them frozen for trip back north. But this isn't why fishing declined.

    Gill netting was allowed and thousands of species like kingfish were gill netted in Key West before they reached here in the spring. Thousands more settled to the bottom after drowning in the gill nets and shaking free. In the 1980s the kingfish fishery was really down and the gill netters turned to mackerel/mullet before the nets were banned thank God. Mullet were never considered commercially because of the low cost...but once the Orient demanded their roe...prices went up during spawning season.
  • SaltwormSaltworm Posts: 49 Greenhorn
    Many people that don't know the history of Tampa Bay are mislead by this media puff piece spin.

    Although I would like it to be otherwise, I will have to call BS on this public relations puff piece...

    This is spot on! :Agree
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 923 Officer
    Like I said, there are no ecosystems, bays or estuaries that are cleaner today. It's all in a long term decline, maybe a few bumps up and down, but over a 100 or even a 50 yr window, its all bad. Sorry kids.

    As for your tarpon releases 90% shark bait, well, probably should not fish for them. they are a PITA anyway.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,288 Admiral
    Yes the menhaden are being caught by my cast nets and they are still out there if you care to venture out 4am or 3am as I do. But of course they aren't as plentiful as 1950s. Ladyfish seemed to have thrived and Spanish mackerel, although not many in polluted bay waters, are still caught in decent numbers.

    Here is something to digest for those of you not around fishing in the late 1950s through late 1960s. The state regulations on trout, redfish, Spanish mackerel, grouper, snook, etc etc? Ok...how about 12 inch size limits with NO bag limits. You could catch 100 macerel, trout, grouper, redfish. The only species really regulated? Snook, tarpon and billfish. Snook only had to be 18 inch and you could keep four. Jewfish...errr Goliath grouper? Open for harvest through most of that time span. Yankees were the worse at abusing fish...they would down here and catch 100s of fish and pack them frozen for trip back north. But this isn't why fishing declined.

    Gill netting was allowed and thousands of species like kingfish were gill netted in Key West before they reached here in the spring. Thousands more settled to the bottom after drowning in the gill nets and shaking free. In the 1980s the kingfish fishery was really down and the gill netters turned to mackerel/mullet before the nets were banned thank God. Mullet were never considered commercially because of the low cost...but once the Orient demanded their roe...prices went up during spawning season.
    you ain't reel smart as the mullet fishery peaked during the WWII years at around 40 million lbs, none od which were split for roe..
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,288 Admiral
    oh yeah, mullet were always considered an important food fish.
    So important that some of the railroad trains on the west coast were called the mullet trains for the amount or salted mullet they hauled to points north.
    sad that little ****s like you don't know history before spouting off.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 923 Officer
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    oh yeah, mullet were always considered an important food fish.
    So important that some of the railroad trains on the west coast were called the mullet trains for the amount or salted mullet they hauled to points north.
    sad that little ****s like you don't know history before spouting off.

    Art - What happened to the Prawn fishery up in the big Bend? An old timer told me that the area had a big prawn fishery that the 1st half of the last century that was overfished. and if so, How did that go down?
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,288 Admiral
    permit_me wrote: »
    Art - What happened to the Prawn fishery up in the big Bend? An old timer told me that the area had a big prawn fishery that the 1st half of the last century that was overfished. and if so, How did that go down?
    prawn as in shrimp?

    If shrimp then more of a market problem than lack of shrimp, hard to compete price wise with Asian or Indian farm raised uniform size shrimp.
    Bach in the 1970's + 80's Crystal Bay would have over a hundred shrimp boats from all over the Gulf at certain times of the year.
    Japan in the mid 70's jumped into the GOM shrimp market big time and fueled a boat buying/building boom that lasted for a decade or so.
    Shrimp prices were high and fortunes were made, then aquaculture started making a dent.
    Hard to compete with head off farm raised 21-25 count whole selling for aprox $5/lb.
    There was a little uptick for domestic shrimp 4-5 years ago when the Asian farms were hit with some bad diseases and the imports slowed down to a trickle.
    Freezer boats in the GOM enjoyed some good prices for a couple of years then.

    More profitable to bait shrimp now though there is a handful of boats doing live commercial for the Asian markets here in the U.S.
    Biscayne Bay has the largest fleet of bait boats in Fl with Hernando Bch. being #2.


    On a side note blue crab industry here in the US is undergoing the same problem with cheap imports crushing the domestic markets.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Reel Gator 2Reel Gator 2 Posts: 135 Deckhand
    Yeah...mullet were harvested because a blind man could cast net 75 of them at one time...pray tell...how much did those mullet fetch on the commercial market? Almost nothing...try again.

    I remember as a 9 yr old my family and I would go to the OLD Johns Pass bridge and use weight snatch hooks...the mullet were so **** thick that you would feel them bumping your line and jerk your pole. Wala...mullet.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,288 Admiral
    Yeah...mullet were harvested because a blind man could cast net 75 of them at one time...pray tell...how much did those mullet fetch on the commercial market? Almost nothing...try again.

    I remember as a 9 yr old my family and I would go to the OLD Johns Pass bridge and use weight snatch hooks...the mullet were so **** thick that you would feel them bumping your line and jerk your pole. Wala...mullet.
    Tell me what they were worth big boy, what year and what time of year?
    Those mullet made many a family on the WC of Fl a good living long before you were a gleam in your Daddy's eye.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
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