north florida - wild florida - big trout creek

By: marsHen , 10:50 AM GMT on May 08, 2013

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05:50, 53F, clear. one star. roosters up. cardinals tuning up. pup out. dixie at back door. fog in the tree tops. packed lunch. heading to south of east pass in the suwannee delta.
09:00, high tide on the suwannee river. 67F, east wind, 3 knts. not enough breeze to knock down the no-see-ums. banana on the boat. our first set just south of east pass snagged on a peat overhang and we pulled in 20 lbs. of peat and 1 redfish. had to un-snag the net with the boat since there was a drop-off. no-see-ums added to the misery. could not get crew member to ditch the banana. next set had us in mud with stingrays.. catches were low generally, with the usual dangerous catch designation of stingrays and large catfish. a lot of young-of-the-year menhaden, Brevoortia sp., in the bait seine. they are just recruiting into the estuary. pulled 2 sets with the 600 ft. seine. banana got eaten and things went more smoothly. the wind picked up and the no-see-ums left! sunny. catfish and stingrays in the big seine with pinfish, a few mullet, and a few sheepshead and trout. did catch several young-of-the-year black drum. cute little fish with black stripes and little barbels on their chins. could not hear them drumming like the big ones do. had an archaeologist volunteer who was a big help since we are short-handed this month with several of our crew sampling off-shore on SEAMAP and baitfish cruises. water temperature hovered around 22F, 73.5F. water was very turbid from tannin flowing in from the swamps. a light chop.
one large alligator crossing east pass. another small one throwing itself off the bank into big trout creek. turtles sunning on logs in the river. ospreys in nests. some herons, including a green heron, and egrets in the marsh. water very high reaching deep into the marsh. sampled to just north of deer island, including up big and little trout creeks. a very pleasant day.
13:20, tide still high. 71F, west wind at 8 knts. Sesbania, a poisonous road-side legume, blooming. phlox and brown-eyed susan in full bloom along the highway back to cowtown.
18:00, 75F at back door. got 3 eggs. sheep in the yard. they mobbed the gate and demanded to be let in. took a nap. 3 deer in cow field to south. something dead and stinky in front yard. 'possom?
21:30, 65F, clear enough to see stars. a mist. fireflies. guardian barking at soemthing invisible in cactus field. deer, probably. good night.

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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.