north florida - wild florida - suwannee delta

By: marsHen , 11:58 AM GMT on February 12, 2013

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05:40, 68F, dark. woke up roosters. pup and guardian digging out some critter in back of the workshop. removed both dogs. tuna melt for breakfast. lamb bottles ready. heading for suwannee..
09:00, low tide on the suwannee river. blue flags (iris) beginning to bloom. early!! mid-60's, south wind, 10-15 knts. choppy. sampling fish populations between west pass and little trout. 1 huge gator sunning on mud bank. 2 bald eagles on top of bald cypress. flocks of ducks. a marsh hawk (harrier) perusing marsh out by dan-may creek. catches were mostly low as was the tide. mud up to our calves made for hard walking. 2 sets with 600 ft. seine. 1st was a breeze, got 3 trout and a few mullet. the 2nd (and the last set of the day) was a hard pull - mud almost to the knees and the entire net snagged on an oyster bar that ran the width of the net. what a bear!! got some mullet but a large redfish with a treble-hooked lure in it's mouth got hooked on the outside of the net. it could not be counted and measured but it did get hook removed and set free. if we catch a large red in the delta in the winter it usually means that the fish is in trouble (sick, parasites, weak, treble-hooked) and has come inshore to hide.
did 7 sets with bait-seine. low catches with YOY (young-of-the-year) spot, mullet (beautiful little bright silver fish), redfish, atlantic croaker, sand trout, and pinfish all recruiting into the estuary to eat and grow and be eaten.. tide turned and wind picked up, south, 15-20 knts. whitecaps, waves, chop, and spray - big flock of ducks racing boat, pulling ahead - just lovely!! an exhilarating day! a good work-out.
14:30, 70's, breezy. got back to farm with 6 bales of the good hay!! and english muffins..
17:30, 75F, mostly cloudy. got 3 eggs. everyone happy with hay. bats coming out. 2 deer in cactus field. young dogs off and running. damn dogs.
19:40, 71F, bright stars overhead only. no moon visible. a fog.

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About marsHen

marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.