My First In Florida

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 042016

One of the things that really sold us on our house is that the little manufactured home community we live in has its own private 300 foot fishing pier on the Indian River, along with a private boat launch. But we’ve been here over a month, and except for one quick adventure dipping shrimp with nets, I had not been fishing yet. I decided yesterday would be a good day to remedy that disgraceful situation.

So about 4 PM I threw a fishing rod in the back of the pickup and drove down to the dock to try my luck. We don’t have much fishing gear, something I need to remedy very soon, but I did have a couple of plugs, and tied a white and yellow one on my line. I’m not even sure if the plug I had was for the kind of fish we have here in the Intercoastal Waterway, but I figured what the heck, I’d give it a try.

Sometimes the mosquitoes and No See Ums can be really nasty, especially late in the day, so I slathered on some Avon Bug Guard, because those bloodthirsty little suckers always use me for a buffet when I show up. I just got it from Amazon, and if yesterday’s experience was any indicator, it’s good stuff. Not one bug bite in the whole hour and a half or so that I was down on the dock. Amazon also sells Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Towelettes. I just got some yesterday, but have not tried them out yet.


There was a young man leaving the dock about the time I showed up, and he said he had gotten a few bites and caught a couple of small ones, but let them go. I made a few casts with no success, but that was okay because the resident dolphins were putting on a show for me, rolling in the water and snorting as they swam by. Twice one came up out of the water and waved his tail as it went back under. That alone was worth being there.

On about my 15th or 20th cast, I finally got a hit and landed this guy. I’m not very familiar with the different fish species in this area yet, but according to a Facebook fishing group for here, it’s a Southern kingfish, also known as a whiting. Or maybe a lizard fish. Or a flying fish. Or a…. Yeah, don’t bother asking questions on Facebook if you really need an answer. According to Google and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website, it is a whiting, aka kingfish.


He wasn’t very big, but that’s okay, it was still the first fish I ever caught in Florida. I carefully removed the hook from his mouth and put him back in the water, where he swam away to tell his fishy friends to watch out for the giant fuzzy guy on the dock. I guess they listened to him, because that was the only bite I got while I was down there.

But I did see something I had never seen before, this mantis shrimp. It was huge, easily 6 to 8 inches long, and at first I thought it was some kind of lobster. In case you’ve never seen one of these giant shrimp before (it was my first one), they are excellent eating. But you have to be careful handling them because they can whip their tail around and break a finger or thumb. I didn’t have any kind of net with me, or else he’d have been home and on our grill in a heartbeat.



I’ve always wanted to live on the water, and so far, I’m loving it! Now if I could just figure out what kind of boat works best in this area. I started out wanting a pontoon boat, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that they don’t navigate the shallow waters around here very well if you want to do much fishing, and that a flats boat is a better option. The other problem with a pontoon boat is that while our garage is huge (1100 square feet), it has a standard height door of about 7 feet tall, which is too low to get a pontoon inside. So that might make the decision for me. Then, of course, I’ve got to get another book or two out so I can afford to buy a boat. It’s always something!

Today is your last chance to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.


Thought For The Day – Don’t blame the holidays, you were fat in August.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “My First In Florida”

  1. The next time you’re out riding around, stop by the local bait shop, they have a newspaper type magazine that lists all the fish in season, It’s like a playboy magazine for fisherman, And the articles are good to?
    as well as find out the best type of bait and gear to use.
    Another week or two, were probably going to see a sticker on the back of your truck window it’s going to say. Fish ? Life Or. Women love me and Fish- fear- me

  2. That’s my idea of a great day. By now I’d have 2,000 pictures of that dolphin!!

  3. Sounds like you will end up with a john boat Nick.

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