|CATCH OF THE WEEK|
|Bill Todd, from Brewster, MA, caught and released a sheepshead on a Grassett Flats Minnow fly while fishing a shallow Sarasota Bay flat with Capt. Rick Grassett|
Snook season came to a close yesterday and gag grouper recreational harvest closes not long after -- December 4. The FWC no longer requires anglers to carry a venting tool when fishing for reef fish -- they are leaving it up to the fisherman to determine the best way to release the fish unharmed. Capt. Rick Grassett recommends looking for false albacore, tripletail and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf when conditions are good. There should also be good action with snook around lighted docks in the ICW.
Gag grouper recreational harvest closes in most Gulf waters in early December
Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.
State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1 through Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded because it follows Atlantic rules for gag grouper.
The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
These closures are an effort to help rebuild gag grouper populations in the Gulf of Mexico back to strong sustainable levels.
Snook harvest seasonal closure in Gulf starts Dec. 1
The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and will remain closed through Feb. 28, 2014, reopening to harvest March 1, 2014. Snook can continue to be caught and released during the closed season.
This and other regular season closures are designed to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather. Atlantic state and federal waters including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River will close Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2014, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2014.
Venting tool requirement removed in Gulf waters
Soon Florida anglers will no longer be required to have and use a venting tool when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters.
During its Nov. 21 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) removed the requirement in Gulf state waters, making state regulations consistent with rules in federal waters. By removing this rule, anglers will now have the freedom to determine how to best maximize survival of released reef fish using devices they feel are appropriate, depending on the circumstances.
|Capt. Rick DePaiva, from Ft. Myers, FL, battles a tarpon jumped on a fly while fishing the coastal gulf with Capt. Rick Grassett.|
Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB’s Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, caught and released trout in Sarasota Bay on flies during the past week. A strong front with winds above 20 mph pushed through earlier in the week, so with a broken trim and tilt module on my outboard and in need of maintenance I put my boat in the shop for service.
John Nelson, from Tampa, FL, his son, Mark and son-in-law, Chris, fished Sarasota Bay with me on Friday. With 3 fly anglers our plan was to wade shallow flats, but with a 10- degree drop in water temperature we didn’t find anything in that zone. We drifted deeper grass flats near Stephens Point where they caught and released trout on intermediate sink tip fly lines and Ultra Hair Clouser flies. Mark and Chris each caught and released their first saltwater trout on flies!
Fishing deep grass flats for trout, blues and more or reds and trout on shallow flats of Sarasota Bay should be good inshore options next week. Look for false albacore, tripletail and Spanish mackerel in the coastal gulf when conditions are good. There should also be good action with snook around lighted docks in the ICW.
Capt. Rick Grassett
FFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Orvis- Endorsed Outfitter Guide
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters-2011 Orvis Outfitter of the Year
Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.
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High pressure across the waters will continue to weaken tonight. A weak frontal trough will then pass south through the waters on Monday. High pressure builds over the state Tuesday then shifts east while continuing to ridge back across the waters through the remainder of the week.
North winds around 5 knots then becoming northwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Monday night will bring north winds around 5 knots then becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.
2013/12/02 Mon 06:45 a.m. -0.57 L
2013/12/02 Mon 01:25 p.m. 1.4 H
2013/12/02 Mon 05:19 p.m. 1.13 L
2013/12/02 Mon 11:04 p.m. 2.58 H
Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming south in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Tuesday night will bring southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/12/03 Tue 07:32 a.m. -0.66 L
2013/12/03 Tue 02:17 p.m. 1.36 H
2013/12/03 Tue 05:56 p.m. 1.14 L
2013/12/03 Tue 11:48 p.m. 2.61 H
South winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Wednesday night will bring southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/12/04 Wed 08:20 a.m. -0.66 L
2013/12/04 Wed 03:07 p.m. 1.31 H
2013/12/04 Wed 06:39 p.m. 1.13 L
Southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday night will bring southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/12/05 Thu 12:36 a.m. 2.56 H
2013/12/05 Thu 09:09 a.m. -0.59 L
2013/12/05 Thu 03:55 p.m. 1.29 H
2013/12/05 Thu 07:34 p.m. 1.1 L
South winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/12/06 Fri 01:29 a.m. 2.41 H
2013/12/06 Fri 09:59 a.m. -0.43 L
2013/12/06 Fri 04:41 p.m. 1.31 H
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