Fishing report: An unusual catch

We’ve heard a lot of fishing stories through the years, so rarely is someone is able to come in the store with one that’s purely unique.

Zaki Majboor told us a tale on Monday, supported by phone pics, that qualified.

The Gainesville angler took a mid-week trip to the Steinhatchee shallows. He ran north out of the river and along the way, saw fish spook out from the boat wake in the clear shallows.

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While fishing later, Majboor saw another fish blow out—but something didn’t look right. Zaki watched the laboring fish and saw that it was carrying along with it… a rope!

The fish ran for a ways and then tucked under a clump of brown vegetation in water about a foot deep. It was completely hidden, but the rope was not.

The fisherman eased up to the spot with his trolling motor, reached down and grabbed the end of the three-to-four-foot-long rope. Then he pulled the 26-inch red from under its hiding place and into the boat.

Upon studying the fish and its adornments, Zaki put together what had happened to the unfortunate red.

Someone casting a Live Target Scaled Sardine with clear monofilament had recently hooked and broken the fish off. Then the red had somehow gotten the lure’s second set of treble hooks into a lost or discarded crab trap rope. This left the poor fish to lug the burden along—until Zaki Majboor came along to unhook him.

Our second fetching fishing story this week came from Newnans Lake. Padgett Powell asked us a few days ago where he might have some luck fishing for bluegill from a very small paddling vessel.

Since customers had told us about outstanding bream fishing on Newnans, we sent Powell there, suggesting that he buy live bait and fish it under a small float around the Newnans cypresses.

Powell phoned us Monday to let us know the info had been spot on. The Gainesville angler dropped in his kayak on Sunday, armed with crickets he had picked up at Park’s Place in Gainesville. He paddled for a few minutes and then eased his little boat back behind the outermost line of trees.

As our bream-fishing specialists had instructed, he put a cricket on a light #6 hook and set it a little more than a foot under a tiny float. The crickets drew bites, albeit light and tentative bites. The fish, though, were whoppers.

“I haven’t seen bluegills like that in 60 years—purple monsters I could barely hold with one hand,” Powell said. “Just the size to fill up a 10-inch skillet.”

He caught bream—and mostly very large bream—until he ran out of bait.

There’s good fishing to be found all around, as our featured photo today shows. North Florida anglers are scoring right now in spots ranging from tiny freshwater creeks to deep waters far offshore.

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