Done with gators........now on to flounder.....at least to try flounder.............

bswivbswiv Posts: 7,548 Admiral
Beautiful morning on the water, water which is still high and feted smelling.......but gators were few to be seen. Heard bellowing early on in a place we had a good one scouted. Sitting on him for a hour or so produced nothing more than Louann telling us we were wasting our time.....over and over and over.

Gave that up, mostly so it would be quiet on the lake again!!, and went to check on a couple of others we'd identified as worth catching. Same basic results with the second one, though he was not bellowing back in the trees as was the first. Gave that up a bit quicker as from WAY down the lake we could hear another one bellowing. And that one sounded like he was close to where we'd messed up on a really good one a week or so ago.

Got down close and started to crawl along with the trolling motor while peering back in the trees as that's where he was. And then he bellowed again.......not 75 yards on south. We had about 15 minutes left of legal time so kicked the trolling motor up to get close faster.

And then we see him coming out of the trees into the lake......big flat head and a wake......which is a really good sign. As he got to the edge of the trees he kicked it up and went down. Lost him for a moment as he went under a sunken barge that's been on the lake for well over 50 years. And when I say under I really mean "through" as it's just timbers at this point.

When we figured out where he was he was about 15 yards on the back side of the barge and into the edge of the trees again. Got close and gently set a hook up on him, gave the rod to Louann and went about getting the second big rod on him as Charlie stood ready with the harpoon.

Pulled the second hook up snug and then started to life very slowly, Louann on one big rod and I on the other. He let us get him a couple of feet up before he decided to move. With a couple of sweeps of his big old tail he was around a tree and heading back into the barge.

Even with the two big rods ( 80# ) we could do nothing to stop him, one line coming off and the other popping up under the barge someplace. We could see where it looked like he came out so got around to the other side and started feeling about. Ended up hooking the line from the broke off hook and retrieving it. Could not find the gator though we were sure he had not gone far.......or at least thought so.

With about 5 minutes legal time left Louann demanded we make a run at one she had spied down the lake a couple of hundred yards. It didn't look all that big, though big enough so I agreed to go after him......but wanted to try one more thing on the one we'd lost.

Spun way wide to see if we could wash him lose and much to our surprise we see him move about 20 yards south of where we'd assumed he was. Quickly got a hook up to him and repeated the second hook procedure. When Louann and I started lifting it was very obvious that he had shrunk. When he bolted we were able to snub him right off and the great tail sweeps of a really big gator as we'd felt back behind the barge were gone.

Best we can tell we got butt lucky and stirred up another one that was right in that area as what is in the pictures is not what we started off on. Still plenty good, especially as the crew has been carping to have a go at the fall flounder run.

And the big guy......he's still there. But as we are out of tags he'll just have to grow a little more.

Replies

  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,634 Captain
    Ben you sure can tell a good story. I do not hear that much bellowing. The lake looked nice an calm. Winds here have been up for a while. Hope they go slack for a while as I have tags to finish up on.

    Lost a real good one the other night. Had both kids out and I was acting as just a boat driver and coach. They have been doing it for years and have learned a lot. Daughter usually uses the spear gun but have been working on her using a harpoon instead. Well when the gator broke the surface she hit it square in the side jaw, which made him freak out and then broke both rods off. Down side is gator won, up side is another trip out with them.

    Congratz on another strong finish.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 245 Deckhand
    The big ones in the St. John's up near Green Cove and Palatka are almost to 17. The flooded timber has not been pleasant this year. We will stick to the lakes in the future. Probably the first year we will return tags in a LONGGGGGGG time! BTW nice gators this year Ben.
    2013 Xpress H-18 115 Yamaha
    Camo'd out to hide from the fish better:cool:
  • saltybluegrasssaltybluegrass Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    save me from jail-
    I just know with all the restrictions volumes of rules , i will be incarcerated.
    I paid $250 for an 8 inch crappie in KY. Howd i know i was at one of two lakes that had 9 inch limit. geeze
    I read the rules where its 200$ for 2 tgs in Fl. Is this all you need without additional Hunting/ fishing licenses?
    WHat are the legal dates? or other restrictions? i know 5 pm til 10 am as well. THanks
    Specifically the killing of the animal. I see a bang stick is alluded to, but what else may be used?
    ?
  • KayakMacGyverKayakMacGyver Posts: 1,006 Officer
    Nicely done! You all make an incredible team.


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    They Can't Us "You Should Have Been There Yesterday"...........Because We Were!
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,089 Moderator
    And the gator man strikes again. Amazing.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • woeivwoeiv Posts: 92 Greenhorn
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,634 Captain
    save me from jail-
    I just know with all the restrictions volumes of rules , i will be incarcerated.
    I paid $250 for an 8 inch crappie in KY. Howd i know i was at one of two lakes that had 9 inch limit. geeze
    I read the rules where its 200$ for 2 tgs in Fl. Is this all you need without additional Hunting/ fishing licenses?
    WHat are the legal dates? or other restrictions? i know 5 pm til 10 am as well. THanks
    Specifically the killing of the animal. I see a bang stick is alluded to, but what else may be used?
    ?
    More like $272.50 for resident 2 tags and $1000+ for non resident. Many rules about what you can and can not do but avoid any bait unless using a wooden peg less than 2". No firearms allowed other than bang stick. But they can be dispatched with bang stick, knife or heavy hammer/hatchet. No other license or wma stamp needed unless you have a helper. That person will need an alligator trapping agent license ~50 or be a licensed alligator trapper. If you would be so lucky to get drawn for tags you should attend the FWC training class. There you will get a full run down on rules. Be careful of friends who say they know because there is plenty that do not follow rules. Legal dates on Public water hunts are Aug 15-Nov 1 each year unless there is an executive order, usually revolving around high water conditions.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
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