Sunday, May 22, 2016

Halifax River : Feral Cats

Here they come!   Lazy summer  Sundays!   For those of us who are willing to pay the price for starting our fishing adventure at 11 a.m. instead of the 'crack of dawn,  ...the warming waters of Summer will assure incessant hookups with feral cats!   Huge populations of the hungry critters have moved in!   They have taken over the 'vacant lot' that used to be an oyster bar on the bottom of this tainted waterway. And so,   I throw them a small sustenence of baits ,  to help feed the poor starving whiskered kittens.
Feral Cats!  My mind's own fantasy creating a proud, nurturing moment...where me and my generous charitable character have helped to  keep some of God's untamed  furless  creatures from certain starvation....when in fact,  I am contributing to their overpopulation!
     The feral cats of the Halifax!   Instead of Meow Mix,   we toss them these:

Delicious and healthful, sun-pinken-ed shrimp.

     There is only one word that can accurately describe huge channel bass (redfish), black drum, gator trout, snook, tarpon, ......and especially the shell-cracking sheepshead..... that have made their way this far up the Halifax River this time of year .....

The oysters are dead!   The bottom is slime!  The huge schools of flittering menhaden or fingermullet...can no longer congregate on top of the oyster bars in relative safety.  The predator species that follow them,  or forage along lively oysters,... enter the area confused,  and wonder how they have stumbled into this barren wasteland!
Sometime this summer,  frolicking  schools of bait will make their way quickly through the area ...and the larger fish will follow.  But they will leave as quickly as Daytona's  300,000 NASCAR racefans , who cycle through the area after a short  but thrilling week of auto races..
For the race fans,  we have built hotels!  Subsidized an "International"  airport!  Filled the strip down ISB ( International Speedway Boulevard ) with shopping,  and malls,  and restaurants, and an invitation to "stay a while",  on our beautiful World's Most Famous Beach"!     It is our bait !    And our catch?  That big beautiful wad of cash in the pockets of the carefree tourist!

But fish have no pockets.  No wads of cash.  And the oysters we provide our tourists come from hundreds of miles away!  The fish hotels, (oyster bars)have been  destroyed by carelessly swung wrecking balls of pollution and wetland devastation.  These waterways forced to swallow hairs shed from the beast of economic growth,.. and coughing up fur balls.    Any visiting finned critter that accidentally makes his way here....won't be staying long.  He will be a  'daytripper', for sure...

Soon, we may reduce ourselves to the risk of eating THESE lovely creatures!  Puffer fish. Paralytic poisons within them worse than cyanide!   The tasty morsel of flesh around it's bones becoming  increasingly tempting!  Hmm....are we starting to wonder what kittens taste like?   NO NO.!..Not cute little furry Simba!   The furless ones! ...... that live on the bottom of the Halifax,  of course!    Ahhhh! , ...Mercury -Schmercury!  Neurons are an excessive and over-rated biological commodity!  Consuming a little  merc here and there can't  hurt me!  And puffers and kitties are ... unregulated!!! least,   for now...

Get 'em while you still can!

Tight lines!  elrok