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Author Topic: Yesterdays paddle  (Read 666 times)

JackL

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Yesterdays paddle
« on: November 20, 2015, 05:27:46 AM »
It was a fun day in the Florida Keys

The wind was out of the east, so naturally we paddled on the west side of the Keys launching from a small wayside park on grassy Key called Sunset  Bay Park.
 We headed south west exploring the mangrove shoreline shallows where we saw a pair of Nurse sharks together, a Lemon shark and then one that was different from the normal ones we see that I think might have been a tiger Shark, but the most  extraordinary thing and a first ever for us was a Parrot fish round –up that we are sure no one else has ever experienced.
 At one point, we saw up in front of us and coming right toward us a large V shaped wave that we at first thought was a large shark or some other big fish, but as it got closer, we could see fish tales flapping above the surface all over the place and then the shape of fish. We sat perfectly still so we wouldn’t  spook them, but then when they were just about to pass us, they saw us and panicked and the water boiled with them as they turned back toward where they were coming from. It was then that we could see the beautiful reds and green of their bodies and realized that they were Parrot fish which we later identified as “Redband Parrot Fish”.
 I immediately took off after them, and after about fifty feet or so realized that I could actually paddle faster than they could swim, so I yelled to Nanci to just stay where she was and I would  head out and around them, and then cut in  front of them to turn them back to her. It took another few hundred feet, but it worked just as I thought it would, and once they turned  I chashed them right back to her where they once again panicked, but this time the school, (which we estimated to be twenty or thirty) split with one half passing by her and the other half turning and passing by me. They were absolutely beautiful with the sun shining off  their reds and greens in the crystal clear  sixteen inch deep water.
 We continued our round up, until I finally wore out and gave up, and we continued on our way.
 It was a good flotsam day in the mangroves with us finding a hand fishing net, some good crab trap bouy balls to string off the front of the trailer, and our annual souvenir plastic chair which we found on Long Point Key and Nanci wallowed in the waist  deep water to tie on the back of my kayak .
 On the way back, much to our surprise the Redband Parrot fish were in the same location as before, and we once again did some chasing, but with the chair on the back of the kayak, I wore out much quicker then before, and we gave up much sooner .

 I doubt  if we’ll ever again experience a Parrot fish round up again!

Jack L


 

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