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Don't ever let anyone convince you that gators don't hunt in salt or brackish water. I guarantee you they do.

I was wading waist deep in salt water fishing for speckled trout when a huge gator cruised over to see me and my brother close up. We probably set some kind of record high-stepping it out of there. We had fish hanging from our waist on a stringer and he probably wanted to eat our fish. 

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1 hour ago, CDW said:

he probably wanted to eat our fish

And anything else close! The only time I have seen gators bite 'gently' was in films where they are handling their young. Any other time they seem to be in a bit of a rush and are not so selective. 

 

Not that we have a huge gator problem around here but it is nice to know that they wander into salt water also. 

 

Question though is the Speckled Trout the same as the Spotted Trout and if so don't they prefer brackish water areas over fully salt water areas?

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This is a typical "Speckled Trout" (Spotted Sea Trout) in Florida.

I've never caught one in brackish water. I always catch them in tidal areas of salt water grass flats. They feed in the grass flats and move back and forth to deeper water with the tides. Not sure if they are related to the Spotted Trout out on the west coast or not.  

 

SPOTTED-SEATROUT.30.jpg

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12 hours ago, CDW said:

This is a typical "Speckled Trout" (Spotted Sea Trout) in Florida.

I've never caught one in brackish water. I always catch them in tidal areas of salt water grass flats. They feed in the grass flats and move back and forth to deeper water with the tides. Not sure if they are related to the Spotted Trout out on the west coast or not.  

 

SPOTTED-SEATROUT.30.jpg

Thank you!  Mystery solved! 

 

A neighbor stopped by the other day saying he took his wife out on his sailboat (she hates sailing) but just motored.  They did some fishing along the way and he said he caught a catfish and a trout.  He was at the mouth of the river at the time, under the bridge.  But I'm thinking, "Trout?  In, at best, brackish water?"  My fresh water brain could not compute. 

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39 minutes ago, Julie Mo said:

Thank you!  Mystery solved! 

 

A neighbor stopped by the other day saying he took his wife out on his sailboat (she hates sailing) but just motored.  They did some fishing along the way and he said he caught a catfish and a trout.  He was at the mouth of the river at the time, under the bridge.  But I'm thinking, "Trout?  In, at best, brackish water?"  My fresh water brain could not compute. 

A steelhead is a sea run rainbow trout. Up here in the Pacific Northwest we catch sea run cutthroat trout too. The go up the rivers and creeks to spawn.

Canute, mtaylor, lmagna and 3 others like this

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Drove home from West Virginia yesterday. A measly 16 hour drive. Add that to the 19 hour drive (road construction and traffic accident delays) I made last Thursday to get there. I guess could spend some of these retirement years as an over the road truck driver if I was pressed into service. B)

 

Edited by CDW

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Gators can stand a lot of fresh water, Mobile Bay is the second largest estuary behind the Chesapeake (I think) gators all over every river, creek and tidal pool up and down the coast, They swim and travel to the outlying barrier islands, Petit Bois, Dauphin Island, Deer Island,  Horn Island all salt water with fresh or brackish water ponds, along with fox raccoons opossums all that were not native to the barrier islands. There are so many gators know folks are putting up fences on the waterfront properties because so many dogs have come up missing.

 

Speckled Trout (Spotted Sea trout) can stand very low salinity in the winter time they catch them in Deep holes in the Local rivers.

 

True story we were getting complaints of gill netters netting the river when temps got down below freezing. The one detail we worked short story we caught and confiscated 3 boats boats nets motors and gear value & 76,000.00, and 6700 lbs of speckled trout, in one evening.:cheers:

mtaylor, Canute, CDW and 5 others like this

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4 hours ago, Julie Mo said:

Thank you!  Mystery solved! 

 

A neighbor stopped by the other day saying he took his wife out on his sailboat (she hates sailing) but just motored.  They did some fishing along the way and he said he caught a catfish and a trout.  He was at the mouth of the river at the time, under the bridge.  But I'm thinking, "Trout?  In, at best, brackish water?"  My fresh water brain could not compute. 

There's another common salt water trout we catch a lot here in Florida...the Silver Trout. They look similar, but all silver, no speckles. Rather slimy, too. 

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27 minutes ago, John Allen said:

Gators can stand a lot of fresh water, Mobile Bay is the second largest estuary behind the Chesapeake (I think) gators all over every river, creek and tidal pool up and down the coast, They swim and travel to the outlying barrier islands, Petit Bois, Dauphin Island, Deer Island,  Horn Island all salt water with fresh or brackish water ponds, along with fox raccoons opossums all that were not native to the barrier islands. There are so many gators know folks are putting up fences on the waterfront properties because so many dogs have come up missing.

 

Speckled Trout (Spotted Sea trout) can stand very low salinity in the winter time they catch them in Deep holes in the Local rivers.

 

True story we were getting complaints of gill netters netting the river when temps got down below freezing. The one detail we worked short story we caught and confiscated 3 boats boats nets motors and gear value & 76,000.00, and 6700 lbs of speckled trout, in one evening.:cheers:

I was netting mullet in the canals at Crystal River with some family members. You will catch all kinds of fish in your net there, both salt and fresh water varieties. Some of the locals will kid around and say they caught some 'green back mullet' in their nets, when really they caught large mouth bass. Keeping those caught in a net is a good way to lose all your fishing equipment and boat, a healthy fine, and maybe even some jail time. The biggest sheepshead I ever saw was caught in our net. Had to throw him back, too. What a weird looking fish is the sheepshead. 

 

 

sheepshead.jpg

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But I'm thinking, "Trout?  In, at best, brackish water?"  My fresh water brain could not compute. 

As a certifiable fish geek (B.S. in fisheries science), I love all the confusion caused by common names of different species. Of course, sea trout are not true trout at all (family Salmonidae) but rather members of the drum family (family Sciaenidae). They shouldn't feel put out, though, since brook and brown trout are not trout either (genus Oncorynchus); they're actually chars (genus Salvelinus). True red snapper and Pacific red snapper are completely different species, and to add to the confusion, "Pacific red snapper" is in a genus (Sebastes) that includes over a dozen species that can legally be sold as "red rockfish." And there's plenty of other examples of this sort of craziness. Fun, fun, fun!

 

Quote

Up here in the Pacific Northwest we catch sea run cutthroat trout too. 

We used to catch these in our electrofishing samples on occasion back in my field work days. The resident form is really very attractive, and in the tiny creeks we sometimes sampled a "trophy"-sized coastal cutthroat might be only six inches long. The Eel River is their southern-most drainage, and our crew had the good fortune of documenting their presence in some tributaries from which they were previously unknown.

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4 hours ago, CDW said:

What a weird looking fish is the sheepshead. 

CDW,

 

There is 2 fish folks would throw away Sheephead and Trigger fish, both a pain to clean, Would rather eat Trigger than Red Snapper you have to skin it like a catfish and you have a very small triangular piece of flesh on a 4 pound Trigger it may yield from both sides 10 or 12 ounces of meat, Like your picture Sheephead are ugly and all bones, huge rough scales but worth the cleaning for a very small amount of meat but it is fantastic grilled firm and flaky. we 'd catch them with hermit crabs that's why they had those dentures to crush crabs and oysters. Hungry dinner time:) Oh the Silver Trout is commonly called a white trout Cynosion Arenarius I think if memory serves me there not good always full of those big round worms, actually most fish are wormy and parasitic bon appitite

Edited by John Allen
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I read an article years ago in a magazine catering to aquarium fish keeping.  The author of the article described the time he caught a sheepshead and decided to take it to a local fish store to see if the owner, a friend of his, was interested in adding it to his inventory.  The owner, having never before seen such a fish, gladly took it. 

 

What followed was almost comical.  The sheepshead apparently didn't like being kept in an aquarium and the next morning the owner arrives and finds the fish on the floor, pretty much dried up.  He goes to pick it up to discard it and it moves.  So he puts it back in the aquarium.  Soon it begins to swim again.  Later in the day he hears a crash.  The fish had jumped out again and landed on on a table with glass figurines made for aquariums.  Most of the figurines were on the floor, broken.  

 

He puts the fish back in the aquarium and covers it with a steel mesh then cleans up the broken figurines and tallies up the loss.  All total, the broken figurines cost him over a hundred dollars.

 

It wasn't long before he heard another strange sound but ignored it at the time.  When he went later to check up on the sheepshead, he found it missing.  He looked around on the floor but couldn't find it.  Then he looks at the tank next to where the sheepshead was and there he found the ugly fish.  But there were no other fish in the tank.  There had been a couple dozen before.

 

A customer walks in and sees the sheepshead.  He asks the owner, "Why do you have this fish?  You can't kill them.  They will eat everything in your tanks.  This one fish could put you out of business." 

 

That was the last time the fish was seen in his shop.   

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Moving from fish stories...

 

In trying to keep with the old boat house theme here, I milled some pieces of sipo a few weeks back for making wood boat blocks.  In my mind's eye was a boom vang that might look good hanging on a wall or from the ceiling possibly as a light fixture hanger.  Yesterday, after sealing myself from the nasty sipo dust, I shaped one of the blocks to see how it might look.

BoatBlocks_07.jpg

It's a beast but it's functional.  I'm thinking I should rout a groove around the outside for a rope and ring, kind of like this:

stblock.gif

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