Amelia Island News

Fishing Closures Now Include Sea Bass

Why aren't bag limits reduced instead of shutting down a fishery and forcing us to buy imported and farm raised fish?

Sea Bass FishingIf you enjoy tasty sea bass as I do you’d better get out there and stock up, which is almost never a problem unless NOAA and the PEW people step in and declare that we no longer have the right to catch and eat them.

As of February 12, 2011, sea bass will join grouper, snapper and – for the month of February – speckled sea trout, in a closure that takes away the opportunity for many charter captains to earn a living and our right as recreational fishermen to harvest what is normally a wintertime staple for those who prefer to catch and eat fresh fish.

Amelia Island Fishing Charter

If you happen to be a sheephead, drum or redfish lookout, because the fishing pressure will certainly increase for such species!

Why aren’t the bag limits reduced instead of completely shutting down a fishery and putting more people out of work and forcing us to buy imported and farm raised fish?

Sounds “fishy” to me!

We have no idea under what conditions these imported products are raised, packed or shipped, but we do know that we are being steered away from harvesting and enjoying our own local seafood in favor of an inferior product. Most people don’t realize that we have some of the tastiest oysters and clams right here in our local waters, but for years they have been off limits for commercial and recreational harvest.

Sea Bass FishingEnough of my tirade against Big Brother, hopefully the weather will warm up soon and we can pursue whatever species are still available. Sunday looks like the best day to go offshore with two feet or less seas predicted. Sea bass and triggerfish are good bets at nearshore reefs. A downsized hook will work well, especially for the triggers as they have small mouths. The smaller hook is also likely to reduce your chances of bringing a restricted snapper or grouper to the boat. Sheephead will also be biting on these same reefs and wrecks on live fiddler crabs. Offshore flounder will also be showing up usually on a flat, sandy side of bottom structure and they will follow your bait almost to the boat. Sometimes they will rise up and hit a descending bait as you lower it to the bottom. They will eat cut bait, squid and jigs bounced up and down near the bottom. These flounder are usually in the 3 to 7 lb. range and travel in schools offshore before migrating inshore.

I hope that these closures will eventually be lifted and the fishing action will be even better than ever.

Bass fishing in Lofton Creek is heating up and will be great over the next few months as the bass are bedding this time of year and are hungry.

Call me or email for the latest fishing info or to book a fishing adventure aboard the CleanSweep charter boat.

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Fishing Charters

Call me at (904) 753-0882 or drop me a line at: j_wormhoudt@yahoo.com

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