CFOA News

  • 12 May 2015 9:50 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    We had a great meet up this past Monday.  Trolling was the hot topic and Dolphin and Tuna seemed to be mentioned quite often.  


    Featured Speaker - Joe Bielowski


    Our featured speaker was Joe Bielowski and you could tell he was very passionate about trolling.  He covered many tips and techniques including the minute details that help make the difference.  


    Some things I found interesting where how he used his teasers and where he placed them in the trolling spread.  You can find many of these tips and more in his book Trolling Tips The Pros Don't Want You to Know.  




    Member Spotlight


    In our member spotlight Scott Van De Houten talked about how he trolls for Dolphin this time of year.  He really likes using teasers to draw the fish in but the thing I found most interesting is that he always trolls naked ballyhoo on a light drag around the teasers.  This is so if a sailfish grabs it, the light drag will allow the fish to eat the bait before you tighten it and set the hook.  On the baits on the outriggers and shotgun he usually adds a skirt and has a tight drag to set the hook immediately. 



    Don't miss out on the next member spotlight, these talks are great!








    May Central Florida Fishing Report


    The fishing reports were mostly covering the hot dolphin bite outside of port canaveral with some large fish being caught.  We had some of our members take some adventures down south and added blackfin tuna from Marathon and Ft. Lauderdale.  Add Wahoo, yellowtail, and amberjack to that keys report as well.  These reports are another benefit of coming out to the meetings.  Learn whats biting so you can capitalize on your next trip.


    Monthly Raffle


    The Raffle included some great trolling plugs, skirts and freestyle jigs along with a Redfish Extreme rod and reel combo donated from Bass Pro Shops Orlando.  These raffles happen every social and are always a lot of fun!


    See you at the next Social!

  • 11 May 2015 9:29 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Scott Sampson (Left) receiving Cobia-Thon award from Bruce ReidWe would like to congratulate Scott Sampson for winning the 2015 Cobia-Thon and bringing the trophy back to the CFOA. 


    With cobia being really tough this spring Scott managed to land the only Cobia of the tournament.  That was a pretty impressive feat out of 33 boats!


    When asked what he thought of the tournament win Scott replied, "Finding the only fish, is no different then finding the one big one.  Its being prepared for the lucky find and trying to put the odds in your favor."







  • 01 May 2015 10:16 AM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Just a reminder that Grouper fishing in the Atlantic and Monroe County waters opens on May 1st.  This is for state and federal waters.  Please check the following sites for more information:


















  • 13 Nov 2014 7:45 PM | Anonymous

    Today, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order authorizing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to offer Lifetime Sportsman’s Licenses for Florida children and young adults at a greatly reduced cost. The license now costs up to $1000 but from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2014, the price will be reduced to $500 for Florida residents who are 21-years-old and younger. The lifetime license covers saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing, hunting and most associated permits. To view the executive order, click HERE.

     

    Governor Scott said, “Our state’s natural treasures give families wonderful opportunities for both fishing and hunting from the Panhandle to the Keys. This Lifetime Sportsman’s License will provide Florida’s youth with the opportunity to spend time outdoors with their families. Fishing and hunting are time-honored traditions in our state, and I encourage all Floridians to spend some time enjoying the great outdoors.”

     

    A Lifetime Sportsman’s License allows fishing and hunting in Florida for the rest of the license holder’s life, even if that person is no longer a resident of the state.

     

    The license may be purchased at all Florida county tax collectors’ offices, online at License.MyFWC.com and by calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356). Residency must be verified. For more information about a Lifetime Sportsman’s License and this limited time offer, visit http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/lifetime-licenses/

  • 10 Sep 2014 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    At a Sept. 10 meeting in Kissimmee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) acted to prohibit lionfish aquaculture. Lionfish are an invasive species that have a negative impact on native fish and habitat.

    The changes will go into effect by Dec. 1. Updates will be available at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

    Management changes were developed in coordination with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and include:

    • Prohibiting the harvest and possession of lionfish eggs and larvae for any purpose other than destruction;
    • Prohibiting the intentional breeding of lionfish in captivity.

    A scientific research exception will allow permitted research institutions to breed and cultivate lionfish for the purposes of researching population control and impact mitigation.

    “Every lionfish prevented from entering Florida waters, and every change that encourages removal is a step toward successfully limiting the negative impacts lionfish have on native fish and wildlife,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley.

    The FWC implemented several management changes including prohibiting the importation of live lionfish into Florida effective Aug. 1. The FWC encourages divers and anglers to remove lionfish whenever they can.

    See or catch a lionfish? Report a sighting by downloading the new Report Florida Lionfish app on a smart device or by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish and clicking on “Report Lionfish.”

    To learn more about these changes, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.” To learn more about lionfish, visit MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

  • 07 May 2014 7:35 AM | Anonymous

    The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on May 16, with the last day of harvest on May 15. This closure occurs each year during the species’ peak spawning season to help protect and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15.

    Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season but only if they have been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.

    Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after the close of the stone crab season unless a special extension is granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

    Learn more about the stone crab harvest season by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater” and then either “Recreational Regulations” or “Commercial.”

  • 20 Apr 2014 8:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the Gulf recreational red snapper season in state waters April 16 at a meeting near Tallahassee. The season will be a total of 52 days in 2014 and will start the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24 this year) and remain open through July 14, closing July 15.

    Starting the season the Saturday before Memorial Day will provide recreational red snapper fishing through an important holiday weekend, helping attract more visitors and bringing economic benefits to our coastal communities.

    The federal season is currently projected to be 11 days long, starting June 1 and remaining open through June 11. This season is subject to change depending on projections by NOAA Fisheries for when the recreational red snapper quota may be caught.

    Florida state waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end, out to about 200 nautical miles.

    The daily bag limit will remain 2 per person in state and federal waters.

    To learn more about this agenda item, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.” To learn more about recreational red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Snapper.”

  • 20 Apr 2014 8:55 PM | Anonymous

    The lionfish is an invasive species that threatens Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. With that in mind, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on April 16 moved forward with steps to combat the spread of invasive lionfish.

    Changes proposed by FWC staff at today’s meeting near Tallahassee will be brought back before the Commission at its June meeting in Fort Myers for final approval. Changes include:

    • Prohibiting the importation of live lionfish;
    • Prohibiting the development of aquaculture of lionfish;
    • Allowing the harvest of lionfish when diving with a rebreather, a device that recycles air and allows divers to remain in the water for longer periods of time; and
    • Increasing opportunities that will allow participants in approved tournaments and other organized events to spear lionfish or other invasive species in areas where spearfishing is not allowed. This will be done through a permitting system.

    Staff has been working with the Florida Legislature on a bill in support of the initiatives to prohibit the importation of live lionfish and the aquaculture of lionfish.

    “By targeting the importation of lionfish to our state, we can limit the number of new lionfish that find their way into Florida waters and, at the same time, encourage further harvest to reduce the existing invasive population,” said State Rep. Holly Raschein, sponsor of the House bill. “These fish pose a significant threat to Florida’s ecosystem, and I am proud to stand in support of the proposed ban. Anything we can do to limit new lionfish introductions and further facilitate the development of a commercial market for this invasive species is a step in the right direction.”

    Changes like these will make it easier for divers to remove lionfish from Florida waters and will help prevent additional introductions of lionfish into marine habitats.

    Lionfish control efforts, from outreach and education to regulatory changes, have been a priority for FWC staff. In 2013, they hosted the first ever Lionfish Summit, which brought together various stakeholders from the public as well as management and research fields to discuss the issues and brainstorm solutions. The changes proposed at today’s meeting came from ideas that were discussed at the Lionfish Summit.

    To learn more about these changes, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and “Commission Meetings.” To learn more about lionfish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lionfish.”

  • 20 Apr 2014 8:53 PM | Anonymous
    On April 10, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) sent a national bulletin announcing that the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery had "all but closed" to recreational anglers. Citing a recent court decision brought about with help from Environmental Defense Fund, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council asked NOAA Fisheries to implement more rigid restrictions in federal waters on the basis of 2013 recreational data collection results, moving to create an 11-day red snapper season in the Gulf. 

     

    RFA has pointed out that recreational red snapper seasons in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico have been significantly reduced every year following the 2006 reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. That federal law, which now incorporates rigid annual catch limits and punishing accountability measures on the recreational sector, also required that NOAA Fisheries rollout out a new recreational data collection program with improved survey methodologies as of January 1, 2009; that same year, scientific stock assessments proved that overfishing for red snapper had ended, however NOAA's use of old data methodologies forced the red snapper season to plummet to 53 days in 2010, ultimately falling to just 40 days by 2013.

     

    While NOAA staffers have testified before numerous Congressional committee meetings as to the fact that the federal deadline to fix the recreational methodologies has still not been met, the agency, with help from Environmental Defense Fund, is forcing federal waters to be virtually closed to red snapper.

     

    "Had NOAA attorneys simply told the truth in the Environmental Defense case, that they haven't made the required changes to the recreational data collection, perhaps the judge would've responded differently," said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio. "Federal agencies today can apparently do whatever they damn well please with support from the environmental community, and ultimately it's going to be up to states to stand up for their citizens, just like Governor Rick Scott of Florida."

     

    Donofrio on Friday praised Governor Scott for a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on April 17th calling for more support for recreational fishermen and major a overhaul of the federal fisheries law.

     

    "I am very disappointed...in how the federal system has been managing red snapper and other fish stocks," Governor Scott wrote, adding "The Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Act) lacks much needed flexibility."

     

    "The Act must be modified to allow more fishing opportunities, not less, as fish stocks improve," the governor added in his letter, which was also forwarded to 14 members of the House of Representatives and both U.S. Senators from Florida. Governor Scott also went on to describe for the Commerce Secretary how better stock assessments and recreational data collection are key to managing both recreational and commercial fisheries.

     

    "As this act is revised and reauthorized by Congress, I urge you to support amendments that incorporate more flexibility, more up-to-date data collection and seriously consider social and economic needs," said Governor Scott, while also adding "now is the time to fix what is broken and to turn disappointment and frustration into a success story for those who depend upon and enjoy our fisheries."

     

    Click here too read Governor Scott's letter in full 

     

    While an inflexible law, faulty data collection and deep-pocketed environmental lawyers continue to whittle away at federal rights, some states are responding defiantly on behalf of their constituents.

     

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted last week to set a 52-day red snapper season in state waters, opening up on May 24th and continuing through July 14th with a two fish bag limit out to 9 nautical miles from shore.

     

    The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also announced that licensed saltwater anglers may harvest red snapper in state waters any day of the week until the end of the year with a two fish bag and 16-inch size limit. Louisiana officials are claiming state rights out to 10.35 miles.  

     

    Meanwhile, red snapper may be caught in Texas state waters all year long with a four fish bag limit and 15-inch size limit, though it's estimated that 95% of the state's annual harvest occurs in federal waters which extend beyond 9 miles from shore.

     

    Alabama's Marine Resources Director, Chris Blankenship, said he'd been in talks with Governor Robert Bentley about a course of action there, while all signs are that Mississippi will be apt to comply with the federal red snapper season in their state waters. Both of those states' have a 3-mile line for state waters.

     

    "We need a change in management of our fisheries," said Pam Anderson of Capt. Anderson's Marina in Panama City Beach, FL. "Our state fishery managers know we must be protective of our resources. That is a given as far as all of us are concerned. But, they know that the NOAA data collection and modeling process is seriously flawed and they know the economic impact to their states matters."

     

    Anderson said the tone at the recent Gulf Council meeting setting the 11-day recreational season was noticeably anti-recreational. "The elation of the commercial operators and the enviro groups was over the top; high-fiving the potential economic losses planned for the recreational angling community, jeering at opposition like bullies in a middle school playground," she said.

     

    "Adding insult to injury, when discussing the negative economic impact on the recreational fishery, certain Council members likened recreational anglers to inerrant children who need to be punished, not given more candy," Anderson added.

     

    RFA board member Nate Odum owns Mexico Beach Marina- a Yamaha Outboard dealer, Sea Tow port and tackle shop- and he says he's very skeptical of what what's going on with fisheries management, noting how storms and high seas had a major impact on participation during the 2013 red snapper season, yet somehow NOAA Fisheries' data showed continued overharvest numbers.

     

    "The marina's bait and fuel sales reflected a significant drop in recreational fishing," Odum stated, adding "I am here every day, I have my fingers on the pulse of one of the finest red snapper fisheries in the Gulf and after 5 years, I have not been approached once for my input. So you tell me, are they serious about common sense, sound science and the factual collection of data?"

     

    NOAA Fisheries announced on April 7th that the agency would be developing a new national recreational fishing policy, but RFA's Donofrio said skepticism remains high in the recreational fishing community. "I hope the Commerce Department isn't putting forth any deadlines for this new angler friendly approach to management, we know from the data collection deadline what that would mean."

     

    "Based on what we have seen in the past two weeks at the federal level and within these regional council meetings, NOAA clearly isn't listening," Donofrio added

    .

     

     
    About Recreational Fishing Alliance
    The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit www.joinrfa.org.
  • 09 Apr 2014 7:22 PM | Anonymous

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet April 15-17 at the Florida Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana. The Institute is west of the city of Midway on U.S. 90. Full-day business sessions Wednesday and Thursday start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday’s half-day discussions session starts at 1 p.m.

    The public is invited to all three days and will be provided opportunities to speak.

    Highlights of the agenda include:

    • Tuesday’s strategic discussions about the future of conservation: human-wildlife interaction; connecting youths to the outdoors; and increasing participation in conservation.
    • Commission action Wednesday on these marine fisheries agenda items:
      • Gulf of Mexico red snapper season modifications.
      • Sea cucumber management alternatives.
      • Proposal for a Gulf reef-fish data reporting system.
      • A proposal to prevent harmful, nonnative lionfish from being introduced and to facilitate removal of the predatory fish.
      • Gulf and South Atlantic fishery management council updates.
      • Thursday’s topics: proposed final rule amendments on the deer management units in Zone D in the western Florida Panhandle, draft amendments to alligator management, and staff reports.

    For the full agenda, go to MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings.” Can’t attend meeting in person? Follow live coverage on Twitter @MyFWC and join in the conversation by using tag #FWC2014. https://twitter.com/MyFWC.

    Also check the Florida Channel (www.thefloridachannel.org/) for possible live webcast times.

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