New Red Grouper Rules For Gulf

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a new state regulation at it’s Nov. 20 meeting in Key Largo that lowers the red grouper recreational bag limit from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state waters, excluding Monroe County. Earlier this year, the recreational red grouper season was closed in federal waters because of the recreational catch limit being exceeded in 2013. Florida anglers and for-hire captains requested the change in the bag limit hoping it will increase the length of the recreational red grouper season in federal waters. The changes also make state regulations consistent with pending regulations in Gulf federal waters. As long as the two-fish federal regulation is approved, the new state regulation will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Gulf Vent Tool Regulation Removed

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) removed the requirement to have and use a venting tool when fishing for reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters at there November 21st meeting. The rule change brings Florida’s fishing regulations back inline with those imposed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council who removed the requirement to have and use a venting tool in Gulf federal waters earlier this year.

The venting tool regulation was put into place in 2008 along with a ban on the use of non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks and the requirement to have and use a dehooking devices. The requirement to use non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks and to use a dehooking devices are still in place. Only the requirement to have and use a venting tool has been removed. These tools are not required in Atlantic state or federal waters.

Venting Tools
Venting tools are used as a way to increase survival rates of Gulf reef fish. When deep water fish are brought to the surface to quickly they often suffer from a condition called barotrauma. The change in pressure from the deep water to the surface can cause gases within the fish’s swim bladder to expand. This makes it look like the fishes stomach is being pushed out of it’s mouth. Barotrauma and can cause damage to the fishes internal organs and and make it difficult for the fish to return to deeper water.

fish descending device
Fish Descending Device
While venting tools are still a good way to increase the survival rate of reef fish, a new device can also be used to reduce the effects of barotrauma. Fish Descending Devices are a way to quickly return reef fish to deeper water. They can either be purchased or home made. Purchased descending devices consists mostly of a ‘fish holder’ and heavy weight that are attached to a fishing rod. The fish is attached by the mouth to the fish holder, then lowered to the bottom. Once at the desired depth, the rod is given a strong jerk, releasing the fish. Home made versions consist of a weighted crate attached to a rope. The fish are placed in the crate, which is then placed upside down in the water and lowered to the desired depth. When the fish is ready it simply swims out of the crate. Read more about fish descending devices at Fish Descending Devices.

While the use of a venting tool or descending device is no longer required, using them today can help reduce the need for similar or even stricter regulations in the future. Remember, today’s barely short fish is tomorrows keeper!

FWC Opens More Fishing Opportunities

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) made changes to the recreational fishing seasons of Gulf Red Snapper, several species of Gulf grouper and Atlantic vermilion snapper at there September 5, 2013 meeting.

The FWC approved an…

Oct. 1-21, 2013 supplemental recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters. Federal fishery managers are analyzing data and may open a supplemental red snapper season in Gulf federal waters. They will make an announcement within the next few weeks.

Eliminated a Feb. 1 – March 31, 2014 recreational season closure affecting several species of grouper in Gulf of Mexico state waters. Affected Grouper species include black, red, red hind, rock hind, scamp, yellowfin and yellowmouth. The Feb. 1 – March 31 closure in federal waters was recently removed in waters shoreward of 20 fathoms or about 120 feet deep.

Eliminated a Nov. 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014 recreational season closure for vermilion snapper in Atlantic state waters. Vermilion snapper populations have improved since 2008 thanks to successful state and federal fishery management. A 2012 stock assessment revealed that bag limit reductions and the five-month closed season has successfully rebuilt Atlantic vermillion snapper numbers.

State waters extend 9 nautical miles from shore into the Gulf and 3 nautical miles from shore into the Atlantic. Federal waters extend out another 200 nautical miles from where state waters end. The season eliminations will align state regulations with federal regulations.

Give us a call at the number below or fill in the form on the left hand side of this page to set up your Fort Lauderdale fishing charter!

Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-522-9399
1-877-524-9377
Email: lauderdalefishing@gmail.com
Website: lauderdalefishing.com
Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters Video

Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters
I wanted to share this video we made back in 2008 of one of our summer fishing trips. It was early August when the Gallaway family chartered us for a half day trip. The day started off catching some nice bonito and kingfish when one of the outriggers went off. Dad did a great job getting the 74″ sailfish to the boat. The sailfish revived and released unharmed. Everybody wanted to try bottom fishing so we stopped at a wreck on the way back to the dock. Fifteen minutes after we dropped baits to the wreck one of the rods doubled over. After a hard fight a 40lb amberjack was brought into the boat. The family was all smiles as they posed for pictures with there days catch back at the dock.

Although this is an old video, it reminds me of some of the great trips we have had this summer. Give us a call at the number below or fill in the form on the left hand side of this page to set up your Fort Lauderdale fishing charter!

Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-522-9399
1-877-524-9377
Email: lauderdalefishing@gmail.com
Website: lauderdalefishing.com
Fort Lauderdale Shark Fishing Charters

Shark Fishing Fort Lauderdale: Video

Here is the video one of our anglers took back in July. Shannon does a great job getting this 8′ bull shark to the boat while fishing with us on the Reel Work. After a couple of quick pictures the shark is released unharmed.

Give us a call or fill in the form on the left hand side of this page to set up your Fort Lauderdale shark fishing adventure!

Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-522-9399
1-877-524-9377
Email: lauderdalefishing@gmail.com
Website: lauderdalefishing.com
Fort Lauderdale Shark Fishing Charters

5 Ways To ID Florida’s Saltwater Fish

As a charter boat captain people are always asking me to help them identify fish they have caught. With so many different species of fish swimming in our waters this can be a nearly imposable task but I can usually make an educated guess after asking them what it looked like, where they were fishing and what they were using for bait. Inexperienced anglers are often confused by fish species they have never encountered before. The fact that there are so many sub species of different fish families, jacks and snapper for example, so many fish families that have similar body shapes and so many fish that are given different names in different areas makes the confusion understandable.

Fortunately there are many excellent publications and guides available both in print and online to help you identify the fish you catch. Most are beautifully illustrated and some even include information on where and how to catch each fish. Here is a list of some of my favorites.

myfwc.org: Saltwater Fish This is a good basic list of Florida’s saltwater game fish.

indian-river.fl.us: Florida’s regulated fish and their look-alikes This one makes you work some but is a good list of the states saltwater fish broken down into there different families.

www.boat-ed.com: Common Saltwater Fish in Florida This one comes as a PDF so that you can download it or print it for future reference.

Florida Sportsman Fish Rules App for Iphone This app provides instant access to state and federal saltwater fishing regulations from your iphone.

Bass Pro Shops: ”Florida Saltwater Fish ID” Book by Saltwater Fish ID, Inc. A handy printed guide to Flowida’s saltwater fish.

That should help you identify what you are catching the next time you are out on the water. You can also call to set up a Fort Lauderdale fishing charter with me aboard the Reel Work and I will be glad to teach you about the many fish that swim in our waters. Just fill in the form on the left side of this page or give us a call.

Reel Work Sport Fishing Charters
301 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
954-522-9399
1-877-524-9377
Email: lauderdalefishing@gmail.com
Website: lauderdalefishing.com
Fort Lauderdale Fishing Charters

Great Spring Fishing Continues

Ft Lauderdale Offshore Fishing Is Good

Springtime fishing continues to be good offshore of Fort Lauderdale. Anglers fishing with me aboard the Reel Work have been catching sailfish, kingfish and blackfin tuna. During the few times the surface bite has slowed down we have have had good luck bottom fishing.

On April 5th the weather was kind of rough making it difficult to spot bait fish pods. Our anglers and crew hung in there and were rewarded with a big king mackerel. Later in the afternoon we set up on some wrecks and other bottom structure and had a great afternoon of bottom fishing. Last Tuesday we had a fun day. Our anglers caught several kingfish and a nice blackfin tuna in between the 6 sailfish bites we had. Anglers and crew did a great job managing to land 4 out of the 6 sailfish.

The South Florida weather is starting to heat up and so is the fishing. Book your Fort Lauderdale fishing charter today and get in on the action. Click on the Contact link above, fill in the form on the left side of this page or give us a call at 1-877-524-9377 to set up your charter.

A Great Day Of Sailfish Fishing

We had a really good day catching sailfish off of Fort Lauderdale yesterday. Between the two charters I took out we ended up hooking 7 sailfish and landing 5 of them. Anglers and crew fishing with me aboard the Reel Work out of Ft. Lauderdale did an outstanding job getting that many fish o the boat. Our morning charter landed 2 out of the 3 fish we hooked. Several other sailfish were spotted but did not bite. Our afternoon charter was even better with 3 out of the 4 sailfish hooked making it to the boat. Again, we saw several other sails but were unable to get them to bite. Our sailfish bite has been outstanding for over a month now. I expect the fish to stick around for at least another month. Give us a call or use the contact form in the sidebar to set up your Fort Lauderdale sailfish charter today.

Sailfish Back With A Vengeance

Sailfish fishing off of Fort Lauderdale is excellent right now. Anglers fishing with me on Tuesday were treated to the best Sailfish bite I have seen all year. Our anglers and crew did a great job managing to land 4 out of the 5 sailfish that bit. We also landed a nice kingfish and missed a few others. Sailfish and king mackerel are two of the hardest fighting and most entertaining fish to catch in South Florida. Sailfish are known for there amazing tailwalks and high flying acrobatics. Kinkfish are one of the fastest fish in the sea and produce reel smoking runs that can’t be beat. Now that spring is here you can expect fishing to really improve.

Sailfish Are Back In Force!

Sailfish

The sailfish are back and showing up in good numbers. Anglers fishing with me aboard the Reel Work out of Fort Lauderdale on Monday were rewarded with six sailfish. Three on the morning trip and three on the afternoon trip. Sailfish have been few and far between since the begining of the year. Over the last two weeks we started catching a few but nothing like we are seeing this week. Book your fishing charter now if you want to get in on the hard fights and amazing acrobatic displays that sailfish provide. We have a few trips still available for the rest of February and the beginning of March.
Use the contact form on the left side of this page, click on the Contact tab above or call us at 1-877-524-9377 to set up your sailfish fishing charter.