BRADENTON – Alas, stone crab season is coming to a close on to,orrow, so be sure to quench your crab claw fix today. Several fishing tournaments are scheduled throughout the month, and contributing Captain Rick Grassett says that tarpon season has come on strong this year. Besides tarpon, reds, trout and snook on shallow grass flats of Sarasota Bay are also a good angling option this time of year. An unexpected cold front is supposed to move in on Monday, then dissipate mid-week.
Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout
May 9-12, 2013 - Pompano Beach, Florida
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- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its April 17 meeting near Tallahassee, moved forward unanimously with a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries.
- The tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only proposal includes the following potential changes for management in state and federal waters off Florida:
- Eliminating all harvest of tarpon with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.
- Keeping the tarpon tag price at $50 per tag but limiting them to one tag per person, per year.
- Modifying the tarpon tag program, including reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid.
- Discontinuing the bonefish tournament exemption permit that allows tournament anglers to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.
- The proposal will be brought back before the Commission for a final public hearing at its June meeting in Lakeland.
- In a separate discussion, the Commission also reviewed how gear is being used for the tarpon fishery in Boca Grande Pass. The Commission directed staff to re-examine the definition of snagging and redefine what gear can be used in the Pass. This issue will likely be brought before the Commission at the June meeting as a draft proposal. More information is available at MyFWC.com/Commission.
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on April 17 at its meeting near Tallahassee discussed waiving the commercial and recreational bag limit and the recreational license requirement for divers harvesting lionfish using certain gear.
- In August 2012, the FWC put a temporary rule in place that waived the recreational fishing license requirement when targeting lionfish with a hand-held net, pole spear, Hawaiian sling or any other spearing device designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish. This temporary rule change also removed any bag limits when recreationally or commercially harvesting lionfish. Prior to the change, recreational anglers could not catch more than 100 pounds of lionfish without being required to have a commercial license.
- The temporary rule change expires Aug. 3.
- The Commissioners will finalize the license waiver and the bag limit removal at their June meeting in Lakeland.
- Lionfish are a nonnative, invasive species that negatively impact Florida’s native saltwater fish and wildlife. Currently, the most effective method of removing lionfish from Florida waters is by spearing or using a hand-held net. Removing the license requirements and bag limits will increase lionfish harvest opportunities.
- For more on the proposal presented to Commissioners, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.”
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a 44-day recreational red snapper season for Gulf of Mexico state waters at its meeting April 17 in Tallahassee. State waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles in Gulf waters.
- This season will start June 1 and end July 14. It is inconsistent with the current proposed federal season.
- Federal fishery managers recently passed a rule that grants NOAA Fisheries the authority to shorten the federal recreational red snapper season off states that adopt inconsistent red snapper regulations. The current estimate of the recreational red snapper season is 21 days in federal waters off the Gulf coast of Florida.
- While the federal limit for how many pounds of red snapper can be caught has increased, the season length has gotten shorter over the past few years because of more fishing effort and larger fish, according to federal fishery managers.
- The Commission chose to go inconsistent based on reports that the upcoming federal stock assessment would likely show red snapper populations are doing better than previously thought and reports from anglers that the fishery is improving.
Surface high pressure from the western Atlantic ridging west across the north Central Peninsula will remain in control through the upcoming weekend and into early next week. An east southeast wind flow is expected over the Gulf waters with an onshore sea breeze component developing along the coast each afternoon.
Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming west around 5 knots late in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday night will bring northwest winds around 5 knots then becoming southeast in the late evening and overnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.
Southeast winds around 5 knots then becoming west late in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. Friday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots then becoming east toward morning. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Southeast winds around 10 knots then becoming southwest around 5 knots late in the morning...then then becoming west early in the afternoon then becoming northwest around 5 knots late in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms. Saturday night will bring north winds around 10 knots then becoming east toward morning. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Southeast winds around 5 knots then becoming southwest around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters smooth. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sunday night will bring northeast winds around 5 knots then becoming east around 10 knots toward morning. Bay and inland waters a light chop.