“The pie and cake is mine to take,” –Don Edwards, Saddle Tramp
There is irony in the fact that some of my best opportunities to catch native wild freshwater fish exist in manmade drainage canals designed in part to turn what is naturally a swamp into solid ground.
A berm about a half mile away cordons off the real wild, the swamp water flowing southerly over limestone bedrock. But the wild creeps into the sanitized despite the best efforts of developers and trappers.
Alligators show up uninvited in golf course ponds and largemouth bass make their way into every reasonably oxygenated patch of freshwater. Out in horse country, miles away from the coast, the bass are the game. In the small canals inaccessible by bass boat or canoe they are unabashed. A long walk, with vigilance for gators, cottonmouths, and fire ants, gets rewarded.
I am a Florida expat; I haven’t lived there in 17 years but I still love much about it. But that doesn’t make me an apologist.