Capt. Ric’s Reel Simple Fishing Report
“Snook need lovin’ too”. That was the quote one of my clients kept saying the other day while fishing for for snook. I have had a pretty good amount of success in the last month catching keeper “slot size of 28 – 33 inches” snook in Tampa bay. The most awesome thing about it is we have not taken 1 snook back to the cleaning table. Let me make it clear that I am all about eating fish and not a stringent catch and release guy.
I feel that they were put there for us to eat. Snook, at the present time is a catch I feel a little different about. When we had the freeze in 2010, Tampa Bay got hit harder than any other place in the state. Our snook numbers are getting better but are not where they were at before the freeze. Having fished in the bay for over 40 years, I have seen a few snook kills and know the whole recovery time frame.
They are a species that recovers well but certainly can use our help in the process. Knowing all of this is why I am so pleased when I hear a client choose to take the road that is for the better good of the fishery and is not thinking about the “now”. The old thought of “if I only take one it will not have any impact” is debatable. If everyone out there took one then that would make a huge impact on the rebound of the species.
The fish that we are allowed to keep are baby makers and we need them, in my opinion, one more year. I have talked with several of my peers about this and a all of them feel the same way and are dedicated to health of the fishery.
The FWC has to make decisions that govern the whole coast but the Tampa Bay area needs one more year. I hope that as stewards of our sport we do whats best. I know that some of you will disagree with me but I am out there more than most and see the progress as it happens. Before anyone organizes a lynch mob to take out me and my peers just remember that it is only our opinion. Moving on.
Our area also has had a great redfish bite as the schools of reds still continue to travel across the flats in every part of the bay. Most of these fish are keeper size (18” – 27”) and are willing to eat just about any bait presented. The trout bite is also ramping up with some of the bigger fish starting to eat. Other fish that are plentiful in our area right now is spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper. Whatever your pleasure I think Tampa Bay has something for you right now. Until next time, good luck and be safe on the water. Remember: don’t let your kid be the one that got away, take them fishing.
For charter information you can call (813)601-2900, email CaptainRic@msn.com, or visit www.ReelSimpleFishing.com.