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Captain Favorite's Fishing Forum: June 30, 2013



Caroline Denton, of Bradenton, caught and released this nice permit while fishing with Capt. Nate Wheeler of Waypoint fishing in Summerland Key.

BRADENTON -- Scalloping season opened June 28! Be sure to read Amanda Nalley's column on the family friendly activity. Law enforcement officers all over the state will be participating in "Operation Dry Water," a program designed to cut down on BUI's, over the July 4 holiday. Gag grouper season will begin July 1 in federal waters. FWC lawmakers intend to simplify saltwater regulations in Manatee County … find out why!



Scalloping offers family-friendly fun

  • I’ll never forget my first time scalloping. It was 2008 and there I was, face down in the water, sun warming up my back, seagrass tickling my feet and legs, searching for hidden treasure and trying not to look up, lest there be something larger than me swimming about. A boat loomed above us, dive flag displayed, warning others that folks were in the water. In the distance, the Steinhatchee coast sat, waiting for our return. That was the day I fell in love with the sport of scalloping.
  • There is something calming about intensely looking through plot after plot of identical grass for a hidden shell.

You may not believe it, but I even enjoy the cleaning part (something that makes me quite popular with the scalloping crowd).

  • It is easy to see why the season is touted as a family-friendly activity. Anyone who can snorkel can participate, and if they don’t want to be in the water, relaxing in the boat is not bad either. Cleaning time is great for catching up on the latest gossip or fishing tale. And then, after all is said and done, you get to take your bounty home and make a delicious family meal.

Bay scallop season started June 28

  • Get your bay scallop bags and shucking tools ready, the recreational bay scallop season opens in Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County starting June 28, three-days earlier than the season was slated to start. The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25.
  • Governor Rick Scott asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to open the 2014 season early to provide additional opportunities to Florida’s residents and visitors, who flock to the coast to partake. The season is an economic draw to the coastal counties within the open region. This change is not expected to harm the scallop population.

FWC supports ‘Operation Dry Water’ for 6th year

  • Last year, nine people died from boating accidents related to alcohol and drug use in Florida. That represents 15 percent of the state’s boating fatalities for 2013.
  • “Alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents are preventable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section. “Even one death is too many. We want all boaters to enjoy the freedom to get out on the water and the opportunity to do it safely.”
  • That is why law enforcement agencies around the state and country are participating in “Operation Dry Water” this weekend. This nationwide, public education effort is designed to prevent alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. FWC officers, along with local law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard, will be on the lookout for boating under the influence (BUI) violations.

Gag grouper recreational harvest opening in most Gulf waters, closing in 4-county region

  • Gag grouper will open for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters and all Gulf federal waters July 1. The same day, the season will close in state waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The gag grouper recreational harvest season in Gulf of Mexico state waters, not including Franklin, Jefferson, Wakulla and Taylor counties, will remain open through Dec. 3, closing Dec. 4.

FWC moves to simplify saltwater rules in 3 counties

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a measure at its June 18 meeting in Fort Myers that will remove several outdated or redundant localized regulations in Gilchrist, Indian River and Manatee counties. These changes will go into effect as soon as possible.
  • The FWC has been working to streamline and clarify saltwater fishing rules since 2009 as part of a marine fisheries rule clean-up process. This includes reviewing existing localized rules known as Special Acts of Local Application and working with county governments to remove them if warranted. Many Special Acts were put in place before the Marine Fisheries Commission, one of the FWC’s predecessor agencies, was created, and are now no longer necessary due to more current, statewide fishing management.
  • The governments from all three counties have been working with the FWC on these changes. The FWC will be working with other counties in the future to help streamline and reduce regulations throughout the state, increasing transparency and consistency while standardizing FWC saltwater fishing management and making it easier for fishermen to access and participate in Florida fishing. The repeal of the Special Acts for these three counties is not expected to have any negative effects on Florida’s fisheries.
  • In Manatee County, seven Special Acts are slated to be removed, including ones that limit the types of gear that can be used within the waters of the county, set aggregate bag limits for saltwater fish on the Manatee River, and authorize Manatee County to regulate the harvest of finfish within the county. Current statewide regulations now address the use of gear and give the FWC the authority to regulate the harvest of saltwater fish. Repealing these conflicting and redundant rules will help clarify and simplify regulations in Manatee County.
  • To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and “Commission Meetings.”



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 several snook, lookdowns, mutton snapper and jack crevalle on DOA Lures in the Indian River at the DOA/River Palm Outdoor Writer Festival out of Jensen Beach, FL and had good action with tarpon in the coastal gulf in Sarasota on DOA Baitbusters and live baits during the past week. 


Capt. Andy Cotton and I towed our boats over to Jensen Beach (Stuart area) on Sunday for the annual DOA/River Palm Outdoor Writer Festival at River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp. Located right on the Indian River with quaint cottages, a long pier with boat dockage, swimming pool, tiki hut and a boat ramp next door, it’s a “cool place to stay” for a weekend or a week long fishing getaway.


Guides, outdoor writers and sponsors were matched up to fish the area on Monday and Tuesday. Nice snook and trout, false albacore (little tunny), tarpon and more were caught and released and numerous tarpon were jumped with DOA Lures by various anglers in the group.


Outdoor writers, Michael “Mookie” Wilson, with the Lakeland Ledger and Pete Barrett, from Jupiter, FL, fished St. Lucie Inlet with me one day.  We found some snook and jacks busting baits along a rock jetty and had some action catching and releasing them on DOA Shrimp. We also caught and released several lookdowns, a member of the jack family, and a mutton snapper around rocky areas of the inlet also on DOA Shrimp. Thanks to Mark Nichols and the entire crew at DOA Fishing Lures (www.doalures.com) and Rufus Wakeman, owner of River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp (www.riverpalmcottages.com) for hosting the event and to other sponsors,  Lazer Trokar Hooks, Shimano, Power Pro, Engel Coolers, Tailin' Toads, Johnson Outdoors (Minnkota & Humminbird), Pilar Rum and Costa Sunglasses.


The Notari family, from Longboat Key, FL and the Chicago area, tarpon fished in Sarasota with me and Capt. Jack Hartman on Thursday. Everyone had good action with 3 out of 4 anglers landing tarpon and jumping several others. The DOA Baitbuster continues to produce for my anglers with a couple of bites and 1 tarpon, an estimated 120-pound fish, caught and released by Josh Notari with the lure. The other tarpon were on a variety of live baits. Friday’s fly fishing trip had a dozen or more shots at tarpon before conditions went downhill with wind, rough water and thunderstorms closing in on us.



Tarpon fishing should remain strong next week. Look for more singles, doubles and smaller schools as fish return to the beach after spawning. You should find reds and big trout on shallow flats or edges of bars in Sarasota Bay or fish deep grass flats for trout, blues and more. Catch and release snook fishing should also be good in passes and around docks and bridges close to passes.

Tight Lines,

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.

(941) 923-7799

E-mail snookfin@aol.com


Fishing Forecast

Developing low pressure off the Florida East Coast will provide a modest increase in north to northwest flow over the next few days. Winds will turn more westerly on Wednesday as the low lifts north along the southeast coast of the United States. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring this system for potential tropical development. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms with strong gusty winds could impact the bays and near shore waters each afternoon and evening.



North winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Monday night will bring northeast winds around 5 knots then becoming northwest around 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening, then isolated thunderstorms after midnight.

2014/06/30Mon04:13 AM1.49H

2014/06/30Mon08:46 AM1.13L

2014/06/30Mon02:28 PM2.34H

2014/06/30Mon10:31 PM0.04L



West winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Tuesday night will bring northwest winds 5 to 10 knots then becoming west around 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening then isolated thunderstorms after midnight.

2014/07/01Tue04:38 AM1.56H

2014/07/01Tue09:39 AM1.1L

2014/07/01Tue03:10 PM2.21H

2014/07/01Tue11:04 PM0.15L



West winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Wednesday night will bring west winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Isolated thunderstorms in the evening.

2014/07/02Wed05:07 AM1.65H

2014/07/02Wed10:38 AM1.06L

2014/07/02Wed03:58 PM2.04H

2014/07/02Wed11:38 PM0.28L



West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Thursday night will bring west winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.

2014/07/03Thu05:40 AM1.76H

2014/07/03Thu11:45 AM1.0L

2014/07/03Thu04:53 PM1.84H



West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms.

2014/07/04Fri12:14 AM0.43L

2014/07/04Fri06:17 AM1.87H

2014/07/04Fri12:59 PM0.9L

2014/07/04Fri05:59 PM1.63H


Solunar Forecast



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