I thought long and hard about a possible title for this post. Here’s a few that I came up with:
- Who Knew Mullet Fishing Could Be So Dangerous.
- Sea World Told Me Stingrays Were Nice
- How Many Stingrays Does It Take to Hurt a Man?
- Can’t We All Just Get Along
|This picture comes courtesy of David over at Beach Hunter|
I got a last minute phone call from my fishing buddies wanting to know if I wanted to go mullet fishing with them on Sunday. I knew this meant cleaning mullet on Monday, too. I really didn’t want to go because I felt that I had been on the go for a few weeks. But I succumbed to mullet fishing pressure, got my butt up at 3:30a, and took off for Bokeelia.
I should have known the day wasn’t going to end well when I came across a sting ray in the first little bay we fish. The sting ray came soaring past my legs with a wing span of about two feet. This does wonders for the ol’ anxiety after I’ve been watching Discovery Channel shows on stingrays and the damage they can inflict.
The day went on without fanfare. I stared down a few sting rays. They did the salt water limbo around me. It was a live and let live mentality.
But near the end of day, those damn rays couldn’t leave well enough alone. (Those rays are probably saying the same thing about my buddy.) My buddy threw his net over a pod of mullet. He then bent down in the murky Gulf water to break their necks (breaking their necks allows the blood to drain thus making the meat less strong tasting.) But instead of grabbing a mullet, he grabbed a ray, who promptly struck him twice, once in each hand.
The shots were glance blow not direct hits, or we’d been in trouble. You see, even though we’re within earshot of civilization, we might as well be a hundred miles away. We get tucked into these little mangrove islands in a foot of water. And to top it all off, we’re in little 14 foot jon boats with mini mouse motors.
My buddy walked away with some very sore hands, but it was a close call.
Be on the lookout for sting rays until the Gulf waters cool down. They’re not predatory, but they will defend themselves if messed with.