Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

On Float Tubes and Alligators (and Other Critters That Live Where You Fish)

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Lateral Line
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

November 26, 2012

On Float Tubes and Alligators (and Other Critters That Live Where You Fish)

By John Merwin

I have shared the water fairly often with alligators over the years, especially when bass fishing Florida lakes. It never bothered me much. They were mostly shy, sinking from sight as our boat approached or sliding off the bank if out sunning themselves. I’ve never had an untoward gator incident.

I would not, however, do the same fishing in a float tube. 

When tube-fishing I just feel too vulnerable, sort of sitting there, legs dangling down, like a frog or a bass bug. Not that anything would happen, but it could. I feel the same way when tubing northern warm-water lakes, having seen too many very large snapping turtles surface for air or out sunning on a log.

None of these feelings have been helped by the yarns some Florida guides and fish-camp owners loved to tell me as an inexperienced northerner. Like the three guys who got fairly soused one evening and decided to go night-fishing for bass. All that was found in that Florida lake a few days later was their overturned skiff along with most of one guy’s leg.

I suppose it might have happened once, but it’s unlikely. Anyway, my vivid imagination filled in the blanks, and made me shiver.

I would be made more nervous if encountering other things--cottonmouths down south, rattlesnakes farther north, and any one of several highly toxic spiders just about anywhere. Spiders I might encounter just by putting a hand in the wrong place, but that hasn’t happened. I’ve never had a close cottonmouth encounter, and although I’ve rarely seen rattlers along some northern trout rivers where they exist, I’ve never felt threatened and try to remain aware.

Farther afield, I’ve already had a lifetime’s worth of brown-bear encounters while fishing Alaskan rivers. I don’t much care to ever see another one. (See our forthcoming February print edition for details.)

I suppose everybody has one critter or another they might find potentially bothersome while fishing. What’s yours?

Comments (13)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Brazilnut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

An evil monster that's creepy as a cottonmouth, ugly as an alligator and trustworthy as a snapping turtle: My brother-in-law.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mountain lions. I've never encountered one, but I know a few of the places I fish at night alone, there are big cats on the prowl.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Bees, Yellow jackets, Wasp's or other swarming stinging insects, ants included. While it may be hilarious to your fishing buddy to watch you "walk on water" as you run for your life looking for the deepest hole to dive into to escape, I can assure you....from experience that stepping into a nest of stinging kamikazes hell bent on defending their nest is in no way enjoyable. And it’s very easy to do when you’re focused on casting to that rising trout.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Just hard to keep the gators away from that Zara Spook. They come running for it every time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Jager wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Fire ants.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JPMNTMAN wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Couple of years ago hunting white tail in AZ I found water hole with lots of deer and a few mt lion tracks around it. I hunted the whole day and walked out late that evening. I went back in that morning and found that the lion had walked out the trail I had used that night all the way to where my truck was parked. His tracks at times were in the middle of my boot prints. Lots of things out there to spook you. Knowing you are being hunted is one of them

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thomas77 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mountain Lion. I was camping in the North Carolina mountains in my hammock with some friends and heard a cat roar a couple yards away from me at 3am or so. It kept happening for the next 30 minutes while I laid in my hammock clutching my Gerber, not knowing if it was going to attack or not. The next week we heard that where we were camping was a "newly claimed" mountain lion reservation... Pretty scary.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jimmy Fee wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Gray Seals. I've never heard of anyone being attacked by a seal, but given their size and their teeth, I sure don't like seeing them around when I'm surfcasting or kayak fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

When fishing local creeks, I do not like having to pass under a tree limb that has cottonmouths laying on it sunning!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

wolves, when I was in Montana hunting elk I had a similar experience to JPMTNMAN's, we were hunting a canyon one day and we were there the entire day we came back a few days later and found wolf tracks in our footprints in the snow. Freaky.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

i had one of those huge snapping turtles hit a buchertail right by the boat this summer on a northern wi lake. luckily it was able to get itself unhooked.

i must say i'm not really a fan of spiders

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from capt.seagull wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

spiders snakes and wolverines

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from VAHunter540 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Bees, Yellow jackets, Wasp's or other swarming stinging insects, ants included. While it may be hilarious to your fishing buddy to watch you "walk on water" as you run for your life looking for the deepest hole to dive into to escape, I can assure you....from experience that stepping into a nest of stinging kamikazes hell bent on defending their nest is in no way enjoyable. And it’s very easy to do when you’re focused on casting to that rising trout.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brazilnut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

An evil monster that's creepy as a cottonmouth, ugly as an alligator and trustworthy as a snapping turtle: My brother-in-law.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Just hard to keep the gators away from that Zara Spook. They come running for it every time.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mountain lions. I've never encountered one, but I know a few of the places I fish at night alone, there are big cats on the prowl.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Jager wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Fire ants.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JPMNTMAN wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Couple of years ago hunting white tail in AZ I found water hole with lots of deer and a few mt lion tracks around it. I hunted the whole day and walked out late that evening. I went back in that morning and found that the lion had walked out the trail I had used that night all the way to where my truck was parked. His tracks at times were in the middle of my boot prints. Lots of things out there to spook you. Knowing you are being hunted is one of them

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thomas77 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Mountain Lion. I was camping in the North Carolina mountains in my hammock with some friends and heard a cat roar a couple yards away from me at 3am or so. It kept happening for the next 30 minutes while I laid in my hammock clutching my Gerber, not knowing if it was going to attack or not. The next week we heard that where we were camping was a "newly claimed" mountain lion reservation... Pretty scary.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jimmy Fee wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Gray Seals. I've never heard of anyone being attacked by a seal, but given their size and their teeth, I sure don't like seeing them around when I'm surfcasting or kayak fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from santa wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

When fishing local creeks, I do not like having to pass under a tree limb that has cottonmouths laying on it sunning!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JustTakeMeHunting14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

wolves, when I was in Montana hunting elk I had a similar experience to JPMTNMAN's, we were hunting a canyon one day and we were there the entire day we came back a few days later and found wolf tracks in our footprints in the snow. Freaky.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wisc14 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

i had one of those huge snapping turtles hit a buchertail right by the boat this summer on a northern wi lake. luckily it was able to get itself unhooked.

i must say i'm not really a fan of spiders

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from capt.seagull wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

spiders snakes and wolverines

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

bmxbiz-fs