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Captain Favorite's Weekend Fishing Forecast: Nov. 21, 2013


BRADENTON – A new study by the Audubon Society and the Pew Center found that the food supply of Florida’s coastal birds may be threatened due to a diminishing number of baby fish in estuaries. Weekend closures begin Nov. 23 for Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster harvesters and two license-free fishing days will take place over the holidays. Folks at Weather Underground are predicting blustery conditions in the bay area through Friday morning followed by a cold front on Saturday that could create hazardous boating conditions.

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Audubon and Pew: Florida’s Coastal Birds Could Face Threat to Food Supply

Researchers Recommend Protecting Small Fish as a Vital Food Source

  • Already pressured by a steady loss of habitat, many of Florida’s imperiled and iconic coastal waterbirds are vulnerable to declines in small fish that are necessary for their survival, according to a report by Audubon Florida and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Fins and Feathers: Why little fish are a big deal to Florida’s coastal waterbirds” examines the crucial link between birds and the diverse array of small fish that are a critical food source. Declines in the populations of these fish, known alternatively as forage fish, prey fish or baitfish, could threaten imperiled birds such as Brown Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Black Skimmers and Reddish Egrets, according to the report. 
  • “In Florida, our environment is directly linked to our quality of life and our economy,” said Julie Wraithmell, Audubon’s director of wildlife conservation. “This report shows how important baitfish are to Florida’s coastal birds, environment, communities and economy. Fisheries policy must consider the ecological and economic vitality that hinges on these smallest of fish.”
  • Few regulations limit the amount of forage fish such as sardines and herring that are hauled out of Florida’s coastal waters each year. Forage fish are used for bait, food and commercial products ranging from fertilizer to fish meal. Worldwide demand is growing. In 2012, seven main types of forage species, including sardines, scads, herrings, ballyhoo and mullet, accounted for 20 percent of all commercial catch off Florida. Commercial fishermen, for example, caught more than 9 million pounds of mullet that year, mostly for their eggs, which are sold around the world as a delicacy. 
  • For additional information, including details on specific species, see the full report here at Pew: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/reports/fins-and-feathers-why-little-fish-are-a-big-deal-to-floridas-coastal-waterbirds-85899521601


Weekend closures begin Nov. 23 for Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster harvesters

  • The commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays starting Nov. 23.
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulations provide for the automatic weekend closure of the oyster harvest in Apalachicola Bay each year when resources on monitored oyster bars cannot sustain a harvest of 300 bags of oysters per acre. Data collected in August and November indicate that there are likely fewer than 200 bags per acre of legal-sized oysters available on East Hole Bar and fewer than 225 bags per acre of legal-sized oysters on Cat Point Bar.
  • These weekend closures will remain in effect through May 31, 2014.


Holidays bring fishing bonuses 

  • Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday and for many people represents their only four-day holiday. So what better time to offer license-free fishing days? Friday, Nov. 29, will be a license-free freshwater fishing day, followed by a saltwater license-free day on Nov. 30.
  • To round out the gift-giving, Saturday, Dec. 28, was also designated as a license-free freshwater fishing day.
  • In 2013, the Legislature authorized the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to offer four additional license-free fishing days annually. FWC Commissioners subsequently implemented a long-term strategy to encourage introducing new anglers to recreational fishing, and to give those who haven’t been fishing recently another incentive to enjoy time on the water. Since the dates for some of these long-term options had already passed in 2013, they also picked the one-time-only dates mentioned above to make sure anglers got all the free-days the Legislature authorized.


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Fishing Forecast 

High pressure to the north of the area will continue to produce northeast flow across the eastern Gulf for the next few days. Northeasterly wind surges will continue in the late evening and will bring winds to cautionary levels from the Tampa Bay area northward tonight. Winds look to become lighter after sunrise on Friday reducing winds and seas into the first half of the weekend. A significant cold frontal passage appears likely on Saturday night and into Sunday with hazardous boating conditions possible in its wake.


East winds around 10 knots then becoming northeast around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Thursday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/11/21Thu12:58 a.m.2.33H

2013/11/21Thu09:27 a.m.-0.13L

2013/11/21Thu04:08 p.m.1.42H

2013/11/21Thu08:03 p.m.1.23L


Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Friday night will bring east winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/11/22Fri01:40 a.m.2.21H

2013/11/22Fri10:09 a.m.-0.04L

2013/11/22Fri04:50 p.m.1.45H

2013/11/22Fri09:04 p.m.1.23L


Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Saturday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.

2013/11/23Sat02:28 a.m.2.04H

2013/11/23Sat10:54 a.m.0.07L

2013/11/23Sat05:34 p.m.1.5H

2013/11/23Sat10:24 p.m.1.2L


Northeast winds 10 to 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of thunderstorms may increase winds and seas. Sunday night will bring northeast winds around 20 knots diminishing to 10 to 15 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters choppy. A slight chance of showers in the evening.

2013/11/24Sun03:27 a.m.1.84H

2013/11/24Sun11:42 a.m,0.19L

2013/11/24Sun06:17 p.m.1.58H

2013/11/24Sun11:56 p.m.1.1L

Solunar Forecast



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