Sunday, June 25, 2023

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report


Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:

  • Red snapper: July 14-15. One fish per angler per day. No minimum or maximum size limits.
  • Lobster: Season closed April 1. Two-day sport season (mini-season) opens July 26-27. Regular season opens Aug. 6.
  • Snook: Harvest closed June 1. Reopens Sept. 1. One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required.
  • Grouper: Harvest opened May 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Hogfish: Harvest opened May 1. Harvest closes from Nov. 1, 2023, to April 30, 2024.
  • Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.
  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest opened Jan. 1 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties. Harvest closes November and December 2023.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1. FWC will reevaluate later in the year.
  • Alligator: Hunt season opens Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Dolphin: Bag limit is five fish per day per angler. Vessel limit is 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit. These fishing regulations began on May 1, 2022, for state waters.
  • Tilefish: Harvest opened on Jan. 1.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to

Indian River County

Inshore: Catch and release fishing for snook, tarpon and redfish has been steady in and around Sebastian Inlet. Live pilchards, jigs and small live blue crabs are working as the best baits during the outgoing tide. Closer to Vero Beach, snook and redfish can be caught on soft jigs like No Live Bait Needed or D.O.A. jerk baits. A few trout can be caught on the flats south of town on topwater plugs early in the morning.

Freshwater: High water temperature is slowing the bass bite in area lakes and ponds. Fish for bluegill, shellcracker and warmouth by using red worms or live crickets on cane poles.

St. Lucie County

Inshore: Tarpon and Goliath grouper can be caught around the Turning Basin at night on small live baits. Fish the baits to the bottom for the goliaths. Tarpon will take baits at the top of the water column. Tripletail can be caught around channel markers when the current is moving.

Surf: The week of west wind seemingly made the sargassum seaweed disappear. Clear beaches left behind have been good for the beach fishers who are enjoying some of the best whiting fishing of the year so far. Use pieces of shrimp or Fishbites for action.

Martin County

Inshore: Snook fishing is very good throughout the southern Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River. Snook are starting to head down to the inlet and offshore wrecks for spawning season, but travel back and forth more frequently than we think. Live bait isn't necessary. Plenty of snook will take artificial lures. Use topwater plugs if in shallow water and jigs if working around the bridges.

Lake Okeechobee

There is plenty of microcystis algae floating around in the center and southern parts of the lake. Stay in the north and west sectors where fish are oriented towards habitat and drop-offs where they can cool down. Bluegill and shellcrackers are around the bulrushes and lilies taking crickets.

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