The condo we rented this month down in Naples is actually on the water - on Vanderbilt Lagoon to be precise.
The owner left a fishing rod in the unit and told me I was welcome to use it. (Someone gave it to him and he's not a fisherman.)
Now I fished a lot as a kid - but only on lakes, ponds, and streams up in the Northeast. I basically had, and have, no idea how to fish in the ocean least of all down in Florida.
Anyways I started asking around here how I should fish off the dock that's only 50 paces away and was told to get live shrimp, hook them through the tail, and cast out a weighted line. Allegedly there're snook and sheppardfish(?) in the lagoon alongside the occasional manatee, occasional alligator, stingrays, dolphins, and sharks.
Busy all month, I finally got around to getting some bait yesterday.
On my first cast, it felt like some small fish stole my bait.
On my second go around, eventually my line got hit by something BIG - so I thought - because the line snapped instantly. I'd never felt anything like that before on the end of my rod (fishing).
I put another hook on and continued for another hour without any luck whatsoever. In fact it got annoying because the birds were fearlessly and doggedly attacking my line when the bait hit the water. I once hooked a duckling back when I was a kid and the mayhem that ensued (the mother was there with about 8 other baby ducks) all but traumatized me. Let me just say that these sea gulls and whatever the other birds are down in Naples are as aggressive as sh*t. I've seen them pull a half-dozen sandwiches RIGHT OUT OF PEOPLE'S HANDS on the beach this month already.
Anyways, eventually I got another hit. Again the line broke and I was getting close to my last hook.
The next time I got a hit, I didn't try to hook the thing at all. My kids were right next to me and we watched the line get taken out hard. A beautiful fish about 20 inches long jumped straight out of the water and snapped the line yet again, loudly to boot.
After some more research I'm convinced that it was a ladyfish I had on there.
It must have been old fishing line or something. I had no idea that fishing line got brittle like that over time. Does it?
Hit Wal-Mart last night for some more hooks and new 20 lb. test fishing line ($2.50!)....and I'm all geeked up to reel one of those suckers in before I have to leave on Monday. Freshwater fishermen in Central Massachusetts RARELY catch anything that big.
No luck today. The guy at the local bait shop didn't have live shrimp ("they die....I get too many complaints") and he convinced me to try a lure with a piece of frozen shrimp on the end. It was incredibly windy out there today AND I was having major *snag* issues. Despite fishing my entire youth, I discovered today (via Google) that I actually had no idea how to properly spool a spinning reel.
Two days ago, on Vanderbilt Beach, I watched some guy fishing hook something LARGE. His rod was bent into a U-shape and it kept taking out line. I ran over and grabbed my camera only to watch him struggle for 30 minutes, along with a good-sized crowd, before having his line snapped!
The dude said it had to be a stingray, the way it was able to keep from surfacing.
Masterful, laser-targeted marketing in that clip above, no?