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Save The Trout Florida

Capt. Mike Locklear
April 25, 2010
Homosassa - Saltwater Fishing Report

Click to Enlarge Photo

Click to Enlarge Photo

First, a Homosassa redfish report.

Well, finally after a tough decision of many good anglers this past month to mention, none was more thankful and proud of this personal best redfish than Brian Hooks of Atlanta, Georgia.

Click to Enlarge Photo

On Easter Sunday Hooks Easter Egg was in the form of a 28-inch redfish. One inch outside the legal maximum size to keep. The spawner redfish was released to fight another day and raise some more little ones.

Click to Enlarge Photo

And it was the first redfish landed by a client on the Homosassa flats aboard my Carolina Skiff this year. So congradulations is in order for Brian.

End of report.

An open letter to all those concerned:

In other action around town the Citrus County Builders Association Tournament was a success in all species. Except for redfish which I consider a species of special concern, I would like to see the Directors go back to the photographic catch and release format.

There is a good reason for this. First, it is always better to release redfish in any tournament, period. Secondly, not everyone knows that overnight a redfish will shrink between 3/8 to 1/2 inch according to an inside source. So it is not fair to those who abide by the rules from the ones who ice down an over sized redfish.

In general, a huge overkill by most anglers is taking spotted seatrout over 20-inches. The law is; one can be kept over 20-inches per angler per day. Never will the west coast of Florida have a trophy fishery again unless the one fish over 20-inches is changed to a slot size management only.

No one made me God and I am just as guilty as the next guy. But when it is the law most all people abide by the rules. A change in trout rules for one over 20-inches is not a good idea for the spawning potential ratio or our future generations of anglers.

As a long time guide and fishermen for over 40 years I used to see trout in excess of 10-12 pounds in the Crystal River. Our trout stocks in Florida are over harvested especially with the roe laden females being taken captive for dinner or show and tell.

Years ago, the marine biologist under the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission recommended a one or two fish bag limit. Everyone complained and one month was chosen in the northwest area to be closed; February is not a great month to save the big females. They have mostly been caught up by then.

I just remember the good old days when there were thousands of trout and I suppose a lot less people fishing for them because everyone kept all the fish back then. Maybe the bottom line is there are too many anglers and too few fish or is it that the trout stocks are as many as the good old days, instead caught and divided by a much huger number of anglers?

And how many trout does a person need for a fresh meal? Why not cut the guides bag limit out completely? This would help big time the SPR escapement theory.

Personally, I go back to where are the double digit trout on the west coast!

And do not forget that our freeze had to have a huge impact on the amount of trout taken by a hard winter.

I have been wanting to say this for some time. If you read this and agree, please pass this on to the FWC Commissioners.

Target Species:

Tarpon Redfish Cobia

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