BRADENTON – Snook season in the Gulf will reopen on March 1, and the FWC seeking publc input on reef fish data collection in their upcoming meetings. A cold front will slowly move through the waters producing showers and isolated thunderstorms. Winds will increase ahead of and behind the cold front with portions of the marine area reaching exercise caution levels. High pressure will then build north of the region Thursday through the upcoming weekend with winds and seas remaining below headline thresholds.
Snook to reopen in Gulf state waters
- The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier game fish, snook, reopens on March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.
- In the Gulf, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license unless exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.
- It is illegal to buy or sell snook.
Gulf reef fish workshops scheduled for March
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting several public workshops in early March to gather public input on a proposal that would improve recreational reef fish data collection.
- The proposal would create a mandatory permit or registry system for Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers who target reef fish like red snapper, grouper, amberjack and gray triggerfish. This system will help researchers better define the number of offshore anglers and help them contact these anglers to gather additional data. Get your voice heard on this important topic by attending an in-person workshop or a phone conference.
Swordfish management pays off in expanded fishing opportunities effective Feb. 13
- Swordfish management is a success story. Overfished in the 1980s and ’90s, the swordfish stock has since been fully rebuilt, thanks to domestic and international conservation measures.
- Recently, NOAA Fisheries Highly Migratory Species Division created a new open-access commercial swordfish fishery in federal waters to provide additional commercial swordfish harvest opportunities using gears that minimize bycatch.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to state rules recently, many of which will allow fishermen who participate in this new commercial fishery to land and sell their catch in Florida. Recently adopted changes will go into effect Feb. 13.
- Several changes to state rules are also consistent with existing federal rules, including a change to the cleithrum-to-keel (see image below) minimum size limit for recreational and commercial swordfish harvest.
- For more information visit the website at http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2014/february/06/swordfish/
Weekend Fishing Forcast
A cold front will move south through the waters the remainder of tonight followed by a wind shift to the north. High pressure will build north of the waters during Friday and into the upcoming weekend before moving east into the Atlantic on Monday.
North winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of showers. Thursday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers in the evening.
Northeast winds around 10 knots becoming north around 5 knots in the afternoon.Bay and inland waters a light chop. Friday night will bring northeast winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
Northeast winds around 5 knots becoming north in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth.Saturday night will bring north winds around 10 knots becoming northeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Southeast winds around 10 knots becoming southwest around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Sunday night will bring west winds around 5 knots becoming south after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.