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Discussion Starter #1
NMFS has been messing with nature for many years. I honestly believe there is no other fishery they can mess up any worse then the red snapper. The fish is a predator that has been allowed to over run it's habitat and destroy other fish that are trying to exist in the same environment. In my over 70 years I have noticed them take away recreational fishing a bit at a time. They have reached the top of the hill in the over regulating business with a 9 day 2 fish season. The money and politics has got to get out of the fishing industry. Let the states regulate their own areas and get a reasonable regulatory system in place. Our political machine is broken at all levels.

Rant done Report follows.

I had a call after 10:00 on my day off. A group of guys had towed their boat down to Venice for a week of fishing only to have issues with 2 of the 3 motors. They were stuck here and were looking to salvage a bad trip. I had to load the rods on the boat and trailer it to the marina. See ya after 11:00. We made a short, late day, snapper run. The trip out took longer than the catching.



We got into 12-16 pounders. They kept me busy with doubles.



I only had 3 rods in use which worked out very good. The guy with the black hat above caught a fish and proceeded to help me with the chumming the rest of the trip. The sound effects were outstanding. At least he took time out to fight a good fish.

This kid fought 2 big red snappers and we fought to keep him in the boat. All joking aside he did a great job on the fish and has memories for a lifetime.



I had 6 guys and a child with me which is the 8 person limit for my boat but it made for a problem with my charter. I explained to them that My license allows for me to do a six person charter only and we would only be able to take a six person limit of red snapper. They understood and we shut it down at 12 fish in the box. I am allowed a deck hand but he is not allowed to be in the count of fish. While at the rig we hooked into a black tip shark about 4 feet long. I gave it a 15/0 circle hook to show to his new lip piercing to his buddies. It already had a 7/0 hook on the other side.

With our limit in the box I went to another rig looking for some mangrove snapper. The water was muddy and that is how I like it when fishing for these elusive critters. When it is clear it is nice to watch them but they are also watching us. We made a half hour stop and managed 9 mangroves. Our topper at this stop was a good fight from a Jack Crevalle.



In a little over a half hour we found a pair of mangrove snapper and headed in. The beer was getting low. Actually it was already late in the day. We had a nice bit of fish for a quick afternoon trip. 12 red snapper and 2 nice mangroves.



The next day I had a couple that never went offshore and wanted to try for tuna. They wanted tuna but were not set on tuna only. They just wanted to catch some good fish. They slept in and got to the marina a bit late. This cloud would hang over us all day. We struggled making bait which put us further behind. Almost to our targeted rig 35 miles out I find a weed patch loaded with tuna crack. We get to the "boat show" and the bite is already ending. We give it an hour but luck is not on our side today. Plan "B" goes to work now.

I found some good weeds that held chick dolphin. They were so thick and hungry they even bit bare hooks. I put an end to the bloody slaughter at 2 dozen fish.



We headed in and found the Cougar struggling with the red snapper. The wind and current was against each other and the bite was not on fire. Once I got there things changed for him. I saw him put a cobia and a blackfin tuna in the boat as well as his final 13 fish to limit out. Our 4 fish limit was fun also.



I was able to salvage the day with a good looking mess of fish.



This is a nice way to get your feet wet on the offshore scene.



Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.

CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM
 

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Nice fish!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Maybe a dumb question, but why gaff and hurt/kill a Jack Crevalle? Obviously, he wasn't eaten.
Easier to handle. One killed is not a big loss and I am sure the sharks that were there had a happy meal before it hit the bottom. Keeps the sharks off our other fish. It did not go to waste.
 

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One charter captain who needlessly kills a big fish like that wouldn't be a big loss either. Killing is a part of fishing but killing for no reason just makes fishermen look like a bunch of inbred jackasses.

Would you gaff and kill an over slot red just for a picture?

Well, you might.
 

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i agree no point but u have to remember its a charter and with tourists its all about pictures hell i think most of the fish they take home goes to waste.i would never have killed that jack if i caught it but if i had a charter on the boat paying 1500 to fish and they wanted a picture a jack is no big loss there are plenty of them
 

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One charter captain who needlessly kills a big fish like that wouldn't be a big loss either. Killing is a part of fishing but killing for no reason just makes fishermen look like a bunch of inbred jackasses.

Would you gaff and kill an over slot red just for a picture?

Well, you might.
Here we go.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No redfish ever gets gaffed and neither does any other game fish or useful fish we hook up unless we intend to keep it. Hell a hard head tastes better than one of those bloody creatures. As I stated it is easier to handle and it is only one of thousands cruising these waters. Some times we can not lip gaff because other things are happening like a real fish on another line.


1 nuisance fish? You should Join PETA. People Eating Tasty Animals!
 

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Its ironic that you begin your post with a rant about regulations but then go on to display the kind of behavior that causes people to want to enforce more regulations. Wanton killing reinforces the negative sterotype that the anti-fishing crowd uses against all of us to create more legislation that limits our sport.

If you are targeting grouper after you have filled your snapper quota but continue to catch snapper do they then become a nuisance fish eligable for gaff and release? It seems they would if they have "over run their habitat" after becoming too numerous due to the current regulations.

Like I said, fishing sometimes involves killing but dosen't require it. I would guess that your charter would not have had any problem with you if you took an extra couple seconds to net the fish rather than gaff it, gotten the picture, and then let it go alive. You even said it took very little time to get the snapper limit. What's a little extra time on a fishing trip that's going so well?

Maybe if one jack is getting to be too much for you to handle you might want to start looking for a home somewhere warm and dry. I hear Arizona is nice. 70 years is a long time to be on the water fishing. You don't have anything left to prove. We know you can catch and kill everything that swims.

Be safe out there. Be careful of those cobia, gaff one wrong and they could break a hip.
 

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As an admitted conspiracy theory-its, I hate seeing pictures of dozens of dead fish laid out for the anti fishing groups to see and use as for a rallying cry , but one Jack on a gaff is no big deal. Next time Capt, just add in how good the fish is as sushi.
 
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