December 29, 2012

2012 Florida Road Trip (Day 2)

We woke up early only to find a very cold and rainy morning. Behind the winter storm that delayed our trip, a cold front followed and the temperature plummeted to about 5C in Orlando that evening. My sister had planned to visit Universal Studio and Michael and I had planned to fish in Tampa again, however, the rain didn’t let up until 10am. While my sister and her boyfriend got ready, Michael and I checked out a little pond behind my cousin’s neighbourhood. We found a number of sailfin catfish that were unwilling to bite worms. After I dropped my sister and her boyfriend at the theme park, it was a little too late to fish Tampa. I joined Michael at the pond trying to find a way to catch the sailfin catfish. We did catch a few small Bluegill Sunfish and Michael caught his first Golden Shiner.

After lunch at my cousin’s house, my cousin suggested that we should try the lake close to their house. Among the common freshwater species was the potential of finding Florida Gar, a species new to both Michael and I.

My cousin and his daughter Ava came to fish with us. Ava was the superstar that day when she found a 13” Black Crappie. These crappies were schooled under the dock and we caught 3 more between 12-14” that day!

My own jumbo crappie!

A nice Black Crappie photograph for my lifelist

There were also some very massive (by Ontario standard) Bluegill Sunfish.

Michael cut up a small sunfish to use as gar bait to be fished on bottom and got a fish to take the bait. However, the hook didn’t set and left us wondering if it was a gar.

While we didn’t find any gar that day, I caught a pair of Redear Sunfish. I caught a suspected juvenile Redear Sunfish in Virginia but didn’t count it since the identity could not be 100% verified. The Redear Sunfish was one of my top target to catch so it was nice to check it off so early.

Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) – new species #2

Later, I caught a 6” Golden Shiner and suggested to Michael to use as live bait. A while later, the Golden Shiner got picked up and it was a Largemouth Bass. Michael said it was at least 3.5lbs…but I said it was between 2.5-3lbs.

That was it for the day of fishing. We took the 4 crappies and one big bluegill back to my cousin’s house and had a Florida shore lunch…it was so good!!!

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