Stay In The Boat When Fishing......
Posted 03 May 2006 - 06:37 AM
By Lorna Jablonski, Okeechobee News
With the weather warming up and breeding season having begun, alligators are becoming more active. Sixty-six-year-old Sam Crutchfield of Fort Pierce was attacked by an alligator while fly fishing on Lake Istokpoga Monday afternoon. The alligator, which is believed to be at least 10 feet long, grabbed Mr. Crutchfield by the hip as he stood in 41-inch deep water.
"I had been wade fishing off the south end of Big Island for over three-and-one-half hours without a bite. Around noon I moved into the deeper water. Suddenly, I was knocked sideways," said Mr. Crutchfield. "Something locked onto me by the right hip and wouldn't let go. I started punching him as hard as I could. He finally released me and I took off toward our flats boat. I called to my partner that I had been bitten and he wouldn't believe me.
"He still wouldn't believe me until I dropped my shorts and you could see the imprint of its teeth around my hip. My leg is so bruised that it looks like I've been hit by a car going 80 miles an hour," added Mr. Crutchfield, a fifth-generation Floridian.
According to Mr. Crutchfield, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) sent trappers out to the island to catch the alligator Wednesday morning. However, they couldn't locate it because there were over 100 alligators on the island over that were 10 feet in length, or longer.
"I didn't see any alligators before I was bitten, but spotted two others as I headed in," said Mr. Crutchfield. "I feel that there is a major problem on Istokpoga. If you can't even get a bite fly fishing in three-and-one-half hours, something has gone wrong with the food chain. I feel that there are too many alligators on that lake and if there are over 100 gators over 10 feet long in one area, then they're eating the smaller ones.
"They've gone through the fish, and then they started eating smaller alligators. Now all that are left are the big ones. All I know is that I won't be back on Istokpoga for a long time. The fishing is not good enough to take that kind of chance again and, believe me, I won't be in the water anywhere any time soon," he added.
Despite the attack, the angler did not blame the gator.
"I hold no malice toward the alligator. I was in his house and he was doing what nature intended him to do - guarding his home and looking for something to eat," said Mr. Crutchfield.
Posted 03 May 2006 - 07:33 AM
Florida does have a some strick regs and I think one is any gator over 5 ft is a fair game to be hunted in most waters. Those 10 fters should be targeted for harvesting after this article unless they're in a game preserve and protected. :yes:
Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:43 AM
I have had a few brookies bit my waders but our water is too cold for gators.. :yes:
But that would be a scary ordeal..
Posted 04 May 2006 - 08:11 PM
Our alligators are tame kittens compared to Crocs. There are some saltwater crocs in Florida and they are super mean pieces of work.
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