Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fishing Excursion: The First

So I finally decided to buy my non-resident saltwater fishing license. It was a bit pricey at $50, but otherwise I would have had to either:

A) Wait 6 months until I'm a legal resident of Florida
B) Fished without a license like MANY people I've encountered
C) Not fished at all

Since I can never imagine myself waiting 6 months for anything, (A) definitely wasn't going to work out. Seeing as I tend to worry about law enforcement's overbearing power, taking the risk and getting caught, however slim the possibility, made (B) an anxiety-ridden and unwise choice. (C), yeah, that's not happening.

Therefore, being a rather moral person, I chose to buy a license and help out the state's fish and wildlife system.

My next step was to find a bait shop. I've done my research and there's a little place up on 79th street, Navarro Bait and Tackle, that was highly recommended on the internet. It's run by what appears to by a husband/wife team, and they're great. I'm thinking they're Cuban or Puerto Rican, but either way, they REALLY made me utilize my "Spanish Ear." The guy talked so fast, and with such a thick accent, that I'm pretty sure he initially thought I was fishing for Great White Shark, and not your common Snapper.

After working my way through the Spanish fishing sales process, I successfully purchased all my gear and I was set.

Off to the overpass of the Julia Tuttle Causeway at 36th Street. I initially was using a bait-catching line, which is just a rig with about 6 tiny hooks connected to a piece of line with a sinker at the bottom. I was hoping to catch sardines to use for tomorrow, my Key Biscayne Snapper Mission. (Post Tomorrow, Check Back!)

Well, I was having ZERO luck, and then a nice shrimp netter gave me a sardine to cut up into bait. My luck took a 180 and I was catching quite a few small pan fish, all being the common Grunt. Their name comes from the sound they make out of water, which, like their names suggests, is very similar to a pig, or piglet, grunt.

I caught a bunch, but decided to throw them back. I guess they're really good pan fried, but I was just having fun drinking beer and talking with the other fishermen.

Case in point, I'm officially a Florida saltwater fisherman.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Key Biscayne to slay the mighty Snapper. Should I catch one over the 12" limit, you better believe it'll be pan fried with onions and potatoes, just like the trout from the mighty Kickapoo River.

Wish me luck!

small Grunt fish from Biscayne Bay in Miami Florida

I caught many of these little Grunt fish. I gave this one another shot at life. Until next time my dear Grunt friend!

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