- Snook runs ashore
- Tarpon fishing is constant
It’s September, so my email inbox is filling up with the one question I get every fall: Where’s the mullet?
Last time I checked, the mullet didn’t have a calendar. However, the phases of the moon and the tides greatly influence its movements. The moon has just been full and I suggested we should see the mullet start to gather in preparation for the big action. Maybe I was a little early on that call.
The good news is that we are getting closer every day to the start of their migration. Continue to check out the inlets, beaches, and lake shores. Work is only a few days.
Florida hunting regulations and hunting season opening and closing dates:
- Snook: Harvest season reopens on September 1st. One 28-32 inch bag of fish required, snook seal required.
- blue tile thickness: Harvest closes September 1st in federal and state waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Harvest will reopen on May 1, 2024.
- gold tile thickness: Harvest closed on July 17th. Harvest will reopen on January 1.
- crocodile: Hunting season starts from August 15th to November. 1. Required permits.
- crabBag limit: 6. Lobster seal required.
- flop: Harvest closes from October 15th to November 30th. Maximum size: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.
- Porpoise: Harvest closes from November 1st to April 30th.
- Spotted seats: Harvest season closes in November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens on January 1st.
- Grouper: Harvest opened on May 1st. It includes Grouper, Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Grouper, Yellow Grouper, Yellow Mouth, Coni, Gray, Red India, and Rocky India. Harvest closes January 1st.
- Cobia: New bag and volume limits for state water. Bag limit: 2 fish per vessel. Maximum size: fork length 36 inches.
- red fish: Fishing for redfish has been prohibited in the 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 is soon to be a catch and release.
For complete Florida fishing regulations, go to MyFWC.com.
Snook Regulations Workshop
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering new fishing regulations to protect snook from environmental and human factors. The agency proposed 10 administrative regions to replace the current two, and other organizational changes. The agenda for the September 7 meeting will include a discussion of the following:
- Snook is launched and launched in the Tampa Bay area beginning in 2024
- Adding September to the closed season for the southwest region
- Reducing the number of bags to two per ship statewide
To participate in the workshop, go to MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” or submit public comments online. Recording of the September 7th meeting will be available by September 15th on the FWC Saltwater Fishing YouTube channel.
For information about public workshops, call 850-487-0554 or visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing” then “Public Rulemaking Meetings.”
Catch redfish and trout in the shallow waters around Van Island and along George’s Bar. Tarpons and small jacks can be caught along the exterior of Tiger Shoal. Use small live baits or live shrimp to catch redfish, trout, and black drum.
Seas should be calm over the weekend as Hurricane Lee remains off the coast of the United States. Autumn migrations have begun, but dolphins and blackfin tuna’s migration to the south may be a few weeks away. Snapper fishing has slowed. Sharks and kingfish can be caught in 20-40 feet of water.
Surfers should look forward to a good swell next week as Hurricane Lee makes its way north into the Atlantic Ocean. Even then, the minnows started moving south along the beaches. Snook, whiting and croaker can be caught in the trough or along the sandbar. The mullet should start moving ashore soon.
Great news: Red minnows appeared around the North Jetty on Wednesday. This means that the mullet can’t be far behind. Minnows, which are actually bay anchovies, often precede mullet migration and fuel the feeding activity of dozens of finned and winged predators. It’s hard to catch fish because matching the hole is nearly impossible, but those who throw a fly from shore actually have a chance.
Indian River Lake
Stack live shrimp or mullet at the end of the docks for bites of snook, redfish, trout, sheep’s head and black drum. Small tarpons have also been caught around the mangrove islands near Cocoa Beach. Trout and redfish can be caught in the aprons around Scout Island and Lookout Island. Fish around Dragon Point for Snuku.
Fishing on some St. Johns River lakes is getting better with shorter days and cooler temperatures. Try using pelagic frogbaits, elbowbaits, or spinnerbaits in Lake Washington or Lake Poinsett to get bites out of 1-3 lb bass.
Ed Keller is an outdoors writer for USA Today in Florida. Email him at email@example.com.