Monday, July 17, 2023

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.

  • Red Snapper: Harvest season opens July 14-15. Bag limit: One fish per person. Size limit: None. Venting tool and descending device required.
  • Lobster: Mini-season opens July 26-27. Regular season opens August 6.
  • Grouper: Harvest opened May 1, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind & rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Hogfish: Harvest opened May 1, 2023. Harvest closed from Nov. 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024.
  • Snook: Harvest closed June 1. Harvest re-opens Sept. 1...
  • Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.
  • Spotted seatrout:  Harvest open as of Jan. 1 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & 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 re-evaluate later in the year.
  • Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1, 2022 for state waters. Bag limit is now five fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit.
  • Tilefish: Harvest is open as of Jan. 1.
  • Mosquito Lagoon

    Catches in this region include black drum, redfish, snook, jacks and speckled trout. Use live shrimp to get bites. Fish the shrimp under a popping cork to mimic trout feeding or simply freeline it. Tailing drum feeding in schools can be found around some of the islands.

  • Surf

    With the seaweed gone, fishing has been fairly productive during the last week. Whiting and croaker, jacks and blue runners are all possible catches. It's been better fishing from high tide and throughout the outgoing tide. Use Fishbites or pieces of shrimp to get bites. Catch and release snook are also patrolling the trough and some anglers are catching them on fly gear because the fish are feeding on minnows and crabs.

  • Sebastian Inlet

    Catch and release fishing has been best for snook, redfish, tarpon, sharks and jacks in the Sebastian Inlet and just outside of it. Best baits include mojarra, live juvenile blue crabs and shrimp. Mangrove snapper fishing during the incoming tide at night has been excellent.

    Indian River Lagoon

    Pitch the ends of docks to get bites from black drum, speckled trout, snook, redfish, jacks and sheepshead. Use topwater lures early in the morning to get bites from small tarpon, trout and snook. Soaking big dead baits in the residential canals will get tarpon, black drum and stingrays.

  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.
  • report courtesy of Ed Killer is florida today's outdoors writer. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him at

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