What do you do if you accidently hook or snag a seaturtle while fishing in Florida?
The good news for both you and the seaturtles is ... it probably won't happen.
But, it might.
This young sea turtle swam too close to one of our lures and snagged a flipper. We were not able to remove the hook from his tough scaley, skin while he was in the water due to his efforts to swim away, so I used the dip net to lift him in to the boat for the 10 seconds Denny needed to pop the hook loose.
In no time this little guy was back in the water hunting the grassflats and avoiding the tiger sharks who hunt him.
The FWC (Florida Wildlife Commission) has specific guidelines for dealing with a hooked seaturtle. It turns out that we unknowingly followed them by applying common sense along with a sense of urgency in getting the turtle back into the ocean quickly and with minimal stress.
The actual guidelines can be found here.
Snagging a turtle is a pretty rare event, but if you are out there often enough, it could happen.
Check out the link above for more information.
Anyone who thinks turtles are slow has never seen a sea turtle kick it into high gear.
Watch the short video below to see what I mean.