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World and Local Fishing News

Capt. Alex Crawford
June 5, 2008
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report

World and Local Fishing News

News on the water this week includes some potentially disturbing discussion about the possibility of new marine reserves (read no fish zones) that the fed is currently considering. The White House Council on Environmental Quality has a number of locations "still under review." The list includes coral reefs and ridges in the Gulf of Mexico off southern Louisiana and areas around the Dry Tortugas, Florida's East coast and in the central Gulf off Florida.

The basic plan is to have the areas designated as Reserves with the President's signature without Congressional input or approval. In fact, so far very little input has been given by public stake holders regarding the proposals. A few large conservationist groups like the Ocean Conservancy and the Pew Environment Group have voiced their support for the Presidential initiative. It seems that the President likes the plan that would
create a "blue legacy" much as Teddy Roosevelt became known as a conservationist President by setting aside large tracts including Yellowstone National Park

Unfortunately, this kind of legislation can have a severely negative economic impact to our fishing industry across the country and the Gulf states. If you are against this type of legislation, it is best to register your opinion with the Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez at cgutierrez@doc.gov. His cabinet seat oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service.

It is possible that decisions on this could come within a month, so send your email ASAP.

On a happier note, here is some recent and most interesting local news. Captain Grayson Sheppard emailed me today with photos of two giant Goliath Groupers that he caught and released in the Government Cut. Grayson estimated the largest fish to be 6 feet long and between 300 and 350 pounds. Grayson and his charter group were shark fishing with heavy tackle and everyone was just thrilled to catch and release big Goliath groupers. I'm envisioning a 12 year old little boy on vacation with the family fishing from a dock in the Plantation subdivision with shrimp. He hooks a small mangrove snapper and a 300 pound plus Goliath eats the snapper and the boy pulls his fish up on the beach. WOW-- what a catch on a 20 pound plastic reel and rod. Anglers, please don't make a rush to the Government Cut with your heavy tackle looking for Goliath Grouper, they are still protected from harvest.

This is a highly unusual happening. The Cut has a lower salinity with fresh water mixing from the brackish bay waters especially after periods of prolonged rain up in the rivers north of the bay. Who knows why these things occur, that is why it is called fishing I guess. You never know what you will catch. Thanks to Captain Grayson for sharing his remarkable fishing experience.

Till next tide,
Tight lines,
Captain Alex Crawford—www.topknots.com – (850) 697-8946

Carrabelle Fishing Forecast:

The pompano never showed this year. No one knows why. Maybe the goliath groupers are eating them all, who knows. Maybe the fish found some commercial nets on their migration to the Forgotten Coast.

Red snapper fishing has been very good. The fish have taken residence on the wrecks and reefs in the Gulf southg of Apalachicola and are eating everything including frozen cigar minnows. Fishing in stste waters has been productive and we expect the same for federal waters as well. Don't forget your fish dehooker and venting tool for all reef species includding amberjacks, grouper and snapper. Also remember to get some non stainless circle hooks for the reef species. Very small circle hooks will be necessary for trigger fish.

Target Species:

all reef species

More Fishing Reports:


Captain Alex Crawford is a full time guide who has fished the Florida Panhandle offshore for 26 years. He specializes in grouper and snapper trips with light tackle on live bait. Custom trips for companies with multiple boats will be arranged. Inshore trips targeting specific species and custom eco trips are available for birding, gator watching, shelling, picnics and barrier islands. Contact Captain Alex for a fun and productive trip on Florida's Forgotten Coast.

Contact Info:

Topknots Charters
P. O. Box 1029
Carrabelle, FL 32322
Phone: 850-697-8946
Alt. Phone: same
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