The Moment We’ve Been Waiting for…

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and here in Florida, many of us will spend it posted up waterside with good company and good food. But for those who know what’s coming, we can’t wait for the weekend holiday to pass. On Tuesday, June 1st, the moment we’ve been waiting for since 2018 will occur: Florida Fish and Wildlife will re-open Snook, Redfish, and Seatrout for keeping! 

Snook, Redfish, and Seatrout are some of our most prized and delicious fish species here in Tampa Bay. They are a challenge to catch, a story-worthy fight, and are highly desirable for those who wish to grill fish over burgers. Unfortunately, since the 2018 Red Tide disaster, we have not been allowed to retain these species in this area. 

Red Tide (K. Brevis) resulted in 2,400 tons of dead marine life on our shores. We lost turtles, manatees, birds, and too many fish. Not only did it affect our aquatic life, but our people and our economy too. Health conditions as a result of poor air rose as revenue declined for our many tourist-dependant businesses. Devastating reports forced the closure of many fishing spots and several species, and they have remained closed for three years. 

For anglers on the water with consistency, we have had to watch and wait. At first, the populations were almost non-existent. We weren’t catching or seeing many of our prized fish. But over time, we have seen them grow strong and abundant and are now finally able to celebrate the moment we’ve been waiting for. Current regulations as of June 1st are as follows on the FWC website. Please click on the links for further details.  

RED DRUM (Redfish) 

Slot Limit: Not less than 18″ no more than 27″ total length

Daily Bag Limit: 1 fish per person per day; 8 fish vessel limit

SW Florida: 

  • Red drum are catch-and-release only in all state waters from Pasco County south through Gordon Pass in Collier County through May 31, 2021. 

Starting June 1, 2021: 

  • Normal regulations will resume for redfish in all state waters in Pasco County and Tampa Bay north State Road 64 in Manatee County plus the Braden River but not including Palma Sola Bay.

SNOOK

Regular season closures: Closed Dec. 1-end of February and May 1-Aug. 31

SW Florida season: 

  • Catch-and-release only through Aug. 31, 2021, from Pasco County south through State Road 64 in Manatee County (includes Tampa Bay and the Braden River). 
  • Catch-and-release only through Aug. 31, 2022, south of State Road 64 in Manatee County through Gordon Pass in Collier County (including Palma Sola Bay but not including the Braden River or any tributaries of the Manatee River).

Slot Limit: Not less than 28″ or more than 33″ total length

Daily Bag Limit: 1 per harvester per day; zero captain and crew for-hire limit

SPOTTED SEATROUT

Bag limit: 3 per harvester with exception in SW Florida listed below.

Zero captain and crew bag limit when on a for-hire trip

Slot limit: More than 15″ and less than 19″ total length 

May possess one over 19 inches per vessel included in the bag limit

For expert advice on catching these fish species, you can refer to our on-site Captain from FishLikeUs.com. They teach fishing lessons, provide kayak fishing charters, and are all-around helpful in guiding you toward the specifics of our local waters. 

As we sit in anticipation for the moment we’ve been waiting for, may your holiday weekend be spent in respite doing things you love with those you enjoy. We look forward to catching with you and hope to see you soon! 

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