21 January 2015

• #17: Islamorada Journal 2015…21 JAN “Barracuda!”

Click on any photo to see enlargement gallery.

Wayne and I didn't catch a lot of fish today, but we saw sharks, barracudas, rays, an eagle ray, a manatee, sea turtles...and so on.

Several of the sharks were large enough not only to bite you but also to eat you. This one was about 7 feet long.

Yet another large shark.

I know we've all seen better photos of sharks on the Discovery Channel...but these shots are taken from the boat, above the water, and I'm not getting in the water with these critters for any reason, so they'll just have to do.

Large ray...about 5-foot wingspan.

This was the fish of the day...17-pound barracuda.

Wayne spotted two of them up in shallow water and I threw a lure at them. This one followed the lure almost back to the boat but then turned away at the last moment. He swam off behind the boat where I just happened to be drifting a pinfish on a bobber. He grabbed it.

There was a huge explosion of water when he hit the pinfish and then as the circle hook lodged itself in his jaw he made a spectacular leap completely out of the water...and headed for Cuba. But the Daiwa reel did the job of stopping him and after several more runs and about ten minutes of fighting he came to the side of the boat.

Wayne got him on the boga grip and up for pictures. We then towed him in the water at the side of the boat until he regained some strength...and he swam off.

Nice fish.

A sawfish of maybe eight feet in length...maybe more.

Business end of the sawfish.

This is a propscar left by some lunkhead boater who chopped up the vegetation on the bottom before realizing he was in water too shallow.

In can take up to ten years for these propscars to fill in with new growth.

This osprey is taking home a needlefish for dinner. When we first spotted him we thought he had a snake in his claws...but it was just a good-sized needle.

Fellow fishing just down the shoreline from us...at sunset.

Wednesday's sunset.

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