This August marks the opening of several species of fish. One of my favorites is Amberjack, this hearty species is fun to catch and are known for their aggressive fights. I like to think of them as a cross between grouper and wahoo …. they dig and run. We typically use live bait and the bigger the better, Spade fish are great for this, but blue runners and pinfish work too. August 1st they re-opened the season and will be good to catch until the end of May 2015, the bag limit is 1 per person and must be 30″ to the fork in length.
Triggerfish also re-open on August 1st and are good to catch through May 2015. They are 2 fish per person bag limit and 14″ to the fork for minimum length. Triggerfish inhabit hard bottom ledges and artificial reefs in water depths 80ft or more. They have a very small mouth with boney teeth so use a small hook, I actually just caught a nice sized one in only 60ft of water using squid as bait on a small Lazer Sharp Eagle Claw 2/0 hook. It was a fun little fight on my spinning rod.
Lastly, but not least, Spiny Lobster open on August 6th and are good to catch through March 2015. They are 6 per person bag limit and with a Carapace larger than 3″, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times. There are actually quite a few rules when catching lobster to make sure you are up to date on. (See below – taken from the FWC site regulations)
- Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster
- Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.
- The harvest or possession of eggbearing spiny lobster, or any other eggbearing species of lobster belonging to the families Palinuridae (spiny lobsters), Scyllaridae (slipper lobsters) or Synaxidae (furry lobsters) is prohibited
- No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the exoskeleton (shell) or the flesh of the lobster
- Recreational trapping prohibited
- Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting. People harvesting may not exceed their individual bag limit and take someone else’s bag limit. That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not properly licensed (if a license is required) may NOT be counted for purposes of bag limits.
So as usual, August is a great month! We get to go back to catching some of my favorites and I hope yours too. If you have any pictures make sure you check out our Old Salt Photo of the Week … I know that next week is going to be lobster pics! So take lots during your trips out.
For all the current Florida State and Gulf Waters Regulations – click here.