Fish, Feathers and Fur
The weather is the typical summer-time fishing weather hot, humid and thunderstorms. The good news is that several captains are seeing the cold water is resolving but it is still spotty yet. Fish seem to be marking better, however.
The dolphin have moved north with no reports of any being caught this week. SST’s are 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The King Mackerel continues to be the main trolling fish - mostly on wrecks and artificial reefs and barracudas. are also being caught. Capt. John Krall continues to slam the kingfish, red snapper. and grouper. Cobia are under debris and loggerhead turtles. Nobody has seen any rays. Several sailfish have been caught recently. Little tunny are still testing the endurance of the light line anglers. The bottom bite for back sea bass, trigger fish, vermillion and Lane snapper has slowed but continues to be good. A lot of genuine American red snapper were landed this week. Amberjack continue to give anglers great fights.
A little deeper the gags and red grouper are being caught. Past the 28 fathom curve, snowy & scamp grouper, as well as big red porgies have been boated. In the surf some whiting, quite a few flounder and many black drum have been caught. There gave been also several kingfish caught just beyond the breakers.
Sheepshead, spotted sea trout, bluefish and whiting have also been reeled in.. Several small bonnet head sharks have also been caught in the surf. In the Inlet, Capt. Fred Robert reports the water temperature is in the mid-seventies at the inlet. He also reports there are a lot of Jack Crevalle and bluefish. Quite a few flounder were also landed. Big Tarpon (100 pounds and up) are now here. In the Halifax River, flounder, and mangrove snapper are providing a lot of the action as they feed upon the schools of fingerling mullet. Red drum are also being caught sporadically. Many disturbances on the water are being seen as the Jack Cravelle rip into the schools of pogies and mullet in the river. At night, the dock lights are still holding speckled trout. In the lagoon redfish, gray snappers, Jack Crevalle and ladyfish are providing anglers plenty of action. Tarpon are in the various channels. Most fish are being caught on shrimp and cut bait. There are a lot of crabs in the water. In the Tomoka area, Capt. Kent Gibbens states that the change of salinity from the rain is driving the snook into the river. There are also reports of reds, trout and flounder in the river but not too many pompano have been caught in the river. In the lagoon, Capt. John Tarr that there are a lot of redfish and black drum in the lagoon but the bite was slow. He says the water temperature is 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit and the water is up. Tarpon are hanging around the channels. News from the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) credits Officer Brett Gill for saving the life of a woman by entering a vehicle on fire, risking his own life, and pulled her to safety. This occurred about one a.m. on CR 231 near SR 100 in Union County. Apparently Gill was off-duty and was driving home when a visibly distressed woman flagged him down and told him there was a crash and the car was on fire. He called 911 and followed the woman to the crash site where there was a crowd of people standing around a car that was fully engulfed in flames. The woman was lying across the front seat and her legs and skirt was on fire. Gill grabbed her arms, pulled her out of the car, and rolled her on the ground to put out the fire. Apparently the vehicle struck a power pole after the driver ran a stop sign according to witnesses. The driver had perished in the fiery crash before Gill arrived. While awaiting the ambulance, the vehicle exploded but nobody was injured. The 28 year old woman was flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville. Two brothers from Milton Florida are the latest victims to get clobbered by a leaping sturgeon. The Parish brothers Sam, 43, and Chris, 25, were leisurely bass fishing on the Yellow River when a leaping Gulf sturgeon about five to six feet long came over the bow of their boat and hit both men in their faces and upper bodies causing minor cuts, scrapes and bruises. Neither man needed medical treatment. The sturgeon ended back in the river. It is not known why sturgeon leap although many unproven suggestions have been offered. Sturgeons, which may grow to eight feet and weigh up to 200 pounds, have been known to kill people by leaping.
They are a protected species in Florida. Three airboat captains in the Everglades found that feeding alligators does not pay and it is illegal. In response to complaints from the public about airboat captains feeding alligators, FWC law enforcement officers conducted an undercover operation that resulted in the arrests of three captains from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Hialeah for feeding and molesting alligators. The undercover agents were among the many tourists who signed up for airboat rides at Everglades Holiday Park in western Broward County. During the tour, the officers witnessed and photographed the captains feeding large alligators. Tourists, including children, leaned over the edge of the airboats to photograph the approaching alligators. At one point, an alligator, anxious for food, bumped one of the airboats. The actions of these individuals teach tourists and visitors that it is OK to feed and touch alligators, which puts the lives of anyone imitating these actions in jeopardy according to a FWC spokesperson. In addition, the alligators will perceive humans as a source of food. To report any wildlife violations call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.
The recreational and commercial harvest seasons for lobster in Florida are set to open starting with the special two day spiny lobster sport season on July 30 and 31this year. The regular season will then start August 6, 2008 and goes through the end of March 2009. Yearly the two day sports seasons occur the last Wednesday and Thursday in July which allows the recreational fisherman to collect spiny lobsters before the lobster traps go into the water. The commercial fisherman can begin putting their traps in the water on August 1, and recreational and commercial fishermen can start harvesting on August 6. Remember that the carapace length must be greater than 3 inches to be legally taken during the open season and you must possess a measuring device and measure all lobsters in the water. You also must have a recreational saltwater fishing license as well as a spiny lobster permit to harvest spiny lobsters, unless you are exempt from the recreational license requirements.
The daily limit for the sportsman season is six lobsters per person daily in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park and twelve lobsters per person daily in other Florida waters. Possession of no more than the daily limit of lobsters on the water is legal. When off the water, you may possess double the daily bag limit and possession limits are enforced on and off the water especially during the sportsman seasons. Night diving for spiny lobsters is not permitted in Monroe County during the sportsman season and all lobster fishing is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the two day season. There are also no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as well as Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park. During the regular season from August 6, 2008 and March 31, 2009 the daily recreational bag and on the water possession limit is six lobsters per person It has been written; “Don’t clean your fish before you catch them..” So whether you charter, ride a head boat, run your own vessel, stay in the river, surf fish, or fish from shore or a bridge- there are fish to be caught. Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it is so much more important than that. Tight lines. Capt. Budd
About the Blogger
Capt. Budd Neviaser
Capt. Budd Neviaser is a life-long resident of New Smyrna Beach who has fished the Intracoastal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean most of his life.