Massive Bull Shark Wins The Destin Fishing Rodeo First Prize

Massive Bull Shark Wins The Destin Fishing Rodeo First Prize

The 73rd annual Destin Fishing Rodeo has witnessed an incredible win. Shelby Wagner, first prize winner, caught a 329.2-pound bull shark off the coast of Florida! This is the largest shark weighed in the last twenty years of the annual fishing contest. What makes this catch even more amazing is that Wagner is a first-time contestant. After watching weigh-ins at the contest in October, she and a group of friends decided to give shark hunting a shot.  Wagner is new to saltwater fishing, but Captain Kyle Howard and his wife helped her out. In under an hour, all three worked together to reel the bull shark in. They were astounded by the size and couldn’t believe how large their catch was. ...
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Autumn Seasonal Fishing Is Upon Us In Florida!

Autumn Seasonal Fishing Is Upon Us In Florida!

Florida anglers are starting to prepare for seasonal bites that will soon be abundant. The fall climate change will add a variety of species into the mix. Because of this, preparing for their arrival is vital to catching success.  Inshore, Future Start thinking about cooler water targets. Popular game fish, speckled trout, pompano, and sheepshead will soon be added to the menu. Lighter rod/reels should be inspected to make sure they’re working properly, and tackle trays will need to be restocked. Offshore, Future King Mackerel will soon be upon us! Typically found around artificial reefs and natural hardbottom areas, the King Mackerel usually weighs between 9 and 30 pounds. If you’re looking to catch some of these bad boys, dust off your 15 to 20 pound spinning outfits and 30 pound conventional setups. In addition, take a full inventory of necessary tackle and equipment. King Mackerel can be caught with a variety of local catching methods.  Inshore, Lately Snook and redfish are having a...
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Butterfly Peacock Bass: Angler Sets Florida Record

Butterfly Peacock Bass: Angler Sets Florida Record

Felipe Prieto, Florida angler and fishing enthusiast, recently caught a butterfly peacock bass weighing 9.11 pounds and was granted a state record! The previous record from 1993 was 9.08 pounds. Peacock bass, which are actually large cichlids, are native to South America. They were deposited in Southeast Florida during the 80s to reduce the number of undesirable exotic fish, such as tilapia. These predatory game fish are cherished by anglers because of their striking colors. Their aggressive temperament and powerful body make peacock bass one of the hardest fish to catch on light tackle. In Florida, peacock bass are mostly found in the warmer waters of Miami and Broward. There has been a slight northward expansion due to mild winters, as well. ...
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Jacksonville: The Best Fishing Spot In Northeast Florida

Jacksonville: The Best Fishing Spot In Northeast Florida

The First Coast is a fisherman's paradise, with a diverse range of fish species, ideal weather, and a well-developed fishing infrastructure. There are 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in our state, as well as 10,550 miles of rivers, 7,700 lakes, and innumerable ponds. The First Coast also has numerous choices for offshore saltwater fishing, surf fishing, bridge fishing, river fishing, as well as freshwater ponds and lakes nearby.  Fishing In Jacksonville The Southeast is home to hundreds of freshwater and saltwater fish species. Anglers have practically limitless options for good fishing with the St. Johns River and its tributaries right in our backyard. Largemouth bass and crappie are prominent freshwater species in our area too. Long stretches of shoreline provide excellent surf fishing, with great catches including whiting, redfish, bluefish, and pompano. The Matanzas River, Matanzas Inlet, Washington Oaks, Bings Landing, and Princess Place Preserve are all excellent places to go fishing, and surprisingly often people have caught small sharks, rays, catfish, or...
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The Redsnook Catch and Release Tournament Will Keep Local Waters Clean

The Redsnook Catch and Release Tournament Will Keep Local Waters Clean

Every year, there are several fishing tournaments in Southwest Florida. However, there is one in particular that stands out every year...the Redsnook Catch And Release Tournament. This tournament is particularly exciting because the organizers aim at raising funds to spread awareness about clean waters as well as promoting efforts at keeping those waters clean. Last year, the tournament donated $38,000 towards the cause. We all remember how, in 2019, the Florida coastline was filled with dead fish. Organizers of the event said they’re trying to prevent future instances like this by holding the tournament each year and promoting clean waters. This year will mark the 28th Redsnook Catch And Release Charity Fishing Tournament. Organizers hope to make an even larger impact than they did last year and invite the local community to join in. This year, the event will be held from October 8th through 10th and will benefit the conservancy of southwest Florida’s commitment to water quality protection. The organization...
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The Goliath Grouper: Florida Fishermen Might Have Another Chance

The Goliath Grouper: Florida Fishermen Might Have Another Chance

You may have seen our prior blog post on the goliath grouper. They can weigh up to 800 pounds and are generally found near Florida’s coral reefs. They’re generally fearless around humans, which makes them easy targets for fishermen. These massive fish have been protected since 1990, after they almost went extinct. But now, Florida is considering allowing fishermen to catch goliath groupers for the first time in 30+ years.  Next month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will vote on a proposal to allow 200 goliaths to be caught each year with permits awarded through a lottery system. Permits would cost $500, and only juvenile goliaths under 36 inches could be taken. However, many environmental organizations, scientists, and dive groups are opposed to the idea and agree that the species should continue to be protected due to their declining numbers (in the adult population). Overall, population recovery for goliath groupers has not been promising. Many factors have contributed to this,...
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Three New Fishing Records Set In Florida

Three New Fishing Records Set In Florida

Three new fishing records were recently approved by the The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Mark John Gibner set a record for scamp during a fishing expedition near John’s Pass Marina on June 11th. Gibner’s 29.6-pound scamp beat the previous record of 28.38 pounds set by Braden Douglas Pursell in 2002.  The additional two records set were for a Gulf Kingfish at Santa Rosa Beach and a schoolmaster in Broward County. Anthony Mastitski set the record for schoolmaster with a 2.07-pound fish on July 27th.  Do you have a state record to claim? Right now, there are no records listed for white grunt or blueline tilefish. There are also a ton of vacant fly-fishing tackle categories.  For more information and to view current records, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com and click “Records,” contact AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com, or call 850-487-0554. ...
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Emerald Coast Powerboat Week

Emerald Coast Powerboat Week

The Florida Powerboat Club usually takes off summers...and due to the suffocating summer humidity in the Sunshine State, that makes sense. However, the club’s Emerald Coast event, which typically takes place in August, is the one exception to this rule. This year, the club’s 4-day Emerald Coast Powerboat Week will take place from September 22-26. This event will include a fun run and a poker run, and 75 boats are currently registered.  The date change has several advantages. The new September dates will hopefully make for a cooler, less humid experience. In addition, less recreational boaters will be on the same waterways as performance-boating club members during the event.  Another new change, in addition to the fall dates, is the club’s partnership with the Legendary Marina facility, which will provide complete services to FPC members. They’ll do everything from receiving boats on trailers and unloading and launching them to providing daily shuttle services for guests.  And don’t forget about the infamous Friday Fun...
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Electric Boats Are On The Horizon

Electric Boats Are On The Horizon

The boating industry has historically lagged behind the auto industry, weighed down by low-horsepower engines and batteries. That’s about to change, though.  Electric boats are now faster, with smaller batteries, and have zero emissions. They used to only be useful for cruising around, but now they have more power and their batteries last longer.  Vision Marine has helped lead the way with electric boats. In 2015, they began working on developing a more powerful electric outboard motor. That’s when the E-Motion 180 came to life, the first electric boat engine to use lithium batteries. The electric outboard can reach speeds of 60mph, and the engines are noiseless, odorless, and smokeless. Sales began in May, with delivery expected later this year.  Electric boating has been embraced by celebrities like Drake and Robert De Niro, according to Vision Marine. Many tour operators and cities that have rental boats and water taxis have turned to electric boats.  Due to the pandemic, boat sales have increased significantly. Boat...
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Basic Boating Safety and First Aid

Basic Boating Safety and First Aid

Boating injuries are often minor, like a cut from a fishing hook or too much sun exposure. However, even small injuries can become severe issues if they aren’t addressed appropriately. Here are three vital first aid topics to know about.  CUTS AND PUNCTURESStop the bleeding first. If the wound is worse than a small injury, you’ll need to apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. If the bleeding doesn’t easily stop, continue to apply pressure and seek medical assistance.  Once the wound stops bleeding, use water to irrigate the cut or puncture. This helps to clear out debris and bacteria, which lowers the risk of infection. Don’t use sea water or lake water, as this can introduce new bacteria into the wound. Flush it out for a full minute with fresh, clean water.  Clean appropriately. Don’t immediately put soap inside the wound, as this can irritate the tissue and delay healing. On that same note, don’t use hydrogen peroxide right away.  Apply a...
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