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Florida's Strange Creatures

Bristle worms are an “alien-like” catch that you may not want to touch.

Florida Sportsman member Onewolf took this underwater image of a bristle worm.

Every couple weeks, a Florida Sportsman member seems to post a strange catch that they just can't identify. Other members are quick to respond with their own thoughts and on-the-water experiences, and soon a correct identification is found.

It's what makes the Florida Sportsman Forums so helpful.

But what if the unidentified catch isn't even a fish? Strange crabs, shrimp, snails, worms and other creatures all navigate Florida's subtropical waters. Many are meat-eaters too, so at some point they're likely to find your baited shrimp.



Florida Sportsman member khaos2442 recently posted a catch that had many members scratching their heads. There are strange fish in Florida, no doubt, but this worm-like creature was red in color, had little “quills” all along its body, not much of a face, and no fins or scales apparent. In fact, it looked like the star monster out of a cheesy horror flick.

A number of forum members quickly identified the creature as a bristle worm. Bristle worms are polychaetes, a class of annelid marine worm. Many members had experiences with these weird creatures, too.

“I was just snorkeling along in the keys, enjoying the flora and fauna on the bottom, and I come across one of those things which are pretty common down there,” said Florida Sportsman member Surfman. “Of course I have to touch it, and I did. The bristles are basically not hair but needle sharp spines that have no problem imbedding themselves into flesh with the slightest touch.”

Check out the forum thread about the bristle worm. Add your input; have you had any weird experiences with this prehistoric-looking marine worm? Can you one-up the bristle worm in weirdness?

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