So much for spring. Temperatures are already up in the upper eighty's right now during the day. I've been pushing myself and clients to get out early before sunrise while it's a bit cooler. I know it's theoretically spring, birds are nesting, Swallow tail kites have returned and our rains haven't really started yet. I know it's now spring when bull sharks show up in a couple of back country places that I kayak fish. I found out the other day as a bull shark came up and ate a nice snook I had just released. Usually it's the gators that sometimes want to eat my fish but this time of year the sharks may show up for whatever reason. Another challenge to fishing some of these Everglades waters and knowing now that they are back, I'll avoid fishing these areas for the next month.
Every day is different but there have been a few days recently where we've been getting into the juvenile tarpon. They can be so finicky but we've managed to hookup with many, both on fly and spinning rods, and boat a few of these crazy fish.
Dumber than a pelican (sorry pelicans) to all fisherman who has kept and killed a snook during this past open snook season here on the southwest coast of Florida. With exception to some visitors and tourists who may not have known any better any fisherman living in Florida knows of the devastating fish kill we had a few years ago. I support most all things that the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife) does but in this case it's a big fail. The FWC reopened the snook season from political pressure for fishing tourism reasons and The FWC also claimed that scientifically and through studies the snook fishery has rebounded enough to open the season again.
I wasn't here 30 years or so ago when there was a much more abundant snook fishery, but I know it has declined over the years and the freeze we had a few years ago definitely devastated the snook population. With spending a tremendous amount of time fishing the area waters and talking almost daily with many area guides and fisherman the general consensus is the snook fishery has not rebounded to the point to justify opening a snook season, any fisherman that has fished the area waters over the last few years cannot deny it. Although there are some larger fish around there is no where near the population that once existed.
The keeping of these snook in the slot are or are about to become the breeding stock for the fishery. Whether through ignorance or somehow not knowing about the fishery, educate yourself and please in the future reconsider and think twice about keeping a snook. There are plenty of other fish species that are very good to eat, just ask a pelican.