No Fishing
No Fishing
We decided not to go offshore bottom fishing last weekend and what a great time we didn’t have! We didn’t purchase cigar minnows and squid to be deployed on the bottom for Grouper and Snapper, nor did we buy 8 to 12 ounce bank sinkers or 6/0 to 8/0 circle hooks, swivels, 80 pound florocarbon leader or various other tackle items not needed when you don’t go fishing.

We also didn’t buy ice, drinks, sandwiches or chips for our trip that didn’t take place. No gasoline or oil was purchased locally. When we didn’t return from the trip we didn’t take we didn’t need batter, flour, oil, coleslaw, hushpuppy mix or the propane needed to fry the fish we didn’t go catch. Maybe next time we shouldn’t go out on one of the local charter boats to accomplish the same thing. They and many like them won’t be going fishing either.

Another option for this coming weekend could be to not go to the Greater Jacksonville Boat Show to not purchase the boat you won’t need to not go fishing.

No, I’m not writing this after an extended happy hour, I’m simply hoping to point out the economic impact of unnecessary fishing closures forced upon us all by misinformed officials who may have someone else’s special interests in mind.

Farm raised and imported fish fill our grocery stores and their seafood display cases with what to me seem to be high prices. Most local restaurants serve Whitefish or Tilapia. Although tasty, versatile and affordable, it is still hardly a local catch and doesn’t rival fresh Grouper, Snapper, Seabass or Flounder – taste wise. Not to mention local shrimp, but that is a whole different article.

We live on an island in one of the best fisheries anywhere; there must be a way to better manage our fisheries for the common good of both commercial and recreational fisherman, without wreaking economic hardships upon so many. You would be startled to know some of the proposed upcoming fish closures. Yes, even the lowly whiting, beloved by all, and an easy to catch table-fare could be a target of future restrictions.

By the way, we won’t be going Trout fishing this week for the Trout we won`t catch. The month of February is closed for trout fishing, but Stripers should be biting in the St. Mary’s River and Lofton creek on deep diving plugs trolled slowly or by deploying live shrimp under a float rig. More details on Stripers to come.

If you want to talk fishing, give me a call! Captain Jim Wormhoudt (904) 277-2998. For more info regarding fishing and closures in our area go to http://safmc.deep-blue-sea.org

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