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.
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."
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