BY THE BOBBER DOWN TEAM
To be in theme with the 4th of July, Tommy the Trout decided to have the Bobber Down Team pass the keyboard around and have the team tell personal fishing stories of their first catch of a either a "Red, White, or Blue fish that was caught for the first time as kid.
Fishing the saltwater flats of the Gulf of Mexico for Redfish, I was little over 11 years old the first time I reeled in a Redfish. Compared to the other fish I had caught up to that point, this was a monster! About 20 inches long and might as well have been a meter in length. I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to go home and show my parents. I have caught Redfish using shrimp, squid, and minnows. Though I have witnessed them being caught using spoons and other lures.
Bait: Spoons, jigs, plugs and flies.
Limits Slot: 18"-27"
Bag Limit: 1
Catching Whiting while wading in the tidal surf. The great thing about Whiting is that there are no catch limits, are plentiful, and taste really good. For bait try stinky squid or cut up Pinfish. I had taken the family to Siesta Key for a long 4th of July weekend 2 years ago. My daughter was 6, had never been fishing, and was eager to break in all of her brand new pink fishing gear. We started out on the dock on the inner coastal waterway and caught several pinfish using shrimp. We had planned on using half our bait on the dock and then crossing the street to the Gulf of Mexico to try our hand at surf fishing. My 8 year old son was more interested in feeding the friendly seagulls and snowy egrets all the Pinfish we caught. Later in the morning we had crossed over and began fishing in the tidal surf. My daughter reeled in 1, 2, then 3 Whiting. She was very careful to keep them away from her brother and release them back into he water as quickly as possible because she thought the face of the fish reminded her of the Lorax in the Dr Seuss animated film. It was a very memorable day.
Bait: Live sand fleas, shrimp, or cut up fish.
Typical Size: Less than a pound to just over 2 pounds
Bag Limit: None
Catching Bluegill in the countless lakes from a dock or row boat. From Michigan to Florida simply dip your line in the water and you are highly likely to reel in a Bluegill within a minute or two. Always using worms for bait. Did you know that Bluegill is the State fish of Illinois? When I was an 8 year old kid in Michigan my dad took me to visit a friend of his who lived on a lake. It was the very first time I went fishing. They had 2 daughters that were happy to row me out onto the lake to fish. They caught nothing all afternoon. I on the other hand had beginners luck and reeled in over 30 fish. The girls were not very pleased with me. The parents on the other hand were VERY pleased as my haul helped decide on what to eat for dinner. We cleaned and pan fried the fish outside and had macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob. A simple meal and a day I will never ever forget.
Bait: Worms, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, corn, spinners, and either a piece of bread or cheese around a hook.
Typical Size: Up to 12 inches and around 4 1/2 pounds
Bag Limit: None yet but some states up north like Michigan and Illinois are considering placing bag limits.
Have a Happy 4th of July Weekend!