I had an experience a couple of weeks ago in an area lake that was disheartening, and a little aggravating, to say the least. The morning started out really quiet and peaceful, as I had always remembered this place, until around 8:00 am or so. There was this low droning noise approaching from the other side of this island we were fishing and as they rounded the point we saw boats with surface drives headed our way, hugging the cypress.
This parade of boats, with a few air boats thrown in, for more noise I guess, continued their parade, circling the island for hours. We did get an occasional break in the wave action while they stayed in the shallows near us doing 'doughnuts', but the noise was constant. I have never, in all my years fishing this place, seen such a spectacle. Most were polite and waved as the waves rocked me into the cypress,and some swerved as not to run over me as I rounded a cypress with my trolling motor. I guess I was hidden from their view. There were times I couldn't talk to my partner in the back of the boat for the noise. The few eagles we were watching early on vacated the area, as did many of the egrets and other species.
One of my thoughts while watching this unfold was the shallow spawning area that was being chopped up. Not to mention the the silt being kicked up and muddying the water. Is this what I should expect going forward on these lakes?.... I sure hope not.
I got a chuckle when we were idling by at a distance from a game warden boat that was checking someone. These things were coming out of every cut that had water. He stood up, turned, and began scratching his head...... Target rich environment frustration. I wish I would had filmed this cluster.
Not a good sign
Made a trip out to the blind this past weekend to do some work now that the flood waters went down and took a few pictures. Excuse the photo quality, new camera and phtographer.
After hurricane Andrew in 92 until today, We go out and catch 30 to 40 bass in the basin and would be lucky to have 2 or 3 over 14'. It would take 2 or 3 trips if not more just to keep enough to make a meal for the family, if I chose to do so.In the time after Andrew, I would drive over the basin after a storm and see large numbers of bass and other fish clogging waterways and rotting away.
Remembering the many trips I'd make with nothing to bring home and seeing all of this waste, it would really upset me!!! This happened for just about every hurricane before andrew as well, with a 12' length limit in place, or if I remember correctly, no length limit. In combination, these natural disasters and set regulations didn't stop the fish from recovering to healthy levels back then.
And for those that mention, 'some will be FILLING THE FREEZER', You will have the 'OUTLAW' no matter what the law states,heck,It happens now I'm sure. It's all about enforcement. Why was the this 14' Length limit implemented?
Was it a experiment to grow 'TROPHY BASS' in the basin? If it was to aid in the regeneration of fish after Andrew thats understandable, but it's been 21 years!! Best eating are the ones in the 12 to 15 inch range anyway..... LOLL!! I think the report speaks for itself.