Monday, December 27, 2010

Large male bear found dead near Holt; FWC seeks shooter

News Release
December 22, 2010
Contact: Stan Kirkland, 850-265-3676, ext. 212 from

        A large male bear was shot and killed Tuesday night and the carcass was discovered near Holt in Okaloosa County. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers are asking the public's help in identifying the person or people involved.
FWC Officer Alan Kirchinger said a local resident found the 320-pound bear dead in the Guest Lake Boat Ramp parking lot just after sunrise today. The ramp and lake are south of Holt, just off the Yellow River and south of Interstate 10.
"It's obvious the bear was killed elsewhere, then transported to the boat ramp and dumped. We believe as many as three or four people may have been involved," Kirchinger said.
The bear had a previously injured left front leg and could be the same bear reported by Guest Lake residents for getting into residential garbage cans, Kirchinger said. FWC officers went door-to-door Wednesday afternoon in the area, handing out fliers about the shooting and asking for help.
It is a crime under Florida law to kill a black bear. The punishment can include up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
Anyone with information about the bear shooting is urged to contact the Wildlife Alert Reward Program hotline at 888-404-3922. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Be careful this Holiday

Increased fatalities prompt FWC to reach out to boaters

(Click on photo for larger image.)
FWC officer checks boat and occupants
An FWC officer checks boaters to promote safe boating.
(FWC photo)
News Release
December 15, 2010
Contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585
    With just a few weeks remaining in the year, 2010 has proved to be a tragic one for boating accidents. So far, there have been 76 boating fatalities, a 24-percent increase from this time last year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants Florida boaters to reverse this trend.
"The most unfortunate part about these statistics is boating fatalities are usually preventable," said Capt. Tom Shipp of the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section.
While the FWC patrols Florida's waterways and strongly promotes boating safety year-round, this year's higher number of fatalities prompted an increased emphasis on prevention. At least 41 of the 76 deaths were due to drowning, and the FWC has some advice about that.
"One of the best ways to prevent a drowning is simply to wear a life jacket," Shipp said. "Boaters don't always expect to find themselves in the water, but if they do, a life jacket can save a life."
There is a variety of life jackets available to boaters. New styles are much smaller, lighter and more comfortable to wear than the traditional vest-style life jacket.
"The ‘belt pack' is worn around the waist. A ‘suspender' style is also available," said Brian Rehwinkel, outreach coordinator for the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section. "These types of life jackets are inflatable, and some models activate automatically if the wearer falls into the water."
While a few unusual accidents have occurred this year, the majority are similar to those of recent years. They involve boaters failing to pay attention to their surroundings, neglecting to wear life jackets and operating at high speeds.
"We strongly urge boaters to follow safe boating practices," Shipp said. "Pay attention to the weather and your surroundings, make sure your boat and motor are in good working condition, check all safety equipment before embarking, and don't drink and operate a boat."
The FWC also encourages boaters of any age to take a boating safety course. To find a course or more boating safety information, visit or call 850-488-5600.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cool Gifts

Gift Guide: A Wild Chef’s Christmas
By David Draper
I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way I became the guy shopping for gifts the week before Christmas. So it stands to reason, I’m also the guy who gets his wish list to Santa late. Which maybe explains the lump of coal I find in my stocking every year. I mean, it couldn’t be because I’m naughty or anything. Right?
So, with just over a week left to get your shopping done, here’s a list of gift ideas for the Wild Chef in your life. Some I have and highly recommend, and others I would love to find under my tree on December 25:
Chef’s Knife: Like Uma Thurman, I prefer Japanese steel and since Hattori Hanzo is retired, I turn to Al-Mar. I’ve been using an Al-Mar Ultra-Chef Gyuto knife for about the last four or five years and don’t think I could go back to using a cheap knife. It’s scary sharp and takes an edge well. Worth the investment.

French Skillet: A French skillet is a good compromise between a straight-sided sauté pan and traditional frying pan. I currently use a 10-inch, non-stick Anolon pan, but I’d love an All-Clad 11-inch version.
Cookbooks: There are a lot of good cookbooks out there, any of which that would make a great gift. Joy of Cooking and How To Cook Everything are great reference tools. I’d love to find a copy of Eileen Clarke’s Slice of the Wild or the L.L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook under my tree.
Boning Hooks: I’ve wanted one of these cool little tools ever since my advanced course in deer processing from Gary the Meat Cutter. Pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to wield them as deftly as Gary, but if nothing else I can walk around the butcher shop talking like a pirate.
Foodsaver Quart Bags: Like socks and underwear, this is one of those gifts you’re kind of disappointed in getting, but know you really need. Plus, I swear, the local Cabela’s is out of stock every time I go in there, so I always try to have plenty of quart-size bags on hand, especially during hunting season.
Cook’s Country: While Cook’s Illustrated provides a master’s-level education, this country-fried version from “America’s Test Kitchen” is one of my favorite references. I’m constantly adapting recipes from Cook’s Country for use with wild game. A subscription makes a great gift.
Pizza Stone: A friend raves about the pizzas he makes on his Big Green Egg, so I want try my hand at them on my trusty grill. Weber makes a kettle-specific version , but I think any inexpensive pizza stone, like this one from Bialetti, would do.
Lump Charcoal: I’m going to get a lump in my stocking anyway, so might as well put it on my list. Maybe this year I’ve been bad enough for a 20-pound bag of hardwood charcoal from Cowboy Charcoal.

Hamburger Press: After years of borrowing a buddy’s, I finally broke down and bought my own hamburger press. This is great for venison burgers that come out assembly-line perfect every time.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Atlantic snook harvest closes Dec. 15; catch and release still OK

News Release from the FWC

December 13, 2010
Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The recreational harvest of snook will close in all Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, beginning on Dec. 15.  The annual winter harvest season closure of snook in these areas, which normally ends on Feb. 1, has been extended until Sept. 1, 2011, by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) due to the prolonged cold weather that impacted snook in Florida earlier this year.
The extended harvest closure will help protect snook populations this winter when they are most vulnerable to cold weather and give snook added protection during next spring and summer's spawning months.  All other Florida waters are already closed to the harvest of snook until next September for the same reason.
Anglers may still catch and release snook during the harvest closure, and the FWC encourages everyone to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release.
Snook regulations apply to snook harvested in both state and federal waters off Florida, and no person may possess any snook caught during snook closed seasons.
For more information regarding the management of snook in Florida, go to (click on "Fishing - Saltwater").

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FWC wants public's input about more daylight alligator hunting

News Release: from the FWC

December 9, 2010
Media contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to know what Floridians think about providing more daylight-hunting hours to alligator hunters. The public can comment via an online survey.
The FWC is exploring the idea of additional daylight-hunting hours for the state's recreational alligator hunting season, which runs Aug. 15 - Nov. 1 each year.
Currently, legal hours for alligator hunting are from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise.
"We've received input from the alligator hunting community and are now looking for input from anyone who is interested in this issue," said Harry Dutton, FWC alligator-management program coordinator.
People can provide input by going to  The Commission will take this input into consideration when deciding whether any change is warranted. Anyone with additional questions regarding this issue may call Dutton at 850-488-3831.

Tide page has been removed

This post is to let everyone know that the tide page is no longer available in the top menu.  To better accomodate different locations tides can now be found using your specific location by clicking the link on the right hand side of the page under Hot Spots.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter fishing news

Cold weather may lead to fish kills

News Release from FWC
December 9, 2010

         Contact: Carli Segelson, 727-896-8626
As temperatures drop in Florida, the number of cold-related fish kills is likely to increase. Chilly winter temperatures can lead to fish die-offs in Florida's marine habitats, rivers and lakes.
The good news is that these events are natural occurrences and typically do not cause permanent damage to the ecosystem or to fish populations. In some cases they are even beneficial, in that they help limit the spread of invasive, exotic species.
Fish kills are often caused by sudden temperature fluctuations or by extended periods of extreme temperatures. Such kills can occur any time of the year in Florida, but they are most common in winter, when air temperatures drop. Although water stays relatively warm for awhile after the air cools, extended cold snaps can cause water temperatures in inland water bodies and estuaries to drop. The cold may kill fish outright by cold stress or weaken them so that they are more susceptible to disease. Another phenomenon, called lake-turnover, may occur when suddenly cooled surface water sinks and mixes with deeper, oxygen-poor water. This can cause fish to suffocate, often leading them to gulp at the surface before they die.
Warm-water species, including popular game fish like snook, are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures. Exotic species such as butterfly peacock bass, tilapia, and sucker-mouth catfish are also especially susceptible to cold weather.
Fish affected by the cold may appear lethargic and may be seen at the surface where the water may be warmer from the sun. All recreational regulations still apply to fish impacted by the cold temperatures, even if they appear to be dead or dying.
It is important for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) scientists to keep track of the location and extent of fish kills in natural lakes and estuaries, to see if there are problems developing in an ecosystem that might require investigation or restorative measures. Although it is not necessary to report fish kills in private ponds, FWC scientists can assist the public by providing information about cold-weather fish kills in these water bodies.
Residents can report fish kills in natural water bodies to the FWC at or call the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511. For more information on fish kills, visit and select "Fish and Wildlife Health" under the "Explore" section.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cleaning your Gun

For some tips and trick on keeping your gun like or how to deal with old corrosive ammo, check out this very informative page.

Mangrove (Grey) Snapper Fishing Tips

Tips for Catching Grey or Mangrove Snapper

By , Guide

Mangrove Snapper

Great eating and hard fighting mangrove snapper
Photo by Ron Brooks
Here are some mangrove snapper fishing tips. Mangrove snapper are found from New England down throughout the Caribbean to South America. They are a favorite among anglers for their fighting ability and for their excellent meat. They can be found from inshore estuaries to deep water reefs, and fishing for them will vary accordingly.

Inshore Tips

Mangrove snapper are schooling fish. They tend to stay grouped and move as a unit when they decide to move. You seldom find a lone mangrove snapper, so if you catch one, there are surely more to be had.


  • Medium light spinning tackle
  • 10 to 15 pound monofilament line
  • Fluorocarbon leader Some prefer no leader at all so as not to spook the fish. Any part of the terminal tackle that can be seen will lessen your chances of a strike. These are smart fish.
  • 5/0 standard hook or 7/0 circle hook
  • Weights as necessary Use only enough weight to get your bait to the fish. Free line your bait with no weight if you can.


  • Live bait – shrimp, pinfish, mud minnows, small crabs Live bait needs to be alive. A smaller hook that is harder to see will get you more strikes. Snapper are wary, and big hooks tend to make them shy.
  • Dead bait – cut mullet, other cut fresh fish These fish are particular. The cut bait needs to be fresh and clean. Sloppy baits will not be eaten. Make sure the cuts are clean and straight, forming a nice chunk of bait.
  • Artificial bait – red and white bucktail jig, red and white nylon jig Tip these jigs with a fresh cut strip of mullet or other fish. The strip needs to be no longer than the jig. Work the jig in an up and down motion as you retrieve it back to the boat or shore.

    Fishing Locations

  • Mangrove lined banks This could be around an island, a shoreline, or a canal. The roots of the mangrove trees are a perfect estuary for these snapper. They are so common there that the ‘grey’ name is usually changed to ‘mangrove’. Look to cast your bait as close to the mangroves as possible. Look for tidal current cuts around the mangroves where the water will be deeper.
  • Rock Jetties Any rocky structure, like a jetty, holds baitfish and small crustaceans. Snapper will school on these structures. Once again you need to fish close to the structure.
  • Docks and Pilings Snapper will also congregate around pilings and docks, that includes bridge pilings. Barnacles and other growth attract baitfish and small crustaceans, and they in turn attract the snapper.
  • Oyster Bars In small estuary creeks where deep holes occur close to oyster bars, snapper will be found.
These snapper , like all of them identify with structure. That structure attracts marine growth which in turn attracts the baitfish and shellfish that snapper feed upon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good News for fisherman

Reopened Mosaic lakes teem with fish for anglers From

News Release
November 30, 2010
Contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3200
Portions of the Mosaic Fish Management Area in southern Polk County will reopen to public fishing on Friday, Dec. 10. The 1,000-acre fish management area near Fort Meade is managed through a cooperative agreement between Mosaic Fertilizer LLC and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Lakes Coulter, LP2 East, LP2 West, S8 East and S8 West are reopening. These lakes have been closed for more than three years due to mining-related public safety issues.
When the lakes reopen, there likely will be some memorable fishing trips in store for anglers looking to catch largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Fish populations, as well as fishing success, often improve significantly when lakes are closed and then reopened.
The lakes range in size from 20 to 250 acres and have an angler quota that protects the fishery from overharvest. Quotas will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
FWC biologists and Mosaic staff took advantage of the closure by improving access roads and boat ramps, monitoring fish populations and enhancing fishing opportunities by stocking channel catfish from state hatcheries.
The Mosaic Fish Management Area has been in existence for more than 10 years. The area is open to public fishing Fridays through Mondays, from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. There is no cost to fish, but anglers must check in and out with Mosaic security staff.
For more information on freshwater fishing opportunities, visit or call the FWC regional office in Lakeland at 863-648-3200 during regular working hours.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Late-Summer Bass Fishing Tips: Where and How to Catch Largemouths. From Field & Stream

When it comes to summer fishing, pros pay attention to vegetation, bridges, and current
Article by Steve Price
Photo by Eric Engbretson

By late summer, bass fishing is not for the faint of heart. Largemouths are often deep and lethargic, and they’re also frequently starting to relocate and suspend at middepth ranges as forage begins to move. This is when professional anglers start following the ABCs of summer fishing. • “The ABCs stand for aquatic vegetation, bridges, and current, three shortcuts to finding fish,” says veteran tournament pro and Lake Fork guide James Niggemeyer. “In summer, bass need shade, cover, oxygen, and food, and the ABCs always provide that. In addition, aquatic vegetation and bridges have depth changes close to cover, and current in the back of a creek attracts bass from other areas.”
Aquatic VegetationWHY BASS LIKE IT: Hydrilla, lily pads, hyacinths, and other greenery hold forage such as crawfish and sunfish and provide cover, shade, and higher oxygen.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Edge irregularities, especially depth changes; brush, logs, or rocks with the vegetation; isolated patches of greenery.
TECHNIQUES AND TACKLE: Skitter floating frogs over the top and through openings; flip tubes and jigs into open holes; run shallow crankbaits along the outside edge. Use 50- to 65-pound braided line for frogs and tubes; 12- to 20-pound fluoro­carbon for square-bill crankbaits.
BridgesWHY BASS LIKE IT: Cover, shade, and abrupt depth changes are always present; nearby rocks often hold forage.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Brush lodged on the upstream side of pilings; current breaks behind pilings; baitfish around pilings.
TECHNIQUES AND TACKLE: Bulge a fast spinnerbait parallel to abutments and pilings nearest the channel first. Cover the brush at upstream pilings with a crankbait; hit the downstream side of abutments with a drop-shot rig. Use 8- to 16-pound fluorocarbon line (it sinks).
CurrentWHY BASS LIKE IT: Moving water produces higher oxygen, washes in food, and usually creates cooler temperatures.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Eddies and protected calmer water; rocks, small islands, other visible cover like stumps or logjams.
TECHNIQUES AND TACKLE: Cast light jigs, plastic grubs, or Texas-rigged worms upstream and let current carry them into quiet eddies. Work small buzzbaits across calmer areas, especially in early morning. Use 12- to 16-pound fluorocarbon
for strength and low visibility.
. Uploaded on August 07, 2009

Gun show

Don't forget this Saturday and Sunday the GUN show at the war memorial aud.

Monday, November 22, 2010

South Florida Fishing Report by:

Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable
Includes Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Homestead.
Nov. 19-21

       Pompano Beach, Port Everglades , Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef
Look for scattered schools of Spanish mackerel along the beaches this weekend. Trolling spoons or lipped Rapala X Raps in a blue or black back just outside the swim buoys is your best bet at locating a school of feisty mackerel. Casting live pilchards in areas that birds are diving is the next best thing or anchoring and chumming in 20 feet of water as you fish live baits or cast spoons, jigs or plugs can get you into a quick mackerel frenzy. Baitfish have been in good numbers inside the Bay but seem to be on the move to Government Cut. Can’t catch your own bait then try calling Lester on channel 68 for bait at Haulover, Ashley’s bait or Jimmy Lewis on channel 16, 72 or 80 for Government Cut and in Port Everglades try Ft. Lauderdale Live Bait on channel 72. Offshore from depths from 80 feet out to 250 feet of water anglers are finding a few kingfish, blackfin tunas and bonitos. Plenty of sailfish are migrating south as we speak and fishing large threadfin herring, small bluerunners and goggle-eye jacks under a kite is the best way to get the sails to attack your baits. Free lining the same baits hooked to a 5/0 to 6/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook attached to a short piece of No. 3 copper wire to protect your leader from a kingfish or stray wahoo and a 7-foot or longer 50-pound monofilament or fluoro carbon leader as you chum heavily with live baits is another way to get in on the sailfish action. Find a nice weedline or floating debris outside the bluewater edge and there is a good chance you might luck into some nice dolphins. Way offshore in close to 2000 feet of water swordfish in the 200 to 300 pound range are eating slabs of bonitos or pre-rigged squid with light sticks attached to the rig and fished near the bottom. Wreck fishing has been producing action from grouper, mutton snappers and an assortment of jacks. Nighttime bottom fishing has resulted in a mixed bag of snappers, groupers, bluefish and a few kings and mackerel. High tide at Government Cut Friday night will be at 6:40.
North Biscayne Bay Inshore
Schools of baitfish are moving south as they head for warmer water. Small jacks, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, barracudas and bluerunners are chasing the baitfish schools all over the Bay. Casting small Rapala X Raps, spoons, Hookup lures tipped with plastic jerk bait tails or Gulp! artificially scented bait, and live pilchards fished under a Cajun Thunder is producing plenty of action from all of the above species. Look for the birds throughout the Bay and that is where the bait and fish will be. Seatrout are out of season and the Manatee season is now underway so be careful when on plane. Nighttime tarpon and snook action has been slow.
South Biscayne Bay
Schools of Spanish mackerel have invaded both North and South Biscayne Bay . Mackerel can be found near any of the bridges near the ocean inlets, around markers and channels in the Bay. Anchor and start chumming as you fish live pilchards or shrimp under a Cajun Thunder hooked to a long shank hook or by casting silver spoons, jigs and plugs. Remember to use a No. 2 or 3 piece of copper wire to your lures or you will be re tying often. Mutton and mangrove snappers plus red, gag and black groupers, porgies, bluefish, jacks, bluerunners and grunts can be found in many of the channels from Cape Florida to Ocean Reef. Anchor and chum while you fish live pilchards and shrimp or dead baits on the bottom. As long as the tide is moving and you are in a good spot you should have steady action. Mutton snappers must be 16 inches and mangrove snappers 10 inches and yellowtail snappers 12 inches to be kept. Red groupers must be 20 inches, gag groupers 24 inches and black groupers 24. Bonefish and permit have been in good numbers along the Oceanside flats and along the mainland flats. High tide at Soldier Key on Saturday will be at 7:50 in the morning.
Flamingo in Everglades National Park
Florida Bay has had a good number of redfish feeding in the channels and runoffs. Black drum and sheepshead have started to show up in Florida Bay now that water temperatures are in the 70s. A good number of big snook are still being caught for catch and release. Spanish mackerel, bluefish and cobia have been in good numbers outside the Park’s boundary markers. Best fishing has been south and west of Sandy Key. Anchor and chum in 10 feet of water and fish live shrimp under a float or hooked to a Hookup lure and as long as the chum is flowing the action should be fast. Bluefish, trout, ladyfish, jacks, bluerunners, snappers and sharks will feed in your chum as well. Look for free floating tripletail or tripletail behind the crab trap floats. Cast a live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float at the fish and once it sees the bait the fight is on. Tripletail must be 15 inches in length and each angler is allowed two fish per person. Snook, redfish, blackdrum, snapper and grouper can be found in and around the river mouths and creeks and all the way into Whitewater Bay. Low tide at Flamingo in Florida Bay on Saturday will be at 9:55 AM and in Whitewater Bay low tide is at 9:50 AM.

Read more:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Innovative Bait caster

Shakespeare E-Z Cast: by Field &Stream
This was by far one of the most innovative reels I saw on the show floor, and that innovation won’t put a dent in your wallet. The E-Z Cast low-profile baitcaster sells for $40, and I promise whether you’re 10- or 90-years-old, it will make you a master caster. A unique anti-backlash system above the spool (the blue panel) automatically pops up and brakes the spool when the line goes slack. At the booth, I launched a rubber sinker as hard as I could into a wall 5 feet away and ABS popped and locked the spool instantly. Zero backlashes. With the ABS on, there is no reason to even thumb the spool. But as the angler gets more comfortable and is ready to graduate to thumb braking, simply flip the ABS off and you’ve got a regular baitcaster. Aside from the braking features, the E-Z cast was actually a very smooth reel.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deer hunter's listen up

Florida deer hunters will see benefit as zones, dates change By:

News Release
September 23, 2010
Contact: Stan Kirkland, 850-265-3676

Although hunting season dates for wildlife management areas are slightly out of sync with the zonal hunt dates on private lands, the situation is only temporary. By next year, hunting season dates will be more closely aligned with the rut - the period when deer are breeding.
In February 2010, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to realign the state's deer hunting zones, including creation of a fourth zone.  The zones have been renamed A-D.
Most of the former Northwest Hunting Zone is now Zone D.  The Central Zone was renamed Zone C.
The line dividing zones C and D begins at U.S. 27 at the Gadsden County-Georgia state line and runs south on U.S. 27 until it meets State Road 61 in Tallahassee.  From there it follows S.R. 61, running south until it hits U.S. 319.  It follows U.S. 319 south to U.S. 98; then east along U.S. 98 before turning south on Spring Creek Highway and continuing to the Gulf of Mexico.
"The changes to the state's hunting zones align the deer hunting seasons more closely with the rut," said Cory Morea, deer management coordinator for the FWC's Division of Hunting and Game Management.
The new deer hunting zones and season dates for private lands are in the 2010-2011 Florida Hunting Regulations handbook, as well as online at  However, some hunters are asking the FWC why wildlife management area hunt dates are slightly out of sync with the zonal hunt dates.
"Adjusting hunting season dates was designed to be a two-phase project," Morea said.  "In 2009, FWC staff worked with stakeholders, held several public meetings and incorporated public comments to adjust zones and zonal seasons.  We have since been working with stakeholders, cooperators and the public on adjusting seasons on WMAs.
"You can call this a 'transitional year.' The 2011-2012 deer hunting seasons on WMAs will more closely match the dates for the new statewide zones," Morea added.  "However, there still will be some differences between WMAs and zonal seasons, since hunter preferences are being used to set season dates."
In 2008, the FWC approved a new deer management plan that outlines a 10-year strategic direction.  The adoption of new deer hunting zones and seasons is the latest of a number of projects related to the plan. The entire plan, including proposed season dates for 2011-12, can be viewed at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fish Food

Fabulous Fillets
Pro's Tips
Written by Captain Mike Genoun   
Florida Sport Fishing

Fabulous fillets start long before you begin preparing your favorite seafood dish. Any fresh fish you are not planning on eating within a few days MUST be properly frozen in order to maintain the fish’s freshness and delicate flavor.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Markham Park Bass

Over the weekend me and a friend were checking out some of the lakes in our local parks.  Trying to see what was biting and biting what.  We stopped at several parks mostly out west but found Markham Park in the city of sunrise to be the most fruitful.  The park has several small ponds as well as a boat launch into the channel.  However not having a boat we targeted the lakes.  Using live bait is probably your best option however we had the most success and the most fun using top water weedless frogs.  Its just something about watching the strike that makes it that much better.  We didn't have any other top water baits to try at the time, but most any thing that causes a disturbance on the surface will probably work.  If you want more information on Markham Park and all its amenities check out this site.  Broward county Parks

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Snapper Fishing Florida keys Bridges, By; Joe Suroviec

By Joe Suroviec
Nearly all of the more than 40 bridges linking the Florida Keys harbor excellent mangrove snapper fishing beneath the spans. It’s a fishery that’s been booming for the last year. Anglers patient enough to dial in the drift with bait-tipped jigs are scoring big. And I mean big—as in offshore-grade snappers ranging up to 5 pounds. We’re not talking about the little snaps that fit into the palm of your hand. These are mature, educated fish that demand specialized tactics and tackle.

Here’s the scoop.

Some of those Keys bridges provide good access for shore fishing, while others are best approached from a boat. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to outline the techniques which I’ve found work best from a boat. Shore-based anglers, of course, may adopt many of these recommendations.
Anglers prone to mal de mer, or who own one of the smaller mosquito fleet boats, find the bridges an excellent alternative when winter winds whip up the seas over the reef. Bigger boats can also enjoy bridge fishing in deeper waters and wider, less-constrictive spaces—but note that you’re best off fishing aboard a boat small enough to navigate through the spans, in the event of a tide change. Having to motor down to the main span, and drive around to where you want to fish, is something of a hassle; it may also create some conflict with other fishermen, if you accidentally throw a “hang ten” wake where they’re anchored. In any boat, travel slow near bridges. Big wakes may dislodge anchors, and in a strong tide that means trouble.


On the subject of anchors, where and how you position your boat has a huge bearing on bridge-fishing success. I’ve found that most fish relate to the front side and the back of the pilings as well as the sides; ideally, you want to anchor so you can easily work one side of a piling as well as one side of the next piling, or both sides of one piling. This takes a little practice to get the correct amount of anchor rope out and not get too close or too far away from the bridge. Once you’re solidly anchored, use your motor (ignition off) as a rudder if the current is strong. Turning it hard in one direction or the other, you can move your boat into the best position.

You want to be able to cast where your bait will be unhindered by current as it drifts by those pilings. A perfect presentation is one where the current sweeps the bait along the same path that the fish expect their prey to be taking. They quickly find these lanes and set up shop in them. Experiment with jig size and shape when looking for the best line of drift. The most strikes will tell you where those locations are, and they will be the same lanes, at the same tide, most times. I prefer to anchor well uptide and then let the current and the wind determine where the boat finally rests. I then either pull in some anchor rope or let some out for final adjustments. Anchor as many times as you have to in order to get the position right. Most times you’re in shallow water; weighing anchor isn’t nearly the hassle it is offshore.

Drag-Free Drift is Key
I use a jig-and-bait combo almost exclusively when snapper fishing along bridges. I also use fairly light tackle, either 15-pound-test monofilament or braided polyethylene line. And no more than 25-pound-test leader, usually. This allows you to probe the bottom, middle and top of the water column by varying the speed of your retrieve or by slowing the drift through the tip of the rod. Also, fishing the current in this manner helps avoid the countless snags lurking below. Bridges are notorious places to find chunks of old concrete or steel bars and certainly we cannot forget the mono jungle of snagged lines that free-floats in the waters from the topside bridge anglers.

Try to eliminate any factor that may cause your drift to look or feel unnatural to the fish. Many times I hold my line high in the air to reduce the amount of line that is in contact with the water. Too much line in the water accelerates the drift unnaturally. Sharp-eyed mangrove snapper in the 5-pound range have been watching lures and baits drift by for years; they know the drill.

Selecting the right-size jig is another delicate matter. Using one that’s too heavy is just as bad as using one that’s too light; the one snags bottom, while the other never gets to the fish below. Accept that you’ll need to tie on varying jig weights as the current flows and then wanes. Use the heavier ones when the tide is ripping, then gradually step down to the lighter models as the current begins to subside. A selection from 3/8- to ¾-ounce is generally adequate.

Be alert to the jig hitting bottom, and then raise the rodtip and repeat until that familiar tap signals a bite. Most jig hits will occur on the drop or the first part of the rise, so be especially vigilant then. I once watched from a bridge while an angler drifted a shrimp-imitation lure into several waiting snook below. Each time a fish swam over to the lure, sucked it in and promptly blew it out. Meanwhile, the shore angler below felt nothing. Set the hook on any variation of the norm when jig fishing. Mangrove snappers in particular are difficult to hook due in part to their rapid snapping when attacking a bait. Be sure to pull hard and low away from the bridge once a hookup occurs, as many times the bait has fallen prey to a grouper. Grouper have a bad habit of diving into any little hole or crevice they can find.

Just as you’ll need to switch jigs as the current changes, likewise you’ll need to zero in on where the fish are holding. Keep in mind that current flow varies through the tide cycle, from nonexistent at slack tide, slowly gaining velocity until a mid-tide peak, and then a wane as it approaches slack again. How fish relate to structure changes through these fluctuations.

When the current is steaming, snapper stick very close to structure, as it reduces the effort they need to maintain their position. Food is delivered right to them, for the most part. A hard-running current also creates areas of back pressure or eddies where fish can rest but be close enough to dash out into the current if a hapless morsel drifts by. Directly in front of or behind pilings may be pockets of calm water; these are also prime areas to drift a jig-laden bait through when the tide is ripping. As the tide slackens, fish pull away from the structure to forage in open water, and at dead tide, they may lollygag in any area near structure. When the current resumes, they migrate back to the structure and the process repeats itself—often on the opposite side of the structure. Both boat and shore-based bridge anglers need to be aware of this fact and adjust as the fish do.

Fine Points of Bridge Snapper Fishing
-- After setting the hook, pull low and hard away from the structure. This accomplishes several things. It quickly separates fish from snags and usually puts the fight in clear water (vital if a big grouper happens to gobble the bait). Also, there’s less risk of spooking other fish. Letting a hooked fish struggle amid the school is a surefire way to “spook the herd,” if you will. Veteran snapper anglers know these fish can easily go into lockjaw.

-- Pay attention to the condition of your line and leader. Several fish on a leader or a long fight can easily chafe a section and the next fish just may be that picture-taker of the day. Do not let a small thing like a chafed leader prevent that Kodak moment.

-- File hook points after several catches or snags. With a bait attached to the jig, you need a razor-sharp hook to penetrate a snapper’s mouth. Even chemically sharpened hooks can use a slight honing now and then.

-- Bridge safety: Be sure your boat is in good working order before anchoring uptide from a Keys bridge. That means a fully charged battery(s), and full confidence that when you turn the key, you’ll power up. If your anchor pulls and you can’t get the motor started, you’re in trouble. Similarly, don’t mess around in big channels like Bahia Honda in a 10-horse johnboat. The current really smokes beneath these deep bridges. Add choppy water to the equation, and you need a strong motor and sufficient hull to get around safely.

Bridge Baits
The best baits are hardy, small live fish hooked through the lips. In Florida’s subtropical waters, shrimp are too vulnerable to the “machine gunners”—undesirable fish which peck ‘em apart in quick succession.

Pilchards get the nod in the Keys, especially those in the 3- to 5-inch range. You can jig them up with sabiki rigs (sizes 4 through 8, generally) in channels or net them with a 3/8-inch-mesh castnet on grassflats (careful not to contact bottom with your prop). Small pinfish also work well, either hooked on bits of shrimp over a grassflat, corralled in a pinfish trap, or purchased at a tackle shop.

Chumming isn’t necessary, and in fact it may bring in too many nuisance fish, which can turn off the bigger snappers.

With an adequate supply of pilchards, you end up chumming fish when you miss strikes, which you will.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Proposed Red Snapper ban

Local Fishing news brought to you by ,

Proposed Federal Red Snapper Fishing BanLudmilla Lelis of the Orlando Sentinel has a story about the proposed 6-month(possibly to be extended to 1-year) ban on Red Snapper fishing along the Southeast Atlantic coast. The ban is intended to protect Red Snapper from over fishing. Federal officials want public input before the ban goes into effect, possibly as soon as October.

Fishing Forecast From Florida Sportsman

Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable

Includes Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Homestead.
Nov. 5-7

Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable

South Florida fishermen and boaters should expect a breezy weekend. Low pressure and a strong cold front are predicted to move through South Florida and winds are predicted to be from the north at 15 to 25 most of the weekend.

Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef

Spanish mackerel and bluefish continue to migrate along our South Florida beaches and anglers can get in on the action by trolling silver spoons and blue backed Rapala X Raps until they hook up. After that casting live pilchards hooked to a 2/0 Mustad long shank hook or Rapala X Raps, spoons and red and white jigs will keep your rods bending until the fish move on.

Farther offshore in depths from 40 feet out to 200 feet of water large Spanish mackerel, kingfish to 25 pounds, false albacore (bonitos) and mutton snappers are eating live baits fished freelined or near the bottom. Outside the outer reef in depths from 80 feet to 300 feet of water for the past week or so has been a nice bluewater edge and feeding along that edge has been skipjack tuna to 15 pounds (arctic bonito), kingfish, small blackfin tuna, sailfish and a few schoolie dolphins. Slow trolling pilchards, threadfin herring and medium sized mullet has been working well on these fish or drifting and chumming with pilchards and fishing the same baits freelined or under a kite is working as well.

Fish live bait deep for a few nice mutton snapper, amberjack, almaco jacks and huge blue runners. Way offshore in depths of 1200 feet at night and 2000 feet during the day swordfish are hitting slabs of bonito and pre-rigged large squid. At night fish the baits with light sticks on the surface and during the day fish the baits with light sticks on the bottom. Nighttime bottom fishing is producing catches of snapper, small grouper, blue runners, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and kingfish to 22 pounds. High tide at Government Cut Friday night will be at 8:35.

North Biscayne Bay Inshore

If I could freeze frame what is happening in North Biscayne Bay right now and save it for the entire year we would all be very happy. Schools of mullet of all different sizes, schools of pilchards, threadfin herring and Spanish sardines are stretched out from Haulover Inlet south to Government Cut and maybe farther. All you have to do is look out across the water and you can spot close to a hundred pelicans and gulls diving in almost every direction you look.

Grab a 6 to 12 foot castnet that has a mesh size of ¼ inch to 3/8 inch and as long as the net hits the water there is a good chance you will have all the live bait you need for a week of fishing. Feeding on the baitfish schools are seatrout, snapper, barracudas, bluefish, blue runners, Spanish and cero mackerel, sharks, ladyfish, jacks, snook and tarpon. Cast anything that resembles a baitfish and if the fish aren’t so full from feeding on the smorgasbord of bait you should hook up quickly. Nighttime fishing for small tarpon and snook has been fair.

South Biscayne Bay

Bonefishing has been good in the southern part of South Biscayne Bay. Best action has been on the last of the outgoing tides and the first few hours of the incoming tide. Look for tailing bonefish on the lower stages of the tide and then small muds that the bonefish leave as they root crabs, shrimp and worms out of the bottom when the water level rises.

Plenty of sharks and a few small tarpon have been feeding on the edges of the shallow flats as well. The oceanside flats have had a good number of permit on them so keep an eye out for fish pushing wakes or their large sickle fins sticking out of the water. Fish large live shrimp or skimmer jigs tipped with a piece of shrimp or shrimp or crab imitation bait for the bonefish, small silver plugs for the tarpon, large shrimp for the sharks and silver dollar sized blue crabs for the permits. A few mutton snappers have been caught in the finger channels. High tide at Soldier Key on Saturday will be at 9:46 in the morning.

Flamingo in Everglades National Park

Florida Bay is slowly cooling down and redfish, a few snook, tarpon, jacks, ladyfish, sharks and seatrout have been available in the channels and runoffs near the shallow flats and in the moats that are next to most islands. Out in the open water Spanish mackerel, bluefish and a few cobia are starting to show up. Along the coast north of East Cape large schools of baitfish continue to attract the attention from large tarpon, jacks, ladyfish, seatrout, redfish and snook. Low tide at Flamingo in Florida Bay on Saturday will be at 11:39 AM and in Whitewater Bay low tide is at 11:33 AM.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some South Florida camp grounds, From

click to locate on the map
CampVenice Retreat
4085 E. Venice Ave., Venice, FL 34292

click to locate on the map
A.D. Barnes Park
3401 SW 72 Ave, Miami, FL 33155
click to locate on the map
Alligator Park, Inc.
6400 Taylor Rd., Lot 112, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
click to locate on the map
Aqua Isles Mobile Home & RV Resort
900 Aqua Isles Blvd., LaBelle, FL 33935
click to locate on the map
Arbor Terrace RV Resort
405 - 57th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34207

click to locate on the map
Arcadia Peace River Campground
2998 N.W. Hwy. 70, Arcadia, FL 34266
click to locate on the map
Aruba RV Park, LLC
1073 Old Lakeport Rd., Moore Haven, FL 33471

For more info check out

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snook on the mind

Catching A Monster Snook
Tighter harvest limits have allowed more linesides to reach lunker size throughout South Florida. Here's your yearlong guide to tangling with one of those big fish! (March 2010)

Catching a snook of any size is a somewhat elusive accomplishment -- many who have fished Florida for years have never pulled the first linesider to the boat. That's not because snook are scarce, but simply because catching them is a specialized pursuit. Plunk a dead shrimp on bottom off a pier and you could sit there until the first notes of Gabriel's Horn sound before you're likely to reel in a "snuke," as old Cracker anglers called the fish.

Snook like Steve Furry's 44-incher are often tough to locate and even harder to boat.
Photo by Frank Sargeant.

On the other hand, if you round up a few live sardines, find a mangrove point where there's a good tide running and a deep hole right at the tip and drift those silver minnows out there on a fly-weight hook and 10-pound-test microfiber line, odds are you'll promptly be tangling with the fish some have called "largemouth bass on angel dust."

Catching a lunker snook, though, is a challenge for even the most skilled angler. As in catching big versions of any species, there's always some luck involved. But as in many things, the smarter you are and the harder you work, the luckier you get. That's true for catching truly big snook, according to most pros that specialize in the pursuit.

Hunter's safety course

Interested in taking a hunter's safety course or bow hunter's safety course.   Check out this link to the FWC for more information on courses in your area and which course is best for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Next Dates for Fort Lauderdale gun show

The next dates for the Fort Lauderdale gun show are November 27th and 28th.  At the War Memorial Auditorium  800 N.E. 8th Street Ft. Lauderdale FL, 33304

Florida Small Game Hunting

Florida small game hunting areas and regulations brought to you by the FWC.

Rabbit - FWC

Florida has a wide variety of small-game hunting opportunities. However, many people simply do not know the best places to go. This web page was designed to give individuals an idea/recommendation of the best places to small-game hunt in Florida, and provide general small-game hunting info.

To find specific areas and the regulations for those areas or species you are looking for follow this link.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stuart Florida Fishing report

This is a recent fishing report for stuart florida by Capt. Bob Bushholz.

November is a special month for anglers along the Treasure Coast bringing several changes in our area. The water temps slowly begin to drop into the mid 70’s. Also the mullet run which began in September comes to an end. This time of year we begin to see an increase in our winter and spring species of spanish mackerel, pompano and bluefish.

Spanish Mackerel are always a blast on light tackle. Last season, we had severel mackerel trips resulting in over 100 fish caught.I fish 10 lb test but you can go as light as 2lb.Normally I use a 30 lb mono leader starting about 3 feet in length. After each fish, check your leader as mackerel will fray them. Cut off an inch or two and retie. This long leader will allow you to hook more fish before replacing it. When the macs are really thick, I will switch over to about 8" # 3 wire. There are several areas inshore that seem to hold more fish, but without a doubt the main concentration will be found outside along the beaches out to about 30 feet of water. Normally the motherload will be found around Peck’s Lake which is located about 2 miles south of the St. Lucie Inlet. Some days this area will hold fish as close as 10 feet from shore. There is a shallow reef that runs north to south about 200 yards out from the beach in about 6-8 feet of water. Be aware of this area. Even on calm days this reef can create swells that are capable of flipping boats over. Seems every year a few boats will fall victim. If you are fishing on or just inside (west) of the reef, avoid sitting sideways (north-south). I normally will stay away either fishing outside (east) of the reef in 18 to 25 feet or close to shore. Mackerel will hit a variety of baits. Anything shinny will work. Silver spoons, flashy minnow jigs, Capt. Joe’s Jigging Spoons along with tube lures and shrimp tipped jigs. If you decide to anchor up, bring along a box of silver sides or glass minnow chum. Toss small amounts every couple of minutes to get their attention and cast and retrive through the area. When trolling, I suggest staying outside the reef in 20 - 30 feet where there is less boat traffic. Spanish Mackerel regulations are 15 per person with a 12 inch min.They normally run between 1 to 3lbs but some can go as heavy as 5 to 7 lbs. Mackerel are great fresh or smoked. If you decide to smoke them, simply fillet and leave the skin on. They are a soft fish and the skin holds the fillets intact while smoking. We have a local smokehouse in Rio who does a great job if you decide to have your catch smoked. Try Mrs. Peters Smokehouse at (772) 334-2184. For fresh mackerel, I like to skin them and cut the bloodlines out. Mackerel do not freeze very well so I suggest clean what you will eat in a day or two and smoke the rest.

Pompano and bluefish can be found both along the surf and inside the Indian and St. Lucie Rivers. My next report will cover these species in depth.

Mission statement

For my first post I thought it might be a good idea to kind of introduce my blog and let you know what it will be about.  This blog will eventually have many aspects but it's main goal is simply to provide a venue for people to talk about anything outdoors.  From fishing, camping, hunting and anything that goes along with it.  A place for people to trade tips and tricks or just share experiences.