News Section: Fishing
Captain Favorite's Weekend Fishing Forecast Feb. 6, 2013
BRADENTON -- The first of the month marked the close of gulf grouper season and the opening of snook season on the Atlantic Coast, which runs through May 1. Snook season will remained closed in the Gulf. The FWCC is considering a proposal that would designate certain fish as game fish or sport fish at their meeting on Feb. 13. Our contributing Capt. Rick Grassett said the best action over the weekend should be with trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. He recommends looking for reds around docks, 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.
- Several species of grouper, including black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind will close to recreational harvest from Feb. 1 through March 31 in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, excluding state waters of Monroe County.
- Gag grouper has a separate season from other Gulf of Mexico grouper and is currently closed to harvest. A proposed 2013 gag grouper season in state waters will be discussed at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Orlando.
- The upcoming two-month recreational harvest closure that starts Feb. 1 was put in place to help rebuild the gag grouper fishery. Gag grouper spawn during the February and March closure, so limiting the harvest of other grouper helps reduce the number of gag grouper that are caught unintentionally and die after being released.
- More information regarding grouper fishing regulations, including the current grouper closure in Atlantic and Monroe County waters, is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing. Visit MyFWC.com/Commission to learn more about the February Commission meeting.
Snook season reopening on Atlantic coast only Feb. 1
- The recreational harvest season for snook reopens on Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season is open through May 31.
- In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook between 28 and 32 inches total length per day in the allowable harvest areas only. Fishermen targeting snook must have a snook permit as well as a saltwater license unless they are exempt from having a license. Using snatch hooks and spears is prohibited.
- It is illegal to buy or sell snook.
- The harvest of snook remains closed in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County, through Aug. 31. Anglers may still catch and release snook during the closure, but the FWC encourages everyone to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release.
- This Gulf closure went into effect Dec. 15, 2010, after the population was impacted by prolonged cold weather. The closure will give the Gulf snook population additional time to rebound.
- Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater” for more information on snook.
CB’s Saltwater Outfitters Fly Fishing Day Feb. 9
- CB’s Saltwater Outfitters (1249 Stickney Point Road in Siesta Key) will hold a day of free fly fishing activities on Saturday, Feb 9th from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing guides will be on hand for fly casting instruction, Walt Plasson will demonstrate fly tying and there will be a raffle for all participants. Capt. Rick Grassett will do a seminar on saltwater fly fishing in our area at 10:30 a.m. There will also be a fly casting competition at 1 p.m. with a $100 CB’s gift certificate for the winner. Attendees will receive a 20 percent discount coupon (excluding sale items) and a $20 discount on future Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing schools. Stop by and see the latest fly fishing products from Orvis, Lamson and Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO). Call (941) 349-4400 for more information.
Atlantic high pressure ridging across the waters slowly weakens as low pressure forms on the northern Gulf Coast and tracks to the northeast. A cold front moves into the eastern Gulf on Friday and exits east of the region Friday night. High pressure then builds in once again during the weekend.
Southeast winds around 15 knots then becoming south in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Thursday night will bring southwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers.
West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers. Friday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots then becoming north after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Saturday night will bring east winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.
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East winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Sunday night will bring southeast winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.
Merab is a writer at the Bradenton Times. She can be reached at email@example.com
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