Sunday, August 27, 2006

My, What Sharp Teeth You Have!


When I was a young teenager in the 1950's I discovered a book, "Florida Fish and Fishing" by Phil Francis, that I devoured, read, and reread. When my mom announced we were moving here I must have been the happiest 13 year old kid on the planet. The very place that book was written! Phil always said that a plain sparsely tied bucktail jig was the most effective all around lure, and I still think so, although now 50 or so years later he and I might get into some heated discussions about what color is best for which fish under various conditions.

This little barracuda couldn't resist trying to eat one, but he was soon back in the bay nursing a sore jaw. Supposedly, little barracuda caught in shallow water are delicious and perfectly safe to eat, but I've never tried one. Larger ones caught on the reefs can give you ciguaterra poisoning. It seems they pick up a toxin from eating certain reef fish, and it gets concentrated in their flesh. The bigger the 'cuda the more likely it'll poison you. Best to just not eat 'cuda I always figured.

Here's another one of those old prints of me fishing that I ran across recently. It should be credited "photo (c) 1967 Stephanie Brundage" I suppose, although we were still married then and her name was Kaplan. Looking back through the old fishing photographs there was a certain consistancy to them. Me with small fish, Stephanie with big fish. As an aside, today is Stephanie's birthday. Happy Birthday, Steph! I'm not sure if this was shot in the Keys or along the shoreline of Biscayne Bay here in North Miami. We'd often go over there to fish for an hour or two before it got dark. Most of that shoreline is now full of expensive houses with seawalls, and fences of course, but the city managed to acquire the old Helker's Yacht Basin property just south of Broad Causeway/123rd Street and made it into a bayfront park complete with a little fishing pier.

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