We DID NOT Go Fishing off Amelia Island

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.

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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9 Comments

  1. publisher

    Thanks for this article Jim. After 20 years of living in the Caribbean I prefer eating fish 10 to 1 over meat, yet every time I go to the grocery store here I flinch at the prices of fish and wonder what the story behind it is. Consequently I don't even eat fish once every 2 weeks or so and replacing the seafood with meat has put some excessive meat on my bones. Do you really think there are corporate interests that guide officials in their random fishing closures?

  2. tommylee

    Now there's an economic activity I personally wholeheartedly support. We got some great fishing grounds in and around Amelia Island, yet it seems that only imported fish is at extreme prices available. Maybe a twice-a-week fish market on the waterfront downtown Fernandina beach could change that. It gives the sports fishermen and incentive to go out and support the economic activities you mention in your article you're not doing, provide fresh local fish to the population at “hopefully” reasonable prices, stimulate local economic activity with an additional incentive for locals and tourists to go downtown Fernandina with an almost certain spin-off effect for the downtown merchants as well.

    I remember living about 4 miles from the downtown center in the town we grew up in and my mother going twice a week to the local downtown market on mondays and thursdays. There was no ifs, buts or other reason from stopping her on her Solex and later in her Daf (a Dutch built small car) to visit the fresh fish and produce market.

    I'm not aware that something like it exist in Fernandina, but I'd like to hear if it does or else it could be a good ol' way of restoring incentive tradition providing small businesses an organized central venue that could be a win-win situation for everyone.

  3. Hal_Burns

    Another example of how stupid government can be. Who counted these fish and determined the numbers were down?????? Perhaps government did what it does best these days, simply get out the old crystal ball and do a little gazing. Great story but what about the charter boats and crews that just may be out of business because of this mess?

  4. Ameliaprivateeye

    Great article Jim!

  5. Capt. Jim

    demand for fish is high everywhere , if you eliminate the competition as in local fisherman selling to fishhouses and restaurants and people catching and consuming there own seafood you can corner the market with farm raised and imported seafood . Conspiracy theory sounding as it may seem , and I hav`nt done alot of homework on this but I`ve heard that WalMart is involved in a big way in the packaging and shipping of seafood both imported and farmraised .
    Capt. Jim

  6. Publisher

    Funny enough, or not, I'm preparing an article for tomorrow on Wal-Mart and the danger behind their slogan Save Money – Live Well. What happened to the slogan: “We buy American, so you can too.?

  7. Capt. Jim

    demand for fish is high everywhere , if you eliminate the competition as in local fisherman selling to fishhouses and restaurants and people catching and consuming there own seafood you can corner the market with farm raised and imported seafood . Conspiracy theory sounding as it may seem , and I hav`nt done alot of homework on this but I`ve heard that WalMart is involved in a big way in the packaging and shipping of seafood both imported and farmraised .
    Capt. Jim

  8. Publisher

    Funny enough, or not, I'm preparing an article for tomorrow on Wal-Mart and the danger behind their slogan Save Money – Live Well. What happened to the slogan: “We buy American, so you can too.?

  9. Pingback: Clean Sweep Fishing Charters

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