Monthly Archives: November 2011

Just Because It’s Small and Shiny Doesn’t Mean It’s Bait!

Juvenile pompano (left) and juvenile permit (right) are commonly mistaken as bait.

Recently I helped an FWC officer identify some juvenile permit he confiscated from anglers who were using them as bait. To be more exact, he confiscated over 50 of the fish, all of them only a few inches long! Permit, of course, is a popular sportfish that is regulated by both a slot size and bag limit, and obviously these anglers violated both of these regulations.

Unfortunately, on more than one occasion I’ve seen anglers keep everything they land in their cast net despite having regulated fish among their catch. I see this happen most often with juvenile permit and pompano, which can be found along our beaches, and juvenile lane snappers that can be found in many nearshore locations. Whether you are in possession of a permit or pompano that is an inch short of the legal size limit or in possession of one that is only two inches long, it is still illegal.

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Gulf Red and Gag Grouper Management Updates

Image credit: Captain Ralph Allen

First the good news. Since Nov. 2, 2011, Gulf of Mexico fishermen targeting red grouper in federal waters are able to bring home more of these highly sought-after reef fish.

In November NOAA Fisheries Service announced a final rule that increased the Gulf of Mexico red grouper bag limit from two to four fish in the four-fish grouper aggregate bag limit. According to the latest stock assessments red grouper are neither overfished or experiencing overfishing.

In recent years, the recreational sector has not caught its allocation of red grouper, and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the agency responsible for establishing management plans in federal waters, voted back in August to relax its recreational red grouper regulations. The increase in bag limit will allow the recreational sector the opportunity to harvest its allocation of red grouper, which was increased from 1.36 million pounds to 1.65 million pounds for 2011.

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Music, Food, Crafts and Fun! Cortez Folk Arts and Music Festival Nov. 19

musicians at cortez folk and music festival

Lisa and Brad Fitzgerald of local favorite "Myakka Bluegrass" will perform at this year's festival Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Cortez Folk Festival)

For a fun-filled family day of entertainment in the historic fishing village of Cortez, mark your calendar now for November 19, and the Cortez Folk Arts and Music Festival.

Admission is free, and each year the Festival, now entering its fifth year, has grown in popularity. In addition to great music, food and crafts, there are a number of really outstanding special events.

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