Fishing – 09-05-2012

Due to remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac, most island fishers were forced to wait out the storm and its after-effects.

Poor conditions on our surrounding waters have made it tough to target both inshore and offshore species. Offshore is unattainable due to high seas, while inshore areas are disrupted by muddy water and windy conditions. Also, during these conditions the fish seem to bunker down and wait for better conditions to start feeding.

It’s best to allow a few days to let things settle back to normal. Once the waters clear up, the fish should be back on their regular feeding patterns.

Out of the normal lineup of fishing reports, only one seemed promising.

Jeff Medley at the south bait shop on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Piers says that although the waters are rough, a few pier fishers willing to brave the windy conditions were catching Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper and some flounder. The bite is sporadic at best, he says.

Best baits for the Spanish mackerel are silver spoons or Gotcha plugs. Live shrimp is a good bet for the mangrove snapper and flounder. If you can catch live shiners, it’s a great bait, but may prove too hard to find.

While you are waiting for the calmer, clearer water to return, stop by Galati Marine in Anna Maria to see the results of the fourth annual Galati Yacht Sales Labor Day Billfish Tournament, which was postponed until Sept. 6-8 due to Tropical Storm Isaac. The free weigh-in event takes place beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Galati Yacht Basin, 900 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.

Also, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plans to meet Sept. 5-6 in Tampa to discuss local issues including marinelife and saltwater fisheries. The meeting, at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W. Cypress St., Tampa, is open to the public and begins at 8:30 a.m. both days.

Items on the agenda for Sept. 5 include FWC’s gopher tortoise management plan, falconry and the latest component of a statewide anchoring and mooring pilot program.

Sept. 6 focuses on marine fishery issues, including updates from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meetings, possible changes to black sea bass management in Atlantic waters and consideration of the creation of three commercial license exemptions that will assist Florida’s veterans who want to enter into the commercial fishing industry.

For the full agenda, go to

A final reminder: Sept. 1 was opening day for the recreational harvest season for snook in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters. The season remains closed for all Gulf of Mexico waters through Aug. 31, 2013.

It is illegal to possess or sell Gulf snook, but anglers can still catch-and-release snook during the closure and are encouraged to handle fish carefully to ensure survival upon release.

Visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing” and “Recreational Regulations” for more information on snook.

Send fishing reports to


Revised Galati billfish tourney schedule

A Labor Day weekend fishing tournament has been delayed due to poor offshore conditions, but with the former Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac pushing north this week, the fourth annual Galati Yacht Sales Labor Day Billfish bound to happen Sept. 6-9.

The schedule was not made available for print or the website until Sept. 4.

The schedule of events includes:

  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, captain’s meeting, Galati Yachts Sales, Galati Marine.
  • 7 a.m., Friday, Sept. 7, fishing begins.
  • 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, fishing ends.
  • Noon-1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9, weigh in.

Species and Points include:

  • Photo or video release.
  • Blue Marlin — 501 points.
  • White Marlin — 250 points.
  • Sailfish — 100 points.
  • Spearfish — 100 points.
  • Swordfish — 50 points (2 maximum).

The fish weigh-in will include catches of dolphin, wahoo and tuna and is open to the public.

Free dockage and fuel discounts are available for participating tournament boats through Galati Yacht Sales, 900 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria.

There is a $1,500 entry fee, plus tax, per boat, with additional $500 for tuna, dolphin and wahoo.

A $2,000 entry fee applies to the billfish division. Tax is added to all boats entry fees.

The tournament is limited to 20 entries.

For more information, call Chris Galati at 941-778-0755 or email


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