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Thread: 2017 Florida March Break

  1. #1
    Getting the hang of it

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    Default 2017 Florida March Break

    I've been busy with tutoring and volunteer teaching since January. But thankfully, the hardwork paid off as I'll start a new full time teaching position next Monday. Life is still hectic so I'm not sure when the blog posts will be written. But if you like reading my adventures, I will update you later when the posts are completed.

    In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the new species I caught and other fish we encountered along the way.

    This trip was really last minute so I actually didn't have anything planned. We had three main targets - Bonnethead Shark, Midnight Parrotfish and Blacktip Shark. In addition, we also wanted to explore new spots for Moray and Sharks in the Keys. Let's just say everything exceeded our expectation...but we had to work our butts off to hit all our targets.

    OK...without further ado...

    Green Moray (Gymnothorax funebris) - aka shark bait

    Here I am trying desperately to stop a shark from wrapping around a marker buoy. But unfortunately, that shark pulled too hard to stop and the braid was eventually cut by the buoy cable. From later experiences, we concluded that the shark that I lost must have been a big Bull Shark.

    Lemon Shark (Negaprion brevirostris) - Species #708

    The Lemon Shark was about 6 feet long. The shark I lost earlier fought multiple times harder than this Lemon Shark.

    French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) - Species #709

    Doctorfish (Acanthurus chirurgus) - not a lifer, but a really good pic to upgrade my lifelist photo.

    Spotted Scorpionfish (Scorpaena plumieri) - not a lifer, but yet another great photo to update the lifelist.

    Rainbow Parrotfish (Scarus guacamaia) - Not a lifer, but always so photogenic.

    They don't need to be big to pull serious drag. Either stop them or they will wrap or snap you off under the bridge.

    Midnight Parrotfish (Scarus coelestinus) - Species #710

    Midnight Parrotfish pulls even harder than Rainbow Parrotfish. I lost two on 20lb fluoro before finally landing this one.

    Tidewater Mojarra (Eucinostomus harengulus) - Species #711

    Anal fin base vs. SL = 14.5%
    Depth vs. SL = 33.6%
    Least caudal peduncle depth vs SL = 10.4%
    Premaxilliary groove NOT constricted by scales and pigmentation is uniform between nasal nares.

    Bonnethead Shark (Sphyrna tiburo) - Species #712

    Michael's Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

    * It was after catching this Bull Shark that convinced us I lost a bigger Bull Shark. My shark simply ran faster and harder than Michael's smaller Bull Shark. Michael also lost a 4-5 feet long Lemon Shark that night and its fight was much more tame compared to the Bull Shark.

    ** We fished 4 nights for sharks in the Keys. On the first night, we lost two, had one run-and-spit and then finally landed my Lemon Shark. On the second night, we lost one. On the third night, it was really windy and we couldn't get our baits far enough. On the last night, we lost a Lemon Shark, had one run-and-spit, and Michael caught his Bull Shark. We've fished for Sharks every time we were in the Keys (5 trips), but this was by far the most successful. We're looking forward to going back next time to catch more sharks!

    Bay Anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) - Species #713

    * You wouldn't think I would quit on the micro species, did you? :P

    Atlantic Spadefish (Chaetodipterus faber) - not a new lifer, but always cool to catch. We helped George to finally knock this lifer off the list!

    Leopard Searobin (Prionotus scitulus) - Species #714

    Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) - Species #715!!!

    Over two days of fishing, with a total of 16 hours fished and over 12km hiked, I lost three bigger Blacktips to the rocky reefs before finally landing this little 3 feet adolescent. Our flight was at 7:30am the next morning and this was literally the second last bait we can soak for these sharks on our very last evening in Florida.

    Little guy got bitten by a larger shark in the recent past. I flip some of my pictures (ie, first photo above) the left side was the bitten side.

    Last edited by MuskieBait; March 22nd, 2017 at 08:28 PM.

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  3. #2
    Needs a new keyboard

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    nice fish congrats
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  4. #3
    Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks! We knock off some major targets and had a lot of blood, sweat, tears and joy while doing it.

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