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FWC recommends rescind the catch-and-release for Redfish, Snook, Sea Trout

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  • BattlefishBattlefish Jacksonville, FLPosts: 203 Deckhand
    Is this a good thing? Have stocks returned yet? 
    Fishing YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyKdiam7vzvGthpaR1Anrdw 

    BattleFish
  • Fisherman007Fisherman007 Tampa BayPosts: 59 Deckhand
    I think so.  I've been catching lots of snook, redfish and trout.  The FWC staff seems to think so as well.
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman EnglandPosts: 132 Deckhand
    Must have been a hell of a quick recovery if so. On my last trip to the Lee county area in 2019 trout numbers were very low after them being incredibly plentiful on my previous trips to the area in 2018, 2016 and 2014. I reckon the total amount of trout I got on that last trip was no more than the average amount I’d get in a single day on the previous trips. I suspected at the time that it would take 4-5 years to recover bit like after the snook kill in 2010 so if it’s come back in less than 3 years that's incredible! 
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,313 Officer
    In December fishing the beach I was catching trout on every cast for a couple of hours. Just look at the dock lights at night and check out the multitudes of snook.
  • Fisherman007Fisherman007 Tampa BayPosts: 59 Deckhand
    Must have been a hell of a quick recovery if so. On my last trip to the Lee county area in 2019 trout numbers were very low after them being incredibly plentiful on my previous trips to the area in 2018, 2016 and 2014. I reckon the total amount of trout I got on that last trip was no more than the average amount I’d get in a single day on the previous trips. I suspected at the time that it would take 4-5 years to recover bit like after the snook kill in 2010 so if it’s come back in less than 3 years that's incredible! 
    I'm fishing Sarasota Bay.  I think further south around Ft. Myers they got hit harder.
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman EnglandPosts: 132 Deckhand
    edited February 11 #7
    Must have been a hell of a quick recovery if so. On my last trip to the Lee county area in 2019 trout numbers were very low after them being incredibly plentiful on my previous trips to the area in 2018, 2016 and 2014. I reckon the total amount of trout I got on that last trip was no more than the average amount I’d get in a single day on the previous trips. I suspected at the time that it would take 4-5 years to recover bit like after the snook kill in 2010 so if it’s come back in less than 3 years that's incredible! 
    I'm fishing Sarasota Bay.  I think further south around Ft. Myers they got hit harder.
    It certainly seemed so, such a shame as they are one of my favourite species. Really sad to experience them going from being pretty much the most numerous proper sport fish to an occasional capture. For what it’s worth though I didn’t notice a massive drop in snook and reds, just the trout. 

    Still it’s got another year to recover for me as don’t think we’ll be able to head over the pond again this year given the continuing circumstances so hopefully I’ll return to a thriving trout population in 2022 🤞🏻
  • NoreastSalt3295NoreastSalt3295 Posts: 611 Officer
    Must have been a hell of a quick recovery if so. On my last trip to the Lee county area in 2019 trout numbers were very low after them being incredibly plentiful on my previous trips to the area in 2018, 2016 and 2014. I reckon the total amount of trout I got on that last trip was no more than the average amount I’d get in a single day on the previous trips. I suspected at the time that it would take 4-5 years to recover bit like after the snook kill in 2010 so if it’s come back in less than 3 years that's incredible! 
    I'm on the water in fort myers/sanibel almost daily and I've never caught as many keeper and larger sized trout as I've been catching this year. Some spots it is every single cast for hours with most of the fish slot size up well into the 20" range. Lost what would have been my largest ever 2 weeks back. Can easily boat 50 trout in an afternoon this year with good conditions. 
    Slot reds have also been very, very plentiful. I still think they should leave them all closed another year or two. If just a few years had this big of an impact, they should be in great shape in another year or two. There's always snapper and other goodies to eat.
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman EnglandPosts: 132 Deckhand
    Must have been a hell of a quick recovery if so. On my last trip to the Lee county area in 2019 trout numbers were very low after them being incredibly plentiful on my previous trips to the area in 2018, 2016 and 2014. I reckon the total amount of trout I got on that last trip was no more than the average amount I’d get in a single day on the previous trips. I suspected at the time that it would take 4-5 years to recover bit like after the snook kill in 2010 so if it’s come back in less than 3 years that's incredible! 
    I'm on the water in fort myers/sanibel almost daily and I've never caught as many keeper and larger sized trout as I've been catching this year. Some spots it is every single cast for hours with most of the fish slot size up well into the 20" range. Lost what would have been my largest ever 2 weeks back. Can easily boat 50 trout in an afternoon this year with good conditions. 
    Slot reds have also been very, very plentiful. I still think they should leave them all closed another year or two. If just a few years had this big of an impact, they should be in great shape in another year or two. There's always snapper and other goodies to eat.
    That sounds really promising, certainly an amazing recovery. From the outside looking in I agree that it probably should be closed for another year to allow an even fuller recovery like you say. Especially as this year will likely be another of reduced angling pressure with all that’s going on in the world so that combined with no taking could further accelerate the recovery.

    I just hope I’ll be over there catching them again next year. After coming over 6 years on the bounce suddenly stopping coming whilst we’re in the current predicament has just further made me realise how much I love the fishing in your part of the world 😍

  • DodgerDodger Ft MyersPosts: 104 Deckhand
    Does anyone think the snapper and Sheeps are taking a hit during this closure?  I belong to a couple of fishing groups on FB and the guides post nothing but mangroves and BIG sheepshead.  15-20 fish in every picture.  That has to take its toll after a while.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 849 Officer
    This has been my concern for this whole catch and release season. 1st the guides go and catch and release a bunch of fish then they take the sports to get what they can legally keep. I would like to see the survival rate on all the bigger fish that have hero pictures taken and then are released.
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 7,744 Admiral
    edited February 17 #12
    About time, IMHO.  Charlotte Harbor is loaded with trout.  I am catching more trout this year (and larger) than any other year in the last 10 years.  

    Back on Thanksgiving 2020, I honestly think we caught 50 trout between 15-22 inches.  We were looking for other species but couldn't get away from trout.  Similar to what others have stated, trout every few casts.  I was fishing with my father, we doubled up half the time.  I've never seen trout so loaded up.  Had we been able to keep a few, we probably would have grabbed 4 and went home, leaving the 46 trout alone.  

    I don't think regs work out the way FWC believes they do.  


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 551 Officer
    Lostconch said:
    This has been my concern for this whole catch and release season. 1st the guides go and catch and release a bunch of fish then they take the sports to get what they can legally keep. I would like to see the survival rate on all the bigger fish that have hero pictures taken and then are released.
    Lunker lives matter.  I leave all my big snook in the water.  That’s a 7/0 triple strength hook and 100 lb leader for reference.  Looks like a sheepshead hook in that jaw.  Got 6 others so far this year just as big or bigger, I always leave em in the water.  They always thank me for it by visiting me in the fall when they‘ve put on some more weight.
  • Fisherman007Fisherman007 Tampa BayPosts: 59 Deckhand
    Nice catch!  Did you catch her on Whitebait?
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman EnglandPosts: 132 Deckhand
    kellercl said:
    About time, IMHO.  Charlotte Harbor is loaded with trout.  I am catching more trout this year (and larger) than any other year in the last 10 years.  

    Back on Thanksgiving 2020, I honestly think we caught 50 trout between 15-22 inches.  We were looking for other species but couldn't get away from trout.  Similar to what others have stated, trout every few casts.  I was fishing with my father, we doubled up half the time.  I've never seen trout so loaded up.  Had we been able to keep a few, we probably would have grabbed 4 and went home, leaving the 46 trout alone.  

    I don't think regs work out the way FWC believes they do.  
    Does sound very promising 👍🏻
  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 551 Officer
    Nice catch!  Did you catch her on Whitebait?
    Got it on a big mullet.
  • Fisherman007Fisherman007 Tampa BayPosts: 59 Deckhand
    edited February 19 #17
    Nice catch!  Did you catch her on Whitebait?
    Got it on a big mullet.
    I've been wanting to try that.  Somebody said croaker or mullet on 5/0 hook from the beach.  Gonna try this summer.  I usually use whitebait but don't catch size.
  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 551 Officer
    Nice catch!  Did you catch her on Whitebait?
    Got it on a big mullet.
    I've been wanting to try that.  Somebody said croaker or mullet on 5/0 hook from the beach.  Gonna try this summer.  I usually use whitebait but don't catch size.
    Ladyfish is very good also. But snook are weird.  Sometimes it will be a 9 pounder that eats a foot long ladyfish, sometimes a 25-30 plus pounder will suck down a little 3” jig or silver mojarra.  
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 7,744 Admiral
    edited February 21 #19
    Yeah, I agree with mullet.  Biggest snook I caught was 36 inch on a small mirrordine when I was trout fishing.  Hard to know what a snook will take.  


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • Fisherman007Fisherman007 Tampa BayPosts: 59 Deckhand
    They have a presentation slide (below) and it looks like they are going to monitor until May.  They propose several options.  Input from recreational fishermen is that there is too much pressure on these fish.  They may increase the regulations :(

    https://myfwc.com/media/25983/9a-presentation-redtideupdate.pdf
  • DodgerDodger Ft MyersPosts: 104 Deckhand
    You could only keep one red and one snook before right?  How much more can you regulate them?  Maybe change it to one under a certain length?  What does everyone think on trout?  I say 15 inches and 4 bag?  Or slot for trout too?
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 7,744 Admiral
    I'm OK with trout being 15 to 20 inches, 2 per person if we want to be super safe.  


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • DodgerDodger Ft MyersPosts: 104 Deckhand
    That sounds like a good plan kellercl.  What was trout before?  I never kept more than 3 anyway.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 755 Officer
    Id like to see something like this. I think current slot and season for snook is good. Slot for redfish 22 to 27 inches, and closed mid September to end of October. Trout 16 to 20 inches, open all year, 3 fish limit.
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 7,744 Admiral
    Dodger said:
    That sounds like a good plan kellercl.  What was trout before?  I never kept more than 3 anyway.
    It has changed a lot.  I want to say at some point it was 5 per person, than 4 and maybe 3.  It keeps decreasing, which is fine.  A think a nice 18 inch trout for a single person it about right.  

    I would be fine with making the red slot tighter as well.  17 to 23 (or something like that).  

    Maybe it is where I fish and the lures I use, but I'm stunned trout is still closed.  I find them absolutely everywhere.  


    “When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.”

    -Walter Payton
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 169 Deckhand
    They have already tightened the trout limits during the closure.  As it stands now, when trout reopens the bag limit is decreased from 4 to 3 per person, the slot is now down to 15 to 19 inches (was 15 to 20), and the overslot allowance has been reduced from one per person to one per boat.  They have not made any changes to snook or redfish regulations since the closure. 
  • Cabowabo72Cabowabo72 Long Boat KeyPosts: 13 Deckhand
    I fish along the west side of Sarasota Bay and can confirm trout are everywhere and in good size. Caught a few over 25in to. 
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 755 Officer
    They have already tightened the trout limits during the closure.  As it stands now, when trout reopens the bag limit is decreased from 4 to 3 per person, the slot is now down to 15 to 19 inches (was 15 to 20), and the overslot allowance has been reduced from one per person to one per boat.  They have not made any changes to 

    Keeping a redfish under 22 inches is a complete waste. No meat. As far as all 3 big inshore species go, keep the old regulations and see what we end up with. Same crap, different fisherman.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 755 Officer
    Snook, trout and redfish can't put up with the pressure of the regs from the past.
  • Grey BeardGrey Beard Posts: 108 Deckhand
    I used to fish out of Pineland fairly regularly for 3 yrs but had not been back for 2 yrs due to fish kill and regs that didn't allow keeping any. A friend and I fished out of Pineland yesterday and boated 50-60 trout with probably 20> 15" and none over 18" all on plastics. A couple of places a bite every cast for quite a few casts. Had at least 2 trout everywhere we stopped in a 6hr outing. It appears to me the trout have made a nice recovery.

    I would vote for 3 per day over 16" but only 1 over 19". 
  • AnEnglishFishermanAnEnglishFisherman EnglandPosts: 132 Deckhand
    I used to fish out of Pineland fairly regularly for 3 yrs but had not been back for 2 yrs due to fish kill and regs that didn't allow keeping any. A friend and I fished out of Pineland yesterday and boated 50-60 trout with probably 20> 15" and none over 18" all on plastics. A couple of places a bite every cast for quite a few casts. Had at least 2 trout everywhere we stopped in a 6hr outing. It appears to me the trout have made a nice recovery.


    That’s great hear, nature really can do amazing things it seemed like they were gone for years! 

    This threads making me want to get back over there even more than usual. I don’t know what it is about trout but I love them. Guess it’s partly because we have nothing like grass flat fishing over here so it’s a proper novelty to come over and do it there and trout are obviously the staple of such style of fishing 👍🏻
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