Happy New Year and may the waves be smooth, wind on your back and the fish biting all year. If the NMFS will allow us to bring a fish home this year, my hopes are that it will be a fantastic year for recreational fisherman and all of those other fisherman that need something to eat that has always been supplied by good ol’ mother nature. May all of the other people that depend on fishing for a living also have an opportunity to continue working.
Of all of the fisherman both for hire and recreational that are trying to make contact with our congressmen to provide them with the information that clearly indicates just how hard the decisions made by the NMFS, based on insufficient data has impacted all of us. They just do not seem to care how many people they are hurting or trying to obtain valid data. It would be one thing if our government was actually obtaining good data to make these all encompassing decisions and another thing if they would only listen to the hundreds of thousands of people that are affected.
Offshore fishing on those days that the weather will allow you to fish is nothing short of fantastic. There are so many red snapper that you can not get a bait to the bottom to catch a grouper or scamp. The rest of the bottom-dwelling fish seem to be quite plentiful in our area off of Northwest Florida.
Inshore fishing has just improved and gotten better and better. As December has progressed, the speckled trout are so plentiful and of such good size and the sheepshead and pompano are really coming on strong. You have trouble staying away from those red fish that are so large that you can not keep them. We caught seven of them last Tuesday while fishing in a 100 feet of water offshore that weighed over 40 pounds a piece. They have eaten up all of the bait inshore and are now headed offshore to look for something else to eat.
I feel real bad about having to continue degrading our governments controlling decisions on our livelihood throughout all of the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. I can only hope the coming year will provide some valid decisions based on exactly what mother nature is providing for all of us.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.