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Old 03-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Attention Florida members...

In November I am planning on heading down for vacation and to do a little collecting. If any one is willing to share info on good areas to find killis, Pygmy sunfish and non natives(which I'd like to be the bulk of what I return with) even some plants. Please shoot me a pm with the location and species found there, thanks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Florida is huge, what part are you visiting?
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Well I'm going to be driving so from the Georgia border south, this trip is to se the wilder parts of the state.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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Anyone??
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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You'll get more info on nanfa.org, there are several people from the central florida area. I'm in the panhandle myself, but there are a few basics.

You'll need a dipnet, you can use a cheap 1/4" mesh net from most sporting goods sections, but they tear up fairly easily, and the mesh size lets some of the nano species slip through.

I have a 'perfect dipnet' from jonah's aquarium, it was a little pricy, but it has withstood plenty of torture.

You'll also need a container to hold the fish. I use a regular flow-troll bait bucket, and I keep an igloo cooler 1/4 full of fresh dechlorinated water in the car. In between stops I dump the fish into the cooler and they are good to go for the rest of the trip.

If you plan to keep any aggressive or predatory fish, pickerel, etc, then you'll need a way to separate them from the other fish so they aren't snacking.

For small specimens you can always bag them and put them into an insulated box, they'll keep for a few days in optimal conditions.

You basically want to look for aquatic vegetation and run your net through it. Offshoots of rivers, bends in creeks, and even drainage ditches are usually pretty good spots. Once you get out there and start looking around you'll get an idea of where to go.

There are other fish caught in the clearer water, darters, shiners, etc. They are a little more tricky as the shiners are usually too fast to be dipnetted. You can use a seine net (I'm terrible at this), minnow trap, or even a tiny hook and line setup. They make these things called 'sabiki fly rigs' that are used to catch saltwater bait fish, they just so happen to work great at catching shiners also. You may have to tip the hooks with a piece of worm to get them interested.

One other important thing is to get a temporary out of state freshwater fishing license to cover you while you are here. Also get a 2nd edition peterson field guide (about $15 on amazon) to help I.D. your catch, it's an invaluable tool. Do not keep anything that you can't i.d., as it might be something endangered or restricted. If you have a smartphone you can always take a pic and upload it on site, I'd be happy to give the I.D. a shot.

There are some guides over on nanfa that go over the basics, but if you have any other questions just ask.

P.s. watch out for the tons of snakes and alligators.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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I have most of the equipment that I will need. As far as natives I am mostly looking for the smaller guys(if I could find E. gilberti that would be awesome). other than that I am going to try to get some various non natives from the southern part of the state.
The gators don't really worry me too much especially during the fall/winter part of the year any other time I would have a lookout with me.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
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You'd be surprised, I was in panama city beach a few weekends ago and ran up on a 6 footer in the drainage off of hwy 75. I was mostly joking about the alligator thing, it is kinda scary but it seems like 99% of them bolt as soon as they see me.

Pygmy sunfish are all over the place. Pretty much any vegetated area that has fish will have some. The hard part is getting the right species, some areas will have e.zonatum, e.evergladei, e.okefenokee, or e.gilberti. The range maps will help figure out where you need to be for certain fish, but in some cases there are multiple species in one area.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
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As a kid I used to swim in a lake down in pinellas, we had a lookout in the tree but after having to constantly leave the water all swimming there stopped. We later found out that it was being used as a dump for nuisance gators. I've collected mostly in Hernando county and the I get just about everything except what I'm looking for.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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One of my biggest issues at first was mesh size. Most dipnets, Seine, and cast nets are 1/4"at the smallest. You'll lose most Pygmy sunfish, least and Pygmy killies unless you can get something smaller.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #10
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I live in Lakeland (it's in between Orlando and Tampa and its in Polk county) but there is a store that has a good selection of fish SW and FW they have supply's also anyways the name is "Noulans Aquarium Super Store you can call them to get the address I'll post that later cuz I have to find the number.
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