Hot enough for a lobster, a crocodile and then a snook
- Crocodile hunting season begins on August 15th
- Snook Season reopens for harvest on September 1st
Do you hear this sound? This is the sound of electronic school bells set in the not too distant future.
correct. Before our eyes, summer has just passed. Now if only the heat would.
Just because summer is coming to an end for some of us doesn’t mean the unique Florida goal harvest seasons are. Lobsters, alligators, and snooks (and don’t forget the scallops on Florida’s northern Gulf Coast) all enter harvest seasons on different dates.
Unfortunately, some of us will be back in the stores soon for those spiral notebooks and colored pencils, but don’t forget to get your last taste of the great outdoors before the school bells ring.
Florida Fishing Regulations and Fishing Season Opening and Closing Dates:
- crab: Regular season runs from August 6 to March 31, 2024. No egg carriers, minimum shield length of 3 inches. Lobster seal wanted.
- crocodile: Hunting season starts from August 15th to November 15th. 1. Required permits.
- Snook: Harvest reopens on September 1st. One bag of fish, 28-32 inches, and snook seal required.
- Golden Tile Thickness: Harvest closed on July 17th. The harvest season began on January 1, 2024.
- flop: Harvest ends from October 15th to November 30th. Maximum size: 14 inches. Maximum number of bags: 5 fish per person.
- Hogfish: Harvest closes from November 1st to April 30th.
- spotted seat: Harvest closes in November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens on January 1.
- Grouper: Harvest opened on May 1st. It includes pear grouper, red grouper, black grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellow grouper, cony, gray grouper, red grouper, and back grouper. Harvest closes January 1st.
- Cobia: New bag and volume limits for state water. Bag limit: 2 fish per vessel. Size limit: 36″ prong length.
- red fish: Harvesting of red fish has been banned in Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon since September 1, 2022. The FWC will be re-evaluated in the future.
- Dolphin: The bag limit is 5 fish per day per fisherman. The vessel limit is 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in the limit. These fishing regulations began May 1, 2022, for state waters.
- bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become everything caught and released.
For complete Florida fishing regulations, go to MyFWC.com.
Indian River County
Navy: Big Easy Fishing Company Captain Terry Wild of Capt Hiram’s Resort in Sebastian has guided customers to catch large mangrove fish, grouper, kingfish, cobia and mutton in 70 to 100 feet of water. The summer slowdown hasn’t happened here yet.
near the beach: Small fish kills occurred along the western side of the lake south of the Sebastian River. However, mangrove fishing is still good in Sebastian Bay. Use shrimp, galangal, or pine fish pieces for bites. The platforms are still closed at the state park, so use the sidewalks to get to the fish. Watch the snapper bite at the end of the jetty get caught by the goliath grouper.
fresh water: Water temperatures were high at Headwaters Lake, Blue Cypress Lake, Stikmarsh and Garcia. The fish are slower and less likely to get bitten by bass on jigs and swimbaits.
St. Lucie County
Navy: Party boats that operate out of Fort Pierce catch lamb snapper and mangrove snapper. Most of the action was in 80 feet of water. Use dead sardines. Watch out for lobster divers if you plan on hull reef fishing on Sundays when the season opens. Boaters must stay within 300 feet of dive flags.
near the beach: Trout and snook are a common catch in the live groves or herring lapped when caught around the hull at Fort Pierce. Cast live baits around dockyards along St. Lucie Village or south along Indian River Drive looking for pieces of these fish, redfish and black drum.
browse: Whites were biting along the beaches of Hutchinson Island. Hunting the beginning of the outgoing tide.
Navy: Wahoo can be caught this week on the back of the supermoon from Wednesday, the first of this month’s two supermoons. The second will be August 30th. Supermoons are several percent larger than regular moons. The Sailfish was 80 to 150 feet high. The bait is still outside the house in front of the refugee house.
near the beach: Tarpon fishing has been a constant at the crossroads. It has been successful submerging dead mullet during the outgoing tides, and it will catch snooks and sharks. Snook has been along a detached jetty. About the docks at Rocky Point and Sailfish Point and the bridges. Sheep’s head can be caught around bridges and ponds on shrimp.
With water temperatures warming in most of the lake’s perishable areas, it’s time to fish the water column and slow down your presentation. Bluegill and bream bite live crickets.
Ed Keller is the Fishing Writer for TCPalm. Send him your catch report at firstname.lastname@example.org.