Florida Fishing Pier Finder Launched By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida Fishing Pier Finder Launched By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

If you’re looking for a place to fish from land, check out the new Florida Fishing Pier Finder, an interactive map that allows anglers to find public fishing piers, jetties, and bridges. If possible, skip your phone and view the map on a computer or tablet.  This app was created through funding from the federal Sport Fish Restoration program, which collects taxes from fishing and motorboat purchases to fund projects that enhance fishing opportunities.  In order to find the perfect fishing spot, visit MyFWC.com/PierFinder to search by location and what type of place you’re specifically looking for. There are several bridges and piers around Florida that allow anglers to catch a variety of species, which isn’t always easy when you’re stuck on land. Some of these structures extend into the Gulf of Mexico, and others extend into the Atlantic Ocean.  This unique platform is super helpful for anglers who want diverse fishing opportunities but might not be familiar with an area. Florida is...
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5 Amazing Fly Fishing Destinations In South Florida

5 Amazing Fly Fishing Destinations In South Florida

If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to relax, South Florida is the perfect spot. And if you’re looking to go fly fishing? Even better! Keep reading to learn about five awesome fly fishing destinations you should visit in South Florida.  1. NaplesNaples is great for angling enthusiasts and fly fishing. It’s also home to more than ten miles of the best beaches in North America! Some fish you can find here are the snook, redfish, pompano, permit, Spanish Mackerel, and trout.  2. Boca GrandeLocated on Gasparilla Island, right near the Gulf Coast, Boca Grande is a great destination for regular fishing and fly fishing. Some fish that are often caught are pompano and snooks.  3. Palm BeachPalm Beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it a great spot for both inshore and offshore fish. Snooks and Spanish Mackerel are popular. You can also catch sailfish, swordfish, snapper, and grouper. If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’ll also enjoy seeing manatees, sea...
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Stay Safe On The Water This Memorial Day Weekend!

Stay Safe On The Water This Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend in South Florida is one of the busiest weekends on the water for boaters. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep boating safety in mind. Here are some quick boating safety tips that will ensure you and your loved ones have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  1. Everyone needs a life jacket.Yes, everyone! Make sure you have enough life jackets to accommodate everyone on your boat. Over 80% of drownings are the result of not wearing a life jacket. You never know when an emergency situation will occur, so it’s wise to be prepared.  2. File a float plan, or tell someone where you’re going.This is something you should do each time you take your boat out. That way, the Coast Guard, along with local law enforcement, will have the ability to start a search quickly if something goes awry.  3. Have a designated sober skipper.Drinking while boating is a huge problem in Florida, so it’s important to designate...
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Lakeland Boating Safety Course: June 12-13

Lakeland Boating Safety Course: June 12-13

If you’re thinking about taking a boating course this summer, we have a great option for you in Lakeland! On June 12th and 13th, America’s Boating Club Lakeland will present America’s Boating Course in two half day increments. Lakeland is about an hour and a half from Palmetto. What will the class teach?The class will teach the basics of safe boating in eight hours of classroom instruction. This will fulfill the requirements for the Florida Boater ID Card, which is necessary to operate a powerboat of 10 or more horsepower in Florida.  When will the class be held?Check in will begin at 7:45am on June 12th and will run from 1am to 1pm on both June 12th and June 13th. There will be a 60-question multiple choice exam at the end of Sunday’s class. Preregistration is required.  Where will the class be held?Old Salt Marine, 1918 U.S. 98 North, in Lakeland.  How much does it cost?$50 per person.  How can I register/learn more?Contact America’s Boating Club...
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Florida Advances Possibility Of Fishing Goliath Groups Again

Florida Advances Possibility Of Fishing Goliath Groups Again

Are you ready to start fishing? Goliath groupers faced extinction three decades ago due to water pollution and overfishing, but the door has now opened for fishermen to catch and kill them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission created a new regulation proposal that would allow for 100 goliath groupers to be caught and kept alive each year within a four year span. As part of this proposal, a lottery would be enacted that gives a limited amount of fisherman the chance to pay $300 for a weekly license to catch and kill one goliath. The money from the permit sales will go towards funding research.  Though this is a step in the right direction for fishermen, it might not be approved for several years as marine biologists are hesitant about the proposed measure. The goliath grouper, a 400-800 pound fish, has left scientists with many questions regarding how the species has recovered over the last 30 years. ...
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Weekend Trip: Pole Boating In The Everglades

Weekend Trip: Pole Boating In The Everglades

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, consider pole boating in the Everglades! The Florida Everglades are a beautiful sight to behold, and they’re brimming with life. Touring these waters with a pole boat can give you a major advantage. Pole boats are quieter and less likely to scare off critters.  Jack Shealy has been a pole boat guide in the Everglades for about 15 years. His family has been hunting, trapping, and fishing on pole boats for almost 40 years along the Ochopee prairie. He’s a certified Florida glades-man.  The first glades-man in the area used pole boats to navigate swamp waters, which allowed them to barter and trade goods.  Glades-man culture still has roots in the area today. Taking a pole boat tour will give you a fascinating glimpse into the life of the men and women who first settled along the swamps. Shealy will give you an up-close and personal look at the environment and the history....
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Boating On Busy Waterways: 5 Tips

Boating On Busy Waterways: 5 Tips

Boating enthusiasts are flocking to the water as summer weather approaches. Because of this, our waterways are filling up with both experienced captains and novice boaters. With such a high level of traffic on the water, it’s more important than ever to navigate your boat in a safe, responsible way. Here are five tips for boating on crowded waterways.  1. Be quick on the boat ramp.When the boat ramp is packed, it’s important to be quick, efficient, and mindful of everyone else. Load all your gear into the boat before you pull up to the launch. The process will go faster that way. Blocking the ramp for too long will make everyone antsy and irritated. After launching, move your boat to the side of the dock to free up the ramp, and then move your vehicle and trailer.  2. Become familiar with the water.Make sure you learn about the channels, landmarks, potential hazards, sandbars, and more. Keep navigation charts onboard and use...
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This Boating Reminder Could Save Your Life!

This Boating Reminder Could Save Your Life!

April 6th is 406 Day. Are you familiar with this day and what it means? 406 Day raises awareness about the effectiveness of 406 MHZ rescue beacons. These beacons use a 406 MHz frequency to connect to various NOAA satellites in order to alert a ground station when a vessel or individual is in distress and needs assistance. They also keep tabs on where the vessel or individual is located.  What’s the difference between an EPIRB and a PLB?An EPIRB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. This device is registered to a boat. On the other hand, a PLB is a Personal Locator Beacon. This is registered to an individual. They’re smaller and less expensive than an EPIRB, and they can be taken anywhere as long as the sky is visible to summon help. An EPIRB works best while floating in the water, while a PLB should be kept dry. EPIRBs send alerts for a minimum of 48 hours, and...
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9 People Rescued From Sarasota Boat Fire

9 People Rescued From Sarasota Boat Fire

Over the weekend, a nightmare unfolded on a boat in Sarasota Bay. Out of nowhere, a fire erupted on a 24-foot vessel. It started when the boat owner heard the motor sputtering. There was smoke in the hood, which the blower began to remove, but the owner quickly realized the boat was on fire.  Fortunately, within minutes, nearby boaters surrounded the burning vessel to assist. Black smoke was barreling from the boat as the nine people aboard jumped into the water. The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes, and everyone aboard was safe.  Fortunately, this type of intense fire isn’t common. It was a close call, but everyone made it back to shore safely.  ...
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Boat Engine Cutoff Switch Law Now In Effect

Boat Engine Cutoff Switch Law Now In Effect

Effective April 1st, there are new engine cutoff device wear requirements for recreational boaters on vessels less than 26 feet. These devices, referred to as engine cutoff switches (ECOS), are used to prevent a boating injury if an operator is accidentally thrown overboard while underway.  Engine cutoff devices can be located at the helm of the boat or the body of an outboard engine and usually connect a boat’s operator to the cutoff switch with a lanyard. Some don’t use a lanyard and rely on wireless proximity devices to shut down the engine immediately if the operator goes overboard.  Exceptions to this requirement include if the main helm of the boat is an enclosed cabin or the boat is operating below displacement speed. For example, boaters who are fishing or docking do not need to use an ECOS. This new law is applicable to all federally navigable waterways. States do not have the ability to enforce the new ECOS regulation, though a few...
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