Tag Archives: oscar fish

FLORIDA: The Ditch Slam

The Tri-Rail

The whole thing started with the least of expectations. I had a rod and some time to kill due to a delayed appointment. I made some casts. I caught nothing. I drove to the appointment. Delayed again, for another hour.

I google mapped. I found nearby water. I tried a new fly.

The Mayan Cichlid

On my first cast I caught a mayan cichlid. Sweet.

Then I saw a dark swirling shape hanging out near a submerged drain pipe. I made a cast.

The Largemouth Bass

A largemouth bass with a middling amount of heft liked my offering. OK, cool.

I released the bass. Then I saw two bulbous fish cruising the shoreline at a fast clip. I made a lead cast. One charged like a mofo.

The Oscar

It took off with the force of a Tri-Rail and I had to run down the bank for 20 feet or so until it settled. Actually took me to the reel. My uncertified genero-grip registered the openly hostile oscar at around two-pounds.

What an ornery little cuss.

This became interesting. The fly I had tied on looked similar to a juvie peacock, proving the cardinal law of fish: Everything eats everything. Could I make some sort of slam out of this?

My cell phone rang. I had to meet my appointment in 15 minutes. I was five minutes away.

Would a peacock bass hit a fly that looked kind of like a littler peacock?

The Peacock Bass

Death don’t have no mercy.

FLORIDA: Bass and a New Weird Species

The bass can't resist the popper.
The bass can't resist the popper.

Going to high school reunions is a phenomenon we all must endure at some point, and so it was with my 20th down in Florida. I guess we had a hell of a class back in the day, as everyone who came back turned out to be pretty solid.

The fly ride.
The fly ride.

I stayed at my buddy Z’s house out in horse country. When you live in horse country you can have cool wheels like a John Deere Gator that your friends can take to explore the resident fly water. Z also has a center console that he took offshore dolphin fishing on Friday morning. I didn’t get there until Friday evening. I had three phone calls from the boat by the time I landed. Which means they were catching fish. Fishing friends don’t call unless to mock you for their success in your absence. Thankfully I got to experience some of their seven boated 10-15 pound mahi on the grill.

A badass oscar that mauled my popper.
A badass oscar that mauled a popper.

Bass fishing became my consolation prize. And because of it I added a new weird Florida invasive to my curriculum vitae. I’ve seen oscars act the badass bully in fish tanks and in the wilds of a Florida ditch it played the part. Rocked the popper and fought disproportionately hard for its size. Good times.