May 11, 2023
By Shelby Busenbark
Are gators becoming the sharks of the freshwater scene? Shiloh and Seamus Polk, 7 and 11 respectively, were bass fishing off Tamiami Trail in WCA-3 when a congregation of hungry swamp dinos (did you know that’s the technical term for a group of alligators— a congregation. Who’da thunk?) began to surround their boat in search of an easy meal. Navigating the gator minefield with a swiftness, Seamus managed to get his catch to the boat, but a case of slippery fingers quickly rewarded the closest gator for his patience. Meanwhile, lil sis celebrates his misfortune— what else are sisters for?
Don’t worry, Seamus managed to get his hold-up picture with an even bigger catch later that day.
But this video got me wondering, is this a common occurrence in freshwater? Are we indirectly training predators to associate the noise of our motors and the presence of our boats with the promise of an effortless dinner? That sure seems the case in saltwater where increasing numbers of sharks have become regular boat-side visitors on offshore outings. At this point, it almost seems like it’s a matter of when, not if, they will make their appearance to collect their dues.
So my question to you is, have you seen gators exhibiting this behavior? Was it in a popular area, visited by anglers regularly, or was it a low-traffic spot? Did they approach before or after you started fishing? We'd love to hear what you think in the comments of the original posts on Facebook or Instagram.