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Increased Fishing Pressure Equals Over Harvesting

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Posted by: captainwoody - Comments Off on Increased Fishing Pressure Equals Over Harvesting

Increased Fishing Pressure Equals Over Harvesting

Assuming you’re a Cracker like me and have fished our wonderful state for most of your life, I’m certain you noticed the numbers of anglers is on the increase. It’s been shown time and again that as one thing increases something else usually suffers. Well, in this case, it’s our fish populations. It seems the thought process today is similar to that of years past; there is plenty of fish, so the answer is just to keep catching without releasing. Well, that is the wrong answer for today’s ever-increasing angling population.

  • Ever wonder why we have catch limits?
  • Ever wonder why we have size limits?
  • Ever wonder why we have closed seasons?
  • Could it be to help protect certain species and aid in their survival?

Florida’s FWC and many DNR Department of Natural Resources programs are trying to control our fish populations by regulating the fish size and bag limits for their waters. However, when heavy fishing pressure comes together with anglers deciding to keep their catch it can quickly ruin a great fishery. Therefore, catch and release benefits everyone, because there might be fish to catch if the larger females are left to spawn and contribute to the species.

On the other hand, when dealing with heavy fishing pressure, it’s important for anglers to practice proper catch and release. As responsible anglers we must learn to practice catch and release fishing; especially if we plan on having a healthy population of quality fish in the future.

Ok, now that we’ve dealt with fishing pressure and overharvesting it’s time to go fishing. But let’s remember unless we’re going to keep a few non-breeder sizes for dinner the rest are just for catching fun and are going back to catch again. Where harvesting is legal, keeping a fish or two for dinner is an enjoyable aspect of the sport.

Early mornings, light wind and a mirror ripple on the water are outstanding times to fish topwater lures, especially for Snook, Redfish, and Trout. Anglers, especially throughout Florida, seem addicted to MirrOLure. Located in Largo, Florida this lure manufacturing company has committed to the highest quality since its beginning.

They continually improve and create state of the art fishing lures, resulting in millions of fish caught in both fresh and saltwater. From topwater prop baits and surface walkers to new slow sinking C-Eye Skin Series and diving lures to soft plastic’s MirrOlure is the favorite of everyone. One of my favorite topwater techniques and lures is a MirrOlure Top Dog Jr. over a shallow broken bottom grass flat.

Here are a few tips on setting the hook when using topwater lures or hooks in general;

Snook are much like freshwater bass; they both strike suddenly with an open mouth sucking strike. The key to setting the hook is waiting until you feel the fish before you ever begin your hookset. If you try to set the hook prematurely you’ll pull the bait or lure out of the fishes open mouth.

Redfish on the other hand, when a red strikes a topwater lure they do it with a swirling open mouth sucking motion. Since they normally feed facing down, they’re forced to get their mouth up kind of on top of the lure, which often pushes it forward ahead of the fish. This means they occasionally miss on the first attempt particularly in shallow water. So if you’re “walking the dog” slow it down, but do not stop it. Stopping during the attack usually causes the redfish to lose interest and turn away. Do not set the hook prematurely; wait until you feel the fish before setting the hook.

Here’s a little something about hook setting. We’ve watched TV bass professionals wrench back on their rods to set the hook. However, today with many anglers switching to braided line these aggressive, snatch back and set the hook techniques are completely unnecessary. Braided line has no stretch and no memory just getting the slack out of your line usually forces the hook to set itself. Remember, that the braided fishing lines have no stretch, so you feel everything. All you have to do it keep a taut line and the hook does the rest.

One final point on hook setting involves circle hooks that have been around for centuries. Over the last 10 to 20 years and with a move toward environmentally friendly fishing “Circle Hooks” increased in popularity with recreational anglers and have become mandatory when targeting certain reef species.

They’ve proved to be an almost foolproof way of catching fish while producing the least amount of damage. Hook sets normally occur in the outer edge of the fish’s mouth and seldom if ever are they throat or gut hooked. If you try setting a circle hook yourself, before you feel the fish pulling, guess what? The fish wins.