David Graham from Fort Myers, Florida made the catch of life over the weekend. On Saturday, June 25, he caught not just one, but two Gulf limes – a species few people have ever seen, let alone fixed on a rod and coil.
Graham calls himself an “enthusiast of many kinds” and runs a personal blog that describes in detail his unusual captures. He decided to take a last-minute weekend trip on the Suwannee River in northern Florida. He had heard that the river holds a Gulf lime and noticed that the photos he had seen of fish penetrating the surface were usually taken in late June and early July. Graham drove up to the river from his hometown on Friday to camp along the river bank. He brought a beautiful camera, hoping to take some pictures of the linden tree jumping out of the water. He also brought fishing gear, planning to catch the bow and catfish, though the opportunity to catch a Gulf lime was on his mind.
“It felt like he was playing the lottery,” he told F&S. “Just when I reached the mouth of a torrent-filled river feeding in Suwannee, I saw a leaping lime. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, they’re really here.'”
Graham braided four rods, two of them with shrimp and two with frozen shrimp. He fished from 5pm to 1am that night but got no bites. The weather was rainy and the fishing remained dead the next morning. The only thing that really kept Graham interested was the purchase that sporadically burst the water. By mid-Saturday morning, Graham was about to resign. “I was waiting for the rain to stop,” he says. “Immediately after it stopped, I was walking back and forth watching the leap jump, when I looked and one of my rods was bent at a difficult angle, but it was not moving. I thought she was caught. I picked it up and pressed a little to pull it, and it started to pull. Even then, I thought it might be a giant turtle. I put the hook and then all hell exploded. “
Graham was suddenly tied to a Gulf lime – and to a large one. He was using a surfboard with a Penn Spinfisher LL 8500 winding braided 150 pounds and a 200 pound steering wheel. The fish got one of the shrimp-mounted rods. “I caught big alligator races before, but the purchase was faster and more powerful,” Graham says. “He did a bubble run uphill and then he turned and went downstream and did another run.”
Graham says the fight lasted about 15 minutes. The block did not jump, but continued “bulldogging” all the time. Eventually, Graham was able to take the monster fish to the shallows. He held the fish in the water as he shot some pictures of himself. He estimated he was 6 feet tall and weighed over 150 pounds. After releasing the fish safely, he sat for a few minutes to gather his thoughts. “I honestly just wanted to leave. I wanted to call everyone I knew and remove the footage from the camera and on my phone, “he says.” So I’m sitting there about to leave, and I look and the other rod that was shrimp bait is pulsing slowly . I ran and tied myself to that fish. “
After another fierce battle, Graham had landed another Gulf lime, a species that only a few fishermen have ever reported catching. “Hunting many species of fish is all I ever do,” he says. “Gulf owl is one of those fish I learned is here in the country. “I never thought in a million years someone would bite.”
The Gulf Block is an anatomical fish that lives in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the southeastern United States. They are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act as their population is threatened by dams on rivers on the Gulf Coast, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They can reach a length of over 8 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. The species is associated with the white lizard, which is commonly caught in the Northwest Pacific. The surgeon is growing slowly and can live for more than 40 years. They evolved from ancestors who lived more than 225 million years ago.
“I have a particular penchant for prehistoric fish from long mushrooms to arches – things that have lived and stood the test of time,” Graham says. “This is an animal that survived everything that killed 70 percent of life on earth, including dinosaurs. “I’m just dizzy about things like that.”
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“I caught a lot of delightful fish, but it was so enjoyable to catch a Gulf lime that it was almost disappointing in a weird way,” he adds. “It made me want to go home, which is not normal. Typically, when I catch fish, I’m excited and want to keep fishing. But it was such a culminating moment, happy that it was all I needed. “I do not think anything I have caught for the rest of my life would match it in terms of rarity.”