posted on Jul, 18 2019 @ 09:48 PM
Well, here's the deal...I encountered a "black" panther/jaguar one time in the Florida Everglades. I was in a fishing contest which had started at
midnight. We went out at exactly midnight. We were fishing for Snook, and Redfish, in the mangroves of the "Ten Thousand Islands" off the coast of
Marco Island, Florida. We were trolling needlefish at sunrise, and I hooked a BIG Snook! We had swung a wide loop in some shallows with a lot of
bait fish. It was a big fish, and it took a while to reel it in. We immediately pulled out away from the mangroves, trying to keep him/her from
running through the roots and breaking the line (something Snook are famous for). It was a big fish, and it was peeling line off my reel.
It did get tangled up in the mangrove roots, but it was still on the line. It was a legal catch. So we pulled up to the island and sorted out the
snag. Hauled the fish over the side and put it in the locker (I would win 2nd place in the fishing contest).
We were in shallow water, less than a foot or so deep. Our 24' boat was digging bottom, and we had to raise the engine. It was just about daylight,
but not quite. I was using a spotlight to get the fish in the boat. We were right there when we saw the green eyes. It was a black panther (I guess
a jaguar by today's standards). It was jet black, and it was moving around on the shore, looking at the fish.
We had heard about big cats out in the Everglades from a old fishing guide we used to go out with, and he had a cat on his wall (which he nearly went
to jail for). I didn't believe they were real...and then we saw one that morning.
The funny part was, I had hiked around on that island endlessly. Me and my friend always used to go there and go hiking. Never saw any tracks. We
even camped on that island a couple of times.
But, then again, they do swim...so I don't know.