Where have all the redfish gone?

Hey guys. I've been fishing the eastern shore of tampa bay all my life...recently I've not seen redfish like I have in past years..where have they gone???

Replies

  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 455 Deckhand
    You should try Sarasota Bradenton area. Being sarcastic. It is horrible here. Seems like a steady decline the last 3 to 4 years. Personally I wish they would tighten up the regulations.
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 814 Officer
    moved to cleaner waters. The red tide, sewage dumps, and continually increasing pressure from anglers would make me relocate too
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 814 Officer
    oh, thats right, it did!
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,407 Admiral
    It ain't us commercials this time..

    prolly wasn't us back in the early 90's but y'all needed a scapegoat..
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 143 Deckhand
    Lots of theories around this one - all the way from red tides, more sharks, climate change, fishing pressure, big breeding schools off shore are not pushing into Tampa, more people eating what they catch...

    The one that got my attention was when CCA folks said that the redfish hatchery near port manatee has drastically decreased the amount of hatchery released fish into Tampa Bay - they are being released in other parts of the state.

    I would put more money on the fact that there is so many more snook now that they are hammering reds and trout.

    Regardless, I'm hoping it's a cycle and they'll be back, but many guides that I've spoken to think that they have moved North and aren't coming back.  :(
  • waterdipperwaterdipper Posts: 40 Greenhorn
    The snook ate them all. Not really but they do compete for habitat and food and when one is way up, the other one is going to go down. Especially with all the pressure on them. Hatchery fish have never been a big contributor to the population, so that is not the issue.
  • scottmediascottmedia Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Hatchery and the loss of habitat in the backwaters around Apollo Beach due to the development are the biggest i bet.  But then again the fish get a lot of pressure too. 

    There are still some around, just not as many as there used to be that's for sure. 
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    Anytime FWC or any other regulatory group increases pressure on 1 type of fish by closing another variety it is inevitable that the group that is pressured  will become more wary
     
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 3,842 Captain
    The problem seems to be linked to escapement, recreational anglers have never had a problem, as a whole, owning up to stock depletion caused by our own actions and usually are fairly quick to take action to try to circumvent the problem before it gets too bad. There are always going to be those that scream bloody murder any time there is a need for change, especially when the change means a reduction in take. There seems to be a lot of complaining on both coasts of fewer catches. Your opinions count. Tell the FWC. There is no doubt that fishing pressure has increased over the years, largely in part to and improved fishery, funny how when fishing is good more people want to do it. Sadly it is a cause and effect situation.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • haydenfox!#$haydenfox!#$ Posts: 2,360 Captain
    I can't catch the darn things so wasn't me.
  • pottydocpottydoc Posts: 1,998 Captain
    You should try Sarasota Bradenton area. Being sarcastic. It is horrible here. Seems like a steady decline the last 3 to 4 years. Personally I wish they would tighten up the regulations.
    Tighten up the Regs? You can only keep one now. You want to close the fishery? There's plenty of redfish north of Tampa, don't fish the Bay, so I can't speak to there.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 455 Deckhand
    pottydoc said:
    You should try Sarasota Bradenton area. Being sarcastic. It is horrible here. Seems like a steady decline the last 3 to 4 years. Personally I wish they would tighten up the regulations.
    Tighten up the Regs? You can only keep one now. You want to close the fishery? There's plenty of redfish north of Tampa, don't fish the Bay, so I can't speak to there.
    The west central region from Tampa to Sarasota is hurting bad for redfish. Everyone agrees. I think the slot should be changed. There is not enough meat on a redfish under 22 inches to remove it from the fishery. It's a total waste imo. Maybe close it September and October when the school heavy, at least they used to. I hope they just magically show up again. 
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 814 Officer
     as for slot change , gotta disagree, unless its to reduce upper slot size by an inch or two. those big reds are not as good eating as the smaller ones. However, last year's reduction in harvest from 2 to 1 fish per angler. Maybe that change will help. As much as I dont like closed seasons, closing for spawning is a good for conservation of a species. Maybe they should try that with cobia  :open_mouth:
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,407 Admiral
    best redfish to eat is under 3 lbs, upper slot are good for crab bait or fertilizer
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Rod SquadRod Squad Treasure Island, FLPosts: 13 Greenhorn
    edited June 1 #17
    I've been finding some decent ones at Ft. Desoto, back side of tarpon key at the high tide holding up under the mangroves (at the mouth of the little lagoon outpour). They're typically there in the middle of the week or early morning when there isn't alot of traffic.

  • Rod SquadRod Squad Treasure Island, FLPosts: 13 Greenhorn

  • Slo Poke1Slo Poke1 Posts: 311 Deckhand
    fishNswim said:

    They got tired of constantly being run over by chum bat wielding bait chucking meatheads blasting through no-wake zones in tower boats.  
    Also known as “guides” that don’t give a **** about the rec fishermen. 
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,273 Admiral
    Relax, it's just part of the cycle. A a couple years ago the bay was full of mango snappers, 4 or 5 years ago macks were jumping in boats then nothing and this year they are back. Snook are getting back. Last year Pomps were thick. In the keys, 2 years ago they couldn't find mahi then last year it was back on. Migrations change over the years. Reds will be back.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 455 Deckhand
    Finally seeing some red. Fished a spot Saturday and got 2 over slot reds. Came back this morning and caught 7 beauties. 4 over slot, and 3 keepers. All fish were caught on cut pins and were released. 

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file