Page 12 - Stuart Exposure - April '22
P. 12

Page 12, Stuart Exposure
      Treasure Coast Outdoors

      New Dolphin Regulations Are A                     issue. He said that if you catch your limit of 10 dolphin in     includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser
                                                                                                             The good news is that grouper season opens May 1. This
                                                        federal waters, you should not then spend time fishing in
      Joke And Accomplish Nothing                       Florida state waters after that, but return to dock.  species.
                                                           If that sounds confusing and unenforceable, it is.     My favorite method to fish for them is to troll artificial
      By Jim Weix                                          I give Florida credit for trying, but it looks like we have   baits that don’t dive. I use a downrigger to keep my bait
         E f f e c t i ve  Ma y  1 ,                    another one of those useless feel-good regulations. That is   about 4 feet off the bottom.
      the Florida recreational                          too bad, because the dolphin catch has declined 68 percent      I’ve found that 80-pound braided line, with a 10-foot
      individual bag limit for                          since 2015 due to overfishing.                     50-pound fluorocarbon leader, works well. The braided line
      dolphin is reduced from 10 to                        I cringe whenever I see anglers proudly posting pictures   minimizes the bow in your line, so that when a grouper hits,
      five. The vessel limit is also                    of their “trophy” 20-inch sandwich-sized baby dolphin.   the line gets tight quickly and prevents it from getting into
      reduced from 60 fish to 30.                       Dolphin are super-fast growing, but you have to let them   its hidey hole. Then I can reel it in quickly before a shark
      However, this only applies                        grow up.                                           grabs it.
      in state waters, which extend                        Not long ago, a 15-pound dolphin was sometimes the      Editor’s note: Jim Weix is an avid hunter, angler,
      out three miles. Since most                       smallest one in the cooler. Now many younger anglers   conservationist, as well as an outdoor writer.
      dolphin caught are beyond                         actually think that is big. A tourist would be running off to      Jim is included in the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s
      three miles, the new rule                         a taxidermist with it.                             Hall of Fame, for his work in helping restore thousands of
      basically accomplishes nothing.                      To restore our dolphin population we need both realistic   acres of wetlands. Jim is a broker associate with The Keyes
         When I spoke with a person from the Florida Fish and   state and federal regulations. Bag limits should be reduced   Company. He can be reached at (772) 341-2941 or by email:
      Wildlife Commission about that, he admitted that it was an   and size limits should be increased.
                                              lOCal gOveRnment

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