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6/28 bridge snook & tarpon

Decent night fishing. Tide was moving good, tons of bait around, and the wind layed down. Rounded up a friend that wanted to go out and picked up 2 dozen shrimp and hit the water. Went to a few spots and kept getting slamming hits but they were smart. Went through a few snappers and other fish and decided to get 3 dozen more to hit up the docks and bridges as the sun set. Went to the first bridge and get rigged up using just jigheads and live shrimp and started catching all sorts of stuff. My friend caught what we think, pending conformation between the fat and common snook, is all 4 types of snook which would make it his first snook slam all in just a hours worth of fishing. I started catching monster grouper but its size over powered my small light tackle rods and was only able to get a glimpse. After going through a few huge lady fish I finally catch a small 60-80lb tarpon but it does it's dance and only using a 1/8oz DOA jighead, the tarpon won but was able to get it close enough to call it caught(up to the leader). The bite then started to slow down and the giant 150lb tarpon dominated the shadow lines and spooking all the snook that were hanging out there so we figured to just call it a night as we both had work in the early morning. We took a few pics but after talking with a FWC agent about a few thing the subject of pictures with fish came up. After seeming and hearing about the controversy over the tarpon on the west coast I asked if its illegal to hold up a tarpon fully out of the water without a tarpon tag then is it illegal to take and post pictures of snook fully out of the water during closed season? His answer was yes since the law it written that any fish that is taken fully out of the water and not released immediately (taking a pic and measurement in your boat, land, or structure) is considered by law "harvesting" and penalties can result if caught. As it caused a huge debate on my Facebook page i just wanted to share a little information someone might not have known about (please don't shoot the messenger). Unless otherwise my pics of fish that are out of season will remain off any social site


  • Ankona SkiffsAnkona Skiffs Posts: 123 Deckhand
    Good info about the regs. Were you at the roosie?
  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Captain
    No at the $0.10 but as far as the regs, the site it goes into the rules basically about the same thing what the officer told me. IMO the only way you will get caught is if someone reported the pictures and they would then take action. Thousands of pics on the net is hard to regulate when, where, and outcome of each picture. I was told that you can take the fish out of the water to dehook but must be released right away and taking a pic isn't considered right away plus how you hold them also determines if they will survive after release.
  • fishkillfishkill Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    GOOD report. but I do believe there are 5 types of snook in the Stuart area. a new sub-species was identified a few years ago. Tarpon and swordspine are the easiest to idendtify.
    Swordspines barely get over 1.5 lbs. and Tarpon snook lok like tarpon. Then Fat and common.
    # 5 is Large Scale Fat Snook caught in St. lucie and the loxamahatchee. article below.
    So you have 1 more to go...........

    catch-um up. p.s. try trolling the shadow lines at the .10 with Mann stretch 15' for monster snook and tarpon. Easy pickings and saves money on the skrimp.
  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Captain
    I am happy to say I've contributed to the 5th species research. Its not an official species recognized by the FWC yet but it's probably going to be in the years to come. Lots of hard work have paid off!
  • fishkillfishkill Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    cool. what size range on #5? I saw a slot one before but not sure how big they get....
  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Captain
    fishkill wrote: »
    cool. what size range on #5? I saw a slot one before but not sure how big they get....
    into the 30's and into the 40's, but the difference is in the size of them. just picture in your mind a 28inch snook thats been dead for a few days and is all bloated, thats what they look like. I have some tagged and some have been surgically implanted with a RFID transmitters and released on spot. Local bridges and inlets (FPI, SLI,JI, PBI and all the bridges) are equipped with receivers that can track when, where, and time these snook travel. Its very impressive but still in a research stage. There are other areas this is done as well.
  • phantom561phantom561 Posts: 240 Deckhand
    You are correct about taking the fish out of the water for pictures being illegal. It is not just limited to out of season however. ANY NON-SLOT fish whether in or out of season must be left in the water and released unharmed as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel the need to photograph EVERY fish they catch to puff up their ego and share it on the web. If you care about the well being of the fish and obeying the law, LEAVE THEM IN THE WATER rookies!!!
  • Joupdog1Joupdog1 Posts: 1,416 Officer
    Nice catches there, so your telling me. I'm not allowed to take a 30 or 35 inch snook out of the water to measure and take pics??
  • snook87snook87 Posts: 1,707 Captain
    Joupdog1 wrote: »
    Nice catches there, so your telling me. I'm not allowed to take a 30 or 35 inch snook out of the water to measure and take pics??
    Unfortunately you can not and size does not matter. But as we see online people do it all the time but it just takes a tip to have them after you. The website states you must release the fish immediately (taking a pic of the fish is not considered releasing immediately) therefore its considered by law harvesting, which snook are out of season and that is a violation of the law. If someone chooses to report you, then the FWC has the discretion to either warn you or charge you with possession/harvest of out of season snook and or possession/ harvest of over/undersized snook. Can result in a fine, revocation of fishing licenses, seizure of equipment, and or jail. Measurement is only allowed when season is OPEN and temporary possession to determine if the size is within slot for harvesting.

    This is the law as defined in the FAC 68B-21.0015: Definitions: Subsection (4,5,6):

    (4) “Harvest” means the catching or taking of a fish by any means whatsoever, followed by a reduction of such fish to possession. Fish that are caught but immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed are not harvested. In addition, temporary possession of a fish for the purpose of measuring it to determine compliance with the minimum or maximum size requirement of this chapter shall not constitute harvesting such fish, provided that it is measured immediately after taking, and immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed if undersize or oversize.
    (5) “Land”, when used in connection with the harvest of a fish, means the physical act of bringing the harvested fish ashore.
    (6) “Snook” means unless the context requires otherwise, any fish of the genus Centropomus, or any part thereof.

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