Yep, it’s spring, and the gators are doing their things. If they’re not pairing up and getting territorial where you’re at now, they will be soon. My father’s our local nuisance alligator trapper for the State, and I can tell you east central Florida is really waking up as far as the dinosaurs go
What does this mean to you? It means it’s time to start watching your steps, alligators lazing in the sun after a cold front don’t want to get back into the water, it’s cold, and they’re cold and they can’t warm themselves up. They’re sluggish, they’re moody, and the males will be looking for girlfriends any time now. Just like the fish are looking for warm spots in the water, so are the gators, and trust me, they’re in salt, too, and they’ll look just like a barnacled log or something until you’re right on top of them.
They’re also hungry… they probably haven’t eaten much or at all for a few months.
Catch and release is a great thing when done correctly, but I’ve watched people unhook fish, flop them in the water, and a gator comes up to take advantage of the wounded fish. Make sure you take the time to make sure the fish is alright before letting it go.
Trash fish… just cuz you don’t want it, don’t mean Mr. Gator doesn’t, I watch people kill “trash” fish and leave them on the bank. After they’re gone, here comes Mr. Gator to clean up the mess.
This is incidental feeding, it decreases their natural fear of humans just as much as directly throwing them bread or whatever.
95% of alligator attacks in Florida are linked to feeding and enticement….. sooooo….. refrain from taunting or throwing rocks, etc. as well, please.
Also, little gators following your lure in, are NOT attacking you. Little gator is just as interested in topwater as bass or anything else are…
If you happen to hook a gator, reel it in where it doesn’t have a long line coming out of it’s mouth, but not so close that you’re putting your hands in danger and cut it loose, if it’s a big gator, just cut it off, unless you’re using huge weight test line, it won’t cause the gator any damage. Lures and hooks will work their way out, I’ve seen gators with as many as a dozen catfish spines in the roof of their mouths, a hook won’t hurt them that bad.
If a gator’s following you around while fishing and acting aggressive or bold, please be safe and contact your state wildlife commission to bring it to their attention, especially if it is in an area that would pose a danger to children or pets. It’s bad enough when people can’t read no swimming signs or decide to get trashed and go swimming, but when it happens to a kid……..
Anyway, just wanted to remind everyone, and let those who don’t know about alligators who may be fishing in their habitat what’s up.