August 22, 2013
A Gator in My Favorite Carp Pond? The Locals Think So
By Joe Cermele
The other day I got an email from a buddy informing me that my favorite, super-secret local carp pond made the newspaper because it was fenced off after alleged sightings of a three-foot alligator. Now, you don't need to know exactly where my favorite, super-secret local carp pond is so I'm not going to give crazy location details, but I will tell you that the establishment that owns the property took the sightings seriously enough to hire a trained gator wrangler who spent a day and a night trying to capture the beast. This is a very small, very shallow pond with not a lot of places to hide. Said wrangler came up empty and found no evidence of a gator, nor has anyone with the authority to make an official statement seen the gator. So I took matters into my own hands.
Luckily, I found all my carp swimming around as happy as they could be. The article said once the fence was removed, warning signs were put up. I didn't see any, and a security guard told me no such signs ever existed. What I did find was a long length of cable tied to one of the trees with a big, nasty saltwater grade hook attached to the other end. Was it left by the professional gator wrangler? Doubtful. The fact that the heavy wire was attached to the hook with a few overhand knots (which wouldn't have held a bluegill let alone a gator) tells me this is the work of a neighborhood "Swamp People" wanna-be that read the story after a few too many PBRs.
Is it possible that there really was a gator? Sure. Nitwits dump overgrown pet gators all the time, even here in Pennsylvania. But I find it much more likely that some dog-walker or duck-feeder saw one of the many big snapping turtles cruising, or a log floating, and got all panicked as non-outdoor folks tend to do. Still, have a fishing spot potential ruined by an alligator is a new one for me, especially in these parts.