BRADENTON – 'Tis the season for tarpon and tournaments! The 6th annual Bricks and Sticks Inshore Benefit will kick off in Cape Coral on May 3-4, the very next weekend is the Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout. Tarpon are becoming more plentiful in the coastal Gulf and should be a good option next week, Capt. Rick Grassett says to look for reds and big trout in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high.
- Anglers targeting grouper in Florida state waters of the Atlantic, including Monroe County, will be able to take some of their catch home starting May 1, when the season reopens to harvest. Species included in the recreational and commercial opening are gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin and tiger grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to 3 miles out.
- The harvest of these species of grouper will remain open until Jan. 1, 2014. The harvest closure was put in place to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species.
- Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three grouper per person per day. Within this three-fish limit, anglers may possess only one gag or black grouper (not both). The captain and crew of for-hire vessels are not allowed to keep any grouper.
- Dehooking tools must be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from Atlantic reef fish.
Lee BIA's 6th Annual Bricks & Sticks Inshore Benefit
May 3-4, 2013 - Cape Coral, Florida
- Lee BIA's 6th Annual Bricks & Sticks™ Inshore Fishing Tournament is Friday, May 3 & Saturday, May 4 at Tarpon Point Marina, Cape Coral. Early registration is $180 per angler. After April 19th registration is $250 per angler. Junior anglers, children 12 and under, are $75 each. This 2-day event features Hooters and Outback dinners, live music, open bar, raffle prizes and $10,000 in cash prizes! Call 239-936-5525 or visit www.BIA.net for more information.
Mercury/SeaVee Pompano Beach Saltwater Shootout
May 9-12, 2013 - Pompano Beach, Florida
- Eligible Species include kingfish, dolphin, wahoo, tuna, cobia. Over $275,000 in cash & prizes!
- Contact: Bluewater Movements, firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-725-4010.
- 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.
Developing low pressure will move across South Florida during the weekend with more rain chances and deteriorating marine conditions. High pressure will build into the central Gulf through the early part of the work week.
East winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of thunderstorms. Thursday might will bring east winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms.
East winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A chance of thunderstorms. Friday night will bring south winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms.
Southwest winds around 15 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms. Saturday night will bring northwest winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms.
Northwest winds around 20 knots. Bay and inland waters choppy. A chance of thunderstorms. Sunday night will bring northwest winds around 15 knots then becoming west 5 to 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms.