Species: Mangrove Snapper (Lutjanus griseus)
Location: Graffiti Bridge, Pensacola, FL
Date: August 1, 2017
When I finally caught a fish that wasn’t a Pinfish in Pensacola, I was stoked. I was fishing below the Graffiti Bridge and if the name doesn’t suggest this, it’s not the place you go to feel safe.
In my time there, I quickly befriended two people fishing nearby who were entertained by the small fish I was catching even as they tried for something bigger.
Their squid and minnows weren’t working as well as my shrimp, and they were entertained by all of the Pinfish I was catching. But not catching fish was the least of their worries.
The woman in the pair decided to try and “wade” in the filthy, brackish water. After removing her flip-flops, she promptly sliced her foot open on the sharp rocks below. It was a deep cut, and I was terrified she’d be dead from infection before night fell, but she was a trooper and continued fishing.
It wasn’t long before I caught the Mangrove Snapper — a new species. Like the Pinfish, it hit shrimp. I promptly released it and went back to fishing, but it was at this point I noticed an obvious drug deal going down in the parking lot.
I made sure to lock my car, and the telltale “BEEP BEEP” drew the attention of the guys in the car. I locked my eyes back on the lagoon and hoped I wasn’t about to feel a bullet tear through my flesh. Fortunately, the regulators mounted up and got out of there without incident.
The bleeding person to my left was clearly bleeding a lot, and I worried if I’d outlast them in this corner of Hell I’d parked in that just happened to have great fishing…
Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #95 — Red Drum.