Saturday, February 24, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Red snapper season extended by six days

Making news

Red Snapper season Open for six extra days

Gulf anglers got good news last week when it was announced the current red snapper harvest season will be extended six days this year, through July 16.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries decided to give anglers a few more days to fish because of all the bad weather in June. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to adopt the same extension for state waters at its meeting in Palm Beach Gardens on June 28.

Florida state waters in the gulf extend from shore to 9 nautical miles; federal waters extend beyond that line to 200 nautical miles.

Fishing

Angler recognition program evolves

Anglers love to tell stories. It seems like a fish that has been caught and released always gets a little bigger and heavier by the time you get back to the dock. But there is a way to document the catch so there will be no more doubters.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Big Catch Angler Recognition Program allows anglers to report and register a fish based on length or weight. All you need is a photo or witness to help document the application.

The idea is to not only recognize angler accomplishments but collect information on where big fish are caught to share with other anglers. According to the FWC, since 1990, more than 7,500 Big Catch certificates have been issued. That's nearly one per day.

Up until now, the program has focused on several species of bass. But as of July 1, yellow perch, Mayan cichlid and jaguar guapote are now on the official list. You can also qualify for a "freshwater grand slam" if you catch a largemouth, spotted, shoal and Suwannee bass in the same year. Panfishermen can be rewarded for catching any four of the following all in one day: bluegill, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish or flier. To learn more, go to MyFWC.com and click on "Freshwater fishing."

Send your outdoor news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Spring-like conditions lead to improved bite

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Updated: 5 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Cobia moving into bay ahead of schedule

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Published: 02/23/18

Captainís Corner: Rising temperatures fire up the bite

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Published: 02/22/18

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

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Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

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Published: 02/18/18

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

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Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

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Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18