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The future of fishing and hunting in Florida

The future of fishing and hunting in Florida
For a better understanding of Florida fishing and hunting, and what to expect today and tomorrow, let's take a quick look at the history of these great sports.
We made many mistakes.  
My 'history' on the water and in the field began in 1945. At that time Florida had a population of 2,465,000.
The fishing was fantastic. The grass flats along Courtney Campbell Causeway stretched for miles. The Trout and Red Fishing was outstanding. There were No limits. We caught them by the tub loads.
In the late fifties I began Kingfishing. The Spring run was so vast that peoples today can't begin to imagine what it was like; miles of solid Kingfish. It was nothing to catch 100+ a day. At that time recreational fishermen could sell their catch. Often the Tampa markets were overflowing; we had to take our Kings to St Pete and sell the for ten cents a pound. 
General consensus was the schools were so vast we could never over-fish them. WRONG! We destroyed them!
I know; I was part of it. 
Many who fish also hunt. Let's take a look at Florida hunting.
For many years I hunted where the Bucs are playing in the Super Bowl Sunday. Probably not a good idea to try that today, but they are alternatives.  
With almost 6 million acres Florida has one of the largest Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in the country.

A great deal of this vast area is open to hunting. As with fishing we made many mistakes. I remember, many decades ago, when the Citrus WMA first opened to hunting. I was going to go. Being a serious hunter I scouted the area first. Never saw so many deer in my life. Trophy buck were everywhere; you could walk up to them. 
With no limit to the number of hunters it quickly became obvious that this was going to be a killing-field. I decided not to go. Citrus was to stay open until 500 deer had been harvested. By noon the first day over 500 were taken The entire season lasted 1/2 a day. 
"we could never over-fish them. WRONG! We destroyed them." 
"By noon the first day over 500 were taken"
We learned from our mistakes. Recreational fisherman are now governed by strict size and possession limits as well as season closures. Commercial fishermen are restricted by a IFQ system.
In the field our WMA's now have quota systems that limit the number of hunters. 
Florida is now home to well over twenty one million. Only Texas and California have a greater population than Florida. The Sunshine State's population is increasing by 1,000 new residents every day. Many fish and hunt. With such pressure can fish still be caught?
How good is Florida fishing today? Let's take a look at typical January 2021 catches:
Don't own a boat? No problem!
Dock & wade fishing is outstanding:


Close to shore:
Near shore:

Even the lades get involved:

Offshore:
The very good eating Vermilion Snapper are plentiful & huge:

The Gag Grouper fishing has always been outstanding, but we had absolutely NO American Red Snapper. Today the Grounds are home to so many Red Snapper that it's often hard to get away from them:

The Mangrove Snapper fishing is as good, or better, than it has ever been:

Fishing is so good that we will be needing a...

Replies

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    Hunting, like fishing, offers many alternatives. 
    Don't have time, ability, to do it on your own?
    NO PROBLEM! Outfitters such as Perry Florida's Two Guys And A Hog do all the work; we have all the fun.
    I know, I have been hunting with Two Guys for over six years:

    OK! We have taken a look at yesterday and today. 
    What about tomorrow and beyond? 
    What will ' The future of fishing and hunting in 'Florida' be like for our children and our grandchildren?
    To a great extent the future of fishing and hunting will depend on the involvement of our children. After all, they are the future of our sports.
    Woods'nWater Magazine has been showcasing total family involvement for forty three years. Let's take a look at the real Florida as seen in the February, 2021, edition of W'nW Magazine.
    Note that huge smile on nine year old Morgan's face; she and those like her are our future:

    That's one proud Dad:

    And the smiles do not stop with Morgan:





    I saved the best for last. I have always been partial to hog hunting:


  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    The smiles do not stop with hunting:







    'To a great extent the future of fishing and hunting will depend on the involvement of our children. After all, they are the future of our sports.' 
    The future looks fantastic!
    This just out:

    On Feb. 6-7, veterans and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, can take part in the first ever special waterfowl hunting weekend. This Saturday-Sunday hunt allows veterans and active duty military to hunt ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, and common gallinules (moorhens) when waterfowl hunting is closed to the general public. Thanks to our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this opportunity allows us to express our gratitude to those who have and continue to serve our country.   FWC

    Credits:
    Wikipedia
    FWC
    Hubbard's Marina


  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,731 AG
    You're talking about when all those deer were shot in citrus due to concern of tick borne illness being spread to cattle. 

    Most if not all of those deer were buried in pits. 
    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.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    "You're talking about when all those deer were shot in citrus due to concern of tick borne illness being spread to cattle. 

    Most if not all of those deer were buried in pits."

    Absolutely NOT TRUE!!! 
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 1,148 Officer
    I AM THE LOUDEST, SO MY ARGUMENTS CARRY THE MOST AUTHORITY!!!!!!!!!!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    More than mine???   I lived it! 
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,731 AG
    harbison said:
    "You're talking about when all those deer were shot in citrus due to concern of tick borne illness being spread to cattle. 

    Most if not all of those deer were buried in pits."

    Absolutely NOT TRUE!!! 
    I guess most of the older LOCAL ranching families are liars?
    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.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,731 AG
    like Rooks and Belamy families.
    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.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    "I guess most of the older LOCAL ranching families are liars?"
    If they said the Citrus deer were infected they were.
    Many of my friends harvested trophy deer during that 1/2 day hunt. 
    None were "buried in pits!"  

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,731 AG
    harbison said:
    "I guess most of the older LOCAL ranching families are liars?"
    If they said the Citrus deer were infected they were.
    Many of my friends harvested trophy deer during that 1/2 day hunt. 
    None were "buried in pits!"  

    sure thing Harb..

    I'll take the word of a local family over a Tampa transplant every day..
    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.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    edited February 2021 #12
    Born in Tampa; lived within 10 miles of Raymond James Stadium my entire life. 
    Been fishing Florida waters, hunting Florida fields, for over 60 years. Have NEVER buried an animal/fish with any kind of illness. 
    Most of the peoples I have hunted with are are also Florida natives. 
    Guess I have always believed that seeing is more reliable than the 'word' of others. 
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,731 AG
    you didn't hunt that hunt, remember?

    and not saying it was the same time frame, but it happened close to that time, again I'll take the word of those that were actually here..

    BTW Raymond James stadium is a long way from here..
    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.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    I did not actually hunt it myself that 1/2 day. Many of my fellow camp friends did. The cook-outs were fantastic. 
    I know; I was part of it. We NEVER destroyed a single deer. To me that means a great deal more than 'the word of others.' 
    When the FWC opened the area again, I hunted it. harvested some really nice deer. 
    'long way from here'   Very close for me. I have hunted from one end of Florida to the other, all over Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maine, and New Mexico. 
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 1,148 Officer
    "Two men say they're Jesus; one of them must be wrong."
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