FL Fish & Wildlife Commission Fishing Report

FWCThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission work to protect, safe and preserve Florida fish. The FL fishing photos and the latest Florida Fishing News is presented as a public service from Naples Marco Living. Thank you for supporting the fising and wildlife conservation efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Contact us for information about featuring your businessin Naples Marco Living.

  • Gulf gray triggerfish reopens March 1, 2018
    Gulf gray triggerfish reopens March 1, 2018 -

    Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish will remain closed in Gulf state and federal waters through Feb. 28, 2018, reopening March 1. The season will also close June 1 through July 31.

    When the season reopens, the daily recreational bag limit will be one fish per person (lowered from two fish earlier this year), and the minimum size limit will be 15 inches fork length (increased from 14 inches fork length earlier this year). Similar changes were approved for Gulf federal waters.

    These changes should help maintain fishing opportunities for gray triggerfish in state and federal waters for 2018 and the future.

    For more information on gray triggerfish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

  • FWC’s TrophyCatch program celebrates 5 successful seasons
    FWC’s TrophyCatch program celebrates 5 successful seasons -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program celebrated five years of bass conservation at its annual Hall of Fame ceremony held at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Orlando. In the past five seasons, TrophyCatch has awarded prizes for the catch and release of more than 6,868 largemouth bass.

    “We want to thank all of our partners and anglers for their commitment to conservation,” said Tom Champeau, FWC’s Director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “We now have 47 Hall of Fame anglers in the TrophyCatch program, and this event honors their skill in catching a bass of a lifetime and submitting their data to the FWC to assist in the management of our trophy bass fisheries.”

    TC Hall Of Fame

    Top row from left: Sy Simms, Dominic Montalto, Geoffrey Wells, Thomas Korinis. Bottom row from left: Mark Harris, Jean Wilson, Mark Lemieux, Bradley Powell. FWC photo.

    Sixteen Hall of Fame anglers were recognized for their catch and release of a largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or heavier in Florida. The Hall of Fame anglers each received Bass Pro Shops gift cards, Spiderwire merchandise, a custom fiberglass replica mount made by New Wave Taxidermy and a plaque from American Registry commemorating their catch. The Season 5 Champion, Dominic Montalto, received the TrophyCatch trophy for catching and releasing the heaviest bass of the season at 16 pounds, 12 ounces, caught in a neighborhood pond in Lee County.

    Dominic Montalto

    Dominic Montalto and family. FWC photo.

    The TrophyCatch “Big Bag Prize” was awarded to Arthur Jackson for his catch and release of the most bass with the heaviest combined weight in Season 5. He caught and released 16 bass with a total combined weight of 141.625 pounds. Jackson received a Shimano prize pack, along with a Lake County Tourism prize pack of a three-day, two-night stay in Lake County with a guided fishing trip with professional angler Tim Frederick.

    Arthur Jackson

    From left: Tim Fredericks (Fishing League Worldwide and Lake County Tourism Pro angler), Arthur "AJ" Jackson and Tom Champeau. FWC photo.

    TrophyCatch is a partnership between FWC biologists, anglers and fishing industry leaders such as Bass Pro Shops, that rewards the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. In order to be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, External Website showing the fish’s weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research, to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass. TrophyCatch is supported by many generous partners, such as Bass Pro Shops.

    The FWC encourages anglers to join TrophyCatch as citizen-scientists that assist in fisheries management and the conservation of Florida’s lakes and rivers. A new TrophyCatch mobile app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. For more information about the TrophyCatch program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com.

  • FWC charges 3 in connection to shark dragging video
    FWC charges 3 in connection to shark dragging video -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office announced charges against three individuals connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a boat at high speed. The charges resulted from a four-month long investigation into the video and other disturbing images on social media involving shocking disregard for Florida’s natural resources.

    “As we’ve said since this video and other images came to light, these actions have no place in Florida, where we treasure and conserve our natural resources for everyone,” said Commission Chairman Bo Rivard. “We appreciate the patience and support of the public as our law enforcement investigators worked with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office to identify a number of serious violations that will be brought to the courts for adjudication. It is our hope these charges will send a clear message to others that this kind of behavior involving our fish and wildlife will not be tolerated.”

    “The State Attorney’s Office is committed to holding these men accountable for having engaged in such senseless and unjustifiable animal cruelty. We thank the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for their work in investigating these crimes, and we stand with them, along with Florida’s fishing and hunting communities, and all those who cherish our precious natural resources, in condemning the torture of our marine wildlife,” said Andrew H. Warren, State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit.

    During the course of the investigation, FWC officers confirmed numerous criminal violations, resulting in felony and misdemeanor charges. Investigators conducted exhaustive research into the suspects’ social media activity, conducted numerous interviews and spoke with a number of subject matter experts on sharks.

    The public can help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com.

    The suspects and their charges are as follows:

    Michael Wenzel (DOB 06/07/1996) of Palmetto, Florida

    • Two felony counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Third-degree felony).
    • One misdemeanor count of Illegal Method of Take – Shark (Second-degree misdemeanor).

    Robert Lee Benac (DOB 04/2/1989) of Bradenton, Florida

    • Two felony counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Third-degree felony).
    • One misdemeanor count of Illegal Method of Take – Shark (Second-degree misdemeanor).

    Spencer Heintz (DOB 10/14/1994) of Palmetto, Florida

    • Two felony counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Third-degree felony).
  • Snook harvest seasonal closure in Atlantic starts Dec. 15
    Snook harvest seasonal closure in Atlantic starts Dec. 15 -

    The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 15 in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, and will remain closed through Jan. 31, 2018, reopening to harvest Feb. 1. Anglers may continue to catch and release snook during the closed season.

    Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, closed Dec. 1 and will reopen to harvest March 1, 2018.

    This and other regular season closures are designed to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather.

    For more information on snook, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”

  • FWC Commissioners elect new chairman, vice chairman
    FWC Commissioners elect new chairman, vice chairman -

    At its meeting Dec. 7 in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) elected Bo Rivard, of Panama City, to serve as chairman, effective immediately.

    Rivard replaces Chairman Brian Yablonski, of Tallahassee. The term of chairman is one year.

    Rivard has served on the Commission since March 2013. He is a partner with Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett in Panama City. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Samford University.

    Rivard’s legal practice has been focused on representing both public and private clients in health care, land use, transportation, litigation and regulatory matters. He has served as outside counsel for numerous local governments and state agencies.

    Rivard is actively engaged in his community. He was chairman of Bay County Chamber of Commerce (2011) and has served on many other local boards. He and his wife, Nicole, have three children and live in Panama City.

    Robert Spottswood, of Key West, was elected vice chairman. Spottswood has served on the Commission since 2015. He is the chief executive officer of Spottswood Companies, Inc. He currently serves as a member of the Third District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission and recently served on the Governor’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding. Spottswood received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

    Spottswood replaces Vice Chairman Aliese P. “Liesa” Priddy, of Immokalee.

  • FWC appoints Eric Sutton as executive director
    FWC appoints Eric Sutton as executive director -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to appoint Eric Sutton, assistant executive director, to the position of executive director, effective Dec. 8. Nick Wiley, current executive director, retires later this month.

    Commissioners touted Sutton’s extensive experience with challenging conservation issues and his positive relationships with fellow FWC staff.

     “We have received many accolades for the agency under the leadership of Chairman Brian Yablonski and Executive Director Nick Wiley. They have been at the tip of the spear, but it’s the whole family who supports the conservation efforts,” said Commissioner Bo Rivard. “As we continue to face changes and new challenges, it is important to have continuity. Eric has been filling roles lately due to Nick’s national leadership positions and has proven himself capable of this important role.”

    Sutton has been the FWC assistant executive director since May 2013. He has worked in government and the private sector since the early 1990s in areas including acquisition and management of public lands, land use regulations, listed species policy, invasive species management and coastal management. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in zoology from the University of South Florida. The emphasis of his work was on endangered species population biology. 

    “Eric does a great job. I see that he’s got the confidence of his FWC family members, and how dedicated and concerned he is about the agency and people of Florida,” said Commissioner Robert Spottswood.

     “As a sportsman and ecologist, it is a tremendous honor to be able to accept this challenge and represent such a talented and dedicated team managing the tremendous fish and wildlife resources of Florida,” said Eric Sutton.

    Sutton’s appointment as executive director will now go to the Florida Senate for confirmation.

  • FWC approves changes to Gulf greater amberjack season
    FWC approves changes to Gulf greater amberjack season -

    At its December meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the greater amberjack recreational season in Gulf state waters to open May 1-31 and Aug. 1-Oct. 31. This change is similar to pending changes in Gulf federal waters.

    Greater amberjack is overfished and undergoing overfishing, and the season has closed increasingly early in recent years due to federal quotas being met or exceeded. This new season structure will optimize recreational fishing opportunities in both the spring and fall while minimizing harvest during the spawning season, helping to rebuild the stock.

    Greater amberjack is currently closed to recreational harvest in Gulf state and federal waters. State waters will remain closed through April 30, 2018.

    For more information or to view the presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

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Double R's Fishing & Tours Co. - 25000 Tamiami Trail East - Port of the Islands, Naples, FL 34114-9602 | 239-642-9779
Experience some of the best charter fishing south Florida has to offer. Our captains have 30+ years of experience to help make your Naples / Marco Island fishing trip one to remember. Fishing in an estuary is a unique esperience! You'll fish for Snook, Red Snapper, Drum Tarpon, Trout, Tripletail, Shark, Grouper, or Pompano. These are just a few of the many species in the 10,000 Islands.
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Captain Phil DeVille Fishing Charters
Capt. Phil DeVille – 10,000 Islands Backwaters - Everglades National Park Fishing Tours, Port of the Islands, Naples, FL | 239-293-5480
Share Captain Phil's passion for the Ten Thousand Islands - Florida Everglades charter fishing trips. Fish for Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Snapper, Flounder and more from a 17' Mitzi Skiff Flats Boatfish. Over 15 varieties of edible fish and great sport fishing. Up to 189 species of birds may be seen in a single trip. View alligators, crocodiles, osprey, eagles, dolphin, and manatee.
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Sunshine Fishing Charters Marco Island FL
Sunshine Tours and Charters, Rose Marina, 951 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island FL | 239-642-5415
Sunshine Tours offers the best in Offshore, Back Country and Near Coastal Fishing, Island Shelling and Sightseeing aboard one of our four fishing boats. Since 1984, Sunshine Tours has provide unsurpassed on-the-water experiences for locals and visitors alike. Shared and private fishing charters available.
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Outgoing Charters Captain Jesse Hill
Outgoing Charters - Captain Jesse Hill, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, Port of the Islands, FL | 239-825-6283
At Outgoing Charters the customer comes first. Whether it's family fun or hardcore fishing, Captain Jesse Hill is a 4th generation native guide who will cater to your specific wants and needs. Light tackle, back country fishing in Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands. Fish for redfish, snook and more. You'll enjoy a comfortable boat with quality gear. Captain Jesse's ultimate goal is to exceed your expectations.
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