Naples to Flamingo
Includes Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City and Chokoloskee
We have one heck of a front coming through starting on Friday. Expect 15-20 mph sustained winds on Friday and Saturday is predicted to have even higher velocity wind speeds. Sunday will bring post front conditions, with milder, yet strong winds, so take caution when venturing out. All in all, the weekend looks rough to say the least. Golf anyone?
Snook is the topic of the week with the opener falling on March 1st this spring and with the warm winter we have had, the snook are staging right now to head to the beaches which is quite a bit ahead of schedule. In normal years, May tends to be the shining month that you’ll find droves of silhouettes dotting our beaches as they spawn, but we are seeing quite a few fish on the outside islands and in the area passes. That being said, while this weekend may be a wash due to the high winds, look for snook in the passes as they wait to move out to the beaches. Pilchards, pinfish and threadfin herring will all get you bit when fishing around structure such as docks and laydowns. Be sure to beef up your tackle including leader material.
Keep in mind that you may harvest 1 per harvester per day, but if you are on a charter, the captain and crew does not count for a limit. Snook must be between 28 and 33 inches in our Gulf of Mexico region and you must have a snook stamp as part of your saltwater fishing license in order to harvest one. Please practice selective harvest as the fishery continues to rebound to sustainable populations of breeding sized fish. If you are a catch and release fisherman and do not desire to harvest a snook, please consider still purchasing a snook stamp as there are many benefits that the fund finances.
Revenue generated from the sale of snook permits is used exclusively for programs to benefit the snook population. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) scientists conduct research and monitoring activities focused on improving the quality of biological and fisheries data being collected on common snook to ensure that these magnificent fish continue to thrive in Florida’s bays and estuaries for generations to come. Major Programs Funded by the Snook Permit fee are:
Stock enhancement – Researchers are testing techniques to spawn snook in hatcheries for stock enhancement purposes.
Snook tagging program – Biologists monitor the movements, habitat use, and survival of adult snook tagged with external dart tags, as well as with internal ultrasonic transmitters (also known as acoustic tags).
Fisheries-independent sampling – Biologists conduct monthly sampling in four Florida estuaries where common snook are typically abundant: Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and the southern and northern portions of the Indian River Lagoon.
Fisheries-dependent sampling – This project involves researchers collecting snook-related information through creel, or angler surveys and through an angler-based logbook program
To learn more about snook biology and research projects conducted by FWRI, visit their snook page.
If you would like to continue to support these snook programs please purchase a snook permit.
Time to wash the boat and prep some tackle this weekend as I strongly encourage everyone NOT to venture offshore this weekend. Please use logic when your buddy says, “lets go”.
Captain Steve Dall
USCG Licensed Captain- 10K Islands Estero Bay