Take someone fishing and enter a chance to win NASCAR or Ultimate Outdoor Experience

Join Richard Childress, honorary chair for National Hunting and Fishing Day, in creating the next generation of conservationists National Hunting and Fishing Day, an annual celebration of hunters and anglers, features a new twist this year. Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day, is asking hunters and anglers to participate in the new NHF Day Challenge by taking someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s conservation capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
“If you are a sportsman, sportswoman or an angler, you can make a difference and support National Hunting and Fishing Day by becoming a mentor,” said Childress. “Mentoring is critical to ensure our outdoor tradition lives on through future generations. Make the commitment to take someone outdoors and show them why you value hunting, fishing and target shooting.”

For millions of Americans, time spent hunting and fishing are treasured moments. Hunting and fishing brings friends and family together and provides one of the most immersive outdoor experiences possible.
“Today fewer people are connecting with nature through hunting and fishing,” said Childress. “As outdoorsmen and women, we are one of the keys to reversing this trend. Help a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker learn how to hunt, fish or shoot. Introducing someone to the joys of the outdoors not only enriches their life, it creates a future conservationist.”

Each new hunter and angler created helps fund conservation. Every time someone buys a firearm, ammunition, archery equipment or fishing tackle, they contribute to habitat conservation and science-based wildlife management through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. The WSFR is the cornerstone of fish and wildlife conservation in North America because it brings funding from the sporting arms, archery and fishing industries and sportsmen and women back to state wildlife management agencies. These monies, in addition to hunting and fishing license fees, are critical for conserving fish and wildlife across our nation.

Those who pledge to take someone hunting, target shooting or fishing will be entered for a chance to win two amazing prize packages. The first grand prize is two HOT passes to a future NASCAR race, which includes pit and garage passes, garage and team hauler tours, and an opportunity to meet team owner Richard Childress. The second grand prize package is a trip to America’s Conservation Capital: Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. A passion of Bass Pro Shops founder and Ozarks native Johnny Morris, the destination spans multiple properties and thousands of unspoiled acres, making it the ultimate destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. The package includes a two-night stay in a log cabin at Big Cedar Lodge, America’s premier wilderness resort, and nature-based excursions including guided bass fishing on 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake; Adventure Passes for the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail and Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum at Top of the Rock; shotgun sports at Bass Pro Shops’ Outdoor Shooting Academy; and passes to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive wildlife attraction in the world, opening Sept, 21, 2017.

To get involved in the NHF Day Challenge, visit NHFDay.org or call 417-225-1162.

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Gag grouper fall season approved in Gulf 4-county region

At its July meeting in Orlando, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved lengthening the Gulf of Mexico gag grouper recreational season in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties by opening the season Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. The Commission also approved changing the gag grouper commercial minimum size limit in Gulf state waters from 22 to 24 inches. This size limit change is consistent with pending federal regulations.
For the gag grouper recreational season, state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties are currently open from April 1 through June 30. The FWC received stakeholder requests for a longer season that would make fishing opportunities in the four-county area more comparable with the rest of the Gulf, where there is a seven-month season that runs June 1 through Dec. 31.
“The regional management of this species has been a success story. Anglers have been able to fish for this species during more desired times of the year while still promoting conservation,” said Chairman Brian Yablonski. “We are excited that we can offer these additional fishing opportunities to Florida’s anglers.”
The current April 1 through June 30 season will remain in place and the fall season from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 will be in place in time for anglers to participate this year.

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Snook to reopen in Gulf waters March 1

The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier fish, snook, reopens March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.

In the Gulf, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 inches or more than 33 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license unless exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.

Anglers can report their catch on the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s website at Snookfoundation.org by clicking on the “Angler Action Program” link in the bar at the top of the page.
It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home during the open season. When choosing to release a fish, the FWC encourages anglers to handle it carefully to help the fish survive upon release. Proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. For the county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” then “Snook” (under “Saltwater Fish”) and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

These carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments. If you see a snook fishery violation, call the Wildlife Alert Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

In Atlantic state and federal waters (including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River) the season is open through May 31, and one snook may be kept per person, per day. The size limit in Atlantic waters is no less than 28 inches total length and no more than 32 inches total length.

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Snook harvest seasonal closure in Gulf starts Dec. 1

 

 

The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and will remain closed through Feb. 28, 2017, reopening to harvest March 1, 2017. Anglers may continue to catch and release snook during the closed season.

 

This and other regular season closures are designed to help conserve the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather. Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, will close Dec. 15 this year through Jan. 31, 2017, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2017.


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Kudos to Our “Temptation” – Where They Cook Your Catch!

A wonderful article about our friend, Chef, and restaurant owner, Kevin Stockdale and the Temptatio Restaurant on Boca Grande.

 

Reprinted from:

http://theculinarytravelguide.com/2016/11/03/the-temptation-restaurant-a-florida-fish-story/

A Florida Fish Story, Part 1: The Temptation Restaurant

By Catherine Shannon Ballman

On a quiet street in a sleepy town on a remote island in southwest Florida, is the fish house of your dreams, the one with fish, fresh from the sea, perfectly prepared and served up with Old Florida charm. Not much has changed at The Temptation Restaurant in Boca Grande, FL, since US Navy man, Homer Addison, home from the war, opened the doors in 1947. For the past 69 years, it has meant good food, good drinks and good times.

A jaunty neon martini glass attaches at a tilt to the second-story facade beckoning guests to park their pastel-colored golf carts, Boca’s conveyance of choice, and come on in. The screen door slaps shut and the evening starts at the bar, a pleasingly dim retreat from the Florida sun. Decorated with goofy signage – “Please, no profanity” and “Plan ahead, buy two cases” – and photos of former patrons, famous and not-so, liquor promotional odds and ends from the 1950s and bits of maritime art, the bar is easy sitting. And sit, people do, fishing captains and their mates jostling visitors from up North, beachcombers and politicians, debs and diplomats, telling stories and spinning yarns about the fish that got away.

Tradition suggests a Moscow Mule, that tasty L.A. import. The vodka + ginger beer + lime juice elixir is best sipped from one of the copper mugs hanging behind the bar. This being Florida, G&T’s are a year-round pleasure and the barkeeps know how to make this seemingly simple cocktail sparkle

The Temptation Main Dining Room | The Temptation Restaurant: A Florida Fish StoryOnwards to lunch or dinner, this jumble-box of a building offers different rooms with different charms but each with the same menu. Off of the bar to the left is the main dining room, often the preferred room for those who like to be seen or be seen out and about. Overseen by majordomo Kathy Merhar, she controls the always busy reservations list and is unflappable, no matter who walks in through her door.

Fancy, no, but the front room does glitter some, mostly with tans and laughter and clinking glasses. Chanel sits next to Lily Pulitzer next to cargo shorts and capris.

Record-sized marlin and tarpon hang high on the wall. Murals depicting Boca Grande and Gasparilla Island life painted in the 1950s by local artist Deo Weymouth encircle the room. Tables are draped with linen, candles are lighted and the stage is set.

Choose the Caribbean Room and you leave the bar in the back and thread your way through the liquor storeroom, passing a service bar managed by ace mixologist Danielle Zipay. Art by local artists cover the walls, all for sale to lucky diners who want to take a bit of Boca home.

To the right of the bar is a tiny corner of the island’s only liquor store furnished with a few high tables and chairs for twosomes wanting a quiet tête-à-tête. (Whichever room you choose, do make a stop in the powder room and take a gander at the old time cigarette dispensing machine. Nobody who sees it for the first time can resist telling their tablemates about this anachronism, dubious as its history is.)

In each of the dining rooms are couples on dates; three- and even four-generation families dine at the big tables scattered around. Long-time friends reconnect after summers away and vacationers wander in from the beach.

Servers promptly bring out breadsticks and butter to nibble while perusing the appetizers. Dinner is best kicked off with bowls of rich, creamy lobster corn chowder or (and sometimes, plus) briny, plump shrimp caught just offshore and served with tart old-fashioned cocktail sauce. Fried grouper fingers and oyster platters have their fans. And, calories are tossed into the deep blue sea when ordering the rich, creamy Hot Crabmeat Temp.

The Temptation Restaurant: A Florida Fish Story | The Culinary Travel GuideFish is the main attraction, grouper and snapper and pompano and soft-shell crabs and sometimes hogfish just pulled from the surrounding waters. Co-owner Jeff Simmons says much fish comes directly from the sea, brought to the kitchen by local fishing captains with extra from the day’s catch, making it only hours old when delivered to the table. A wonder of the sea is that each fish tastes distinct from their watery neighbors. Grouper is lean, moist and mild with a firm texture. Snapper, too, is lean, moist and mild but has a sweetness to it. Hogfish is lean and has a delicate texture with very fine white meat; its unfortunate name comes from a head that looks unnervingly like a pig snout. The ubiquitous Florida fish, pompano, is richly flavored and firm with a very clean taste.

Recently, Co-owner and Chef Kevin Stockdale put lionfish on the menu. Both venomous and invasive, lionfish turns out to be quite lovely when prepared properly.

Whatever fish is chosen, the long-time and deeply knowledgeable waitstaff guide diners through the menu to select the fish. Back in the kitchen, each fish is perfectly prepared, bronzed, grilled or blackened to your preference. Accompanying the fish are a choice of classic sauces, the citrus bureau blanc being a particularly silky and flavorful choice. The House signature Pan-Fried Snapper with lemon, garlic and apple juice has starred on the menu for over 10 years. So popular and palate-pleasing is the menu anchor that many a regular has only ever ordered this dish.

Along with the fish, well-paired wines from The Temp’s cellar, a 14-year winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, are poured.

Accompanying the fish to the table are a choice of baked, sweet or Jamaican potatoes, along with special sides conjured up by Chef Stockdale, as well as fresh vegetables of the day. The good-natured serving staff is known to repeat the multitude of options for each diner of short memory at the table without grimace, groan or raised eyebrow.

It has occurred that guests have ordered steaks and even vegetarian meals and Chef Stockdale’s kitchen gives as much attention to those dishes as to it’s deep sea calling card. Also outstanding and much appreciated are the beautiful salads that come out of the kitchen. In one of the great ironies of the culinary world, Florida seems stymied by an inability to provide fresh, sweet-tasting fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Produce aisles at even the largest grocery chains and the smallest garden stands are full of limp, worn-out fruits and vegetables. Somehow, Chef Stockdale is able to sleuth out produce that shines on the plate.

A salad in regular rotation hits the eye like a flash of sunshine with juicy mango sitting proud on a bed of fresh frisee, dried cranberries and toasted cashews, all tossed with a creamy poppy seed dressing.

Room for dessert means either coconut pie, a Temp classic, or coconut layer cake, in addition to the more typical chocolate cake and ice cream options. The pie went off the menu for a few years when the waitperson, who had baked them from her own (secret) recipe, retired. A sorry substitute was offered. Finally, the original was recreated to the joy of all and dismay of dieters.

Boca Grande Marina | The Temptation Restaurant: A Florida Fish Story

Photo Credit: VISIT FLORIDA

But maybe the very best meal at The Temp is the one guests provide themselves. After a morning or evening spent 10 miles or so offshore fishing, guests haul in their own catch of the day. Chef Stockade prepares it as you like but recommends the “something for everyone” approach: one-third fried, one- third grilled and one-third blackened. Served with heaping platters of cole slaw and french fries, it turns a happy day of fishing into a merry day of feasting. Order up some longnecks or Bloody Mary’s and the fish stories can get spun late into the day.

Is The Temp the best restaurant in Florida? In fact, it is the best restaurant in Florida – on the east side of Park Avenue. Almost directly across is PJ’s Seagrille, another superb example of authentic Florida fish houses. (Stay tuned for Part 2.)

The Temptation Restaurant

350 Park Avenue

Boca Grande, FL

941.964.2610

For a place to rest your head on Boca Grande, try the luxurious Gasparilla Inn & Club. The Inn has plenty of dining options to appeal to any palate. With their own bakery on the premises, it is easy to grab a light breakfast before heading out to enjoy the gorgeous beaches just steps from the property.

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Limited harvest for snook starts Sept. 1

The recreational harvest season for snook starts Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.

 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to continue to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC management goals, but are still rebuilding to pre-cold kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.

 

During the open season, the daily bag limit is one fish per person. In the Atlantic, snook must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. In the Gulf, they must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 33 inches total length.

 

When releasing a snook, proper handling methods can help ensure your fish’s survival and the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release and the best way to handle a fish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

 

A snook permit, as well as a recreational saltwater license, is required unless the angler is exempt from the recreational license requirements. Snook may be targeted or harvested with hook and line gear only. Snagging is prohibited.

 

Snook are closed to harvest Dec. 1 through the end of February and May 1 through Aug. 31 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park. In Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, snook is closed Dec. 15 through Jan. 31 and June 1 through Aug. 31.

 

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. For the county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” then “Snook” (under “Saltwater Fish”) and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

 

These carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments. If you see a snook fishery violation, call the Wildlife Alert Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

 

 

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2016 Gulf recreational red snapper state season closes July 11

 

The 2016 recreational red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico state waters closes July 11, with the last day of harvest being July 10. The season will reopen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. Book your offshore charter now to take advantage of these last few days! 941-405-3474! 

 

This season will help maintain fishing opportunities for recreational anglers in state waters and provide additional fall weekend fishing days.

 

The private recreational angler red snapper season in Gulf federal waters ran June 1-9 and was extended two days due to Tropical Storm Colin, closing June 12. The federally-permitted charter boat and head ­boat season for federal waters will run June 1-July 16 (closing July 17).

 

Learn more about red snapper at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

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Anglers, be aware – tagged cobia in Florida waters

A cobia tagging project is underway along Florida’s east coast. Scientists with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are tagging cobia in order to track movement of the fish to learn more about the migration of the Gulf and Atlantic stocks. Researchers are using conventional dart tags and implanted acoustic transmitters to track mature fish. An array of acoustic receivers along the coast can detect the individual fish when they swim nearby. The movement patterns will provide more information to management to make informed decisions on the stocks and to provide a geographical location of the biological stock boundary. In addition, scientists are collecting genetic samples from tagged fish.

A total of 150 transmitters (50 each in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) will be used for the one-year study.

“The transmitters, however, will last for up to four years allowing researchers to continue collecting information after the initial report is complete,” said Jim Whittington, FWRI Assistant Research Scientist.

The research will employ charter boat captains and recreational fishermen to assist with cobia capture, acoustic tag implantation and genetic sample collection. Researchers from NASA/Kennedy Space Center Ecological Program, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources are assisting in the project.

Cobia is a popular saltwater recreational fishery in the southeastern United States due to its ease of access, brute fighting strength and excellent culinary qualities. Although it is not illegal, scientists discourage the harvest of tagged cobia. If you catch a tagged cobia (two plastic tags should be visible on the back of the fish, one on each side) record the tag number, fork length, date and general location of the catch. Release the fish in good condition, and report it by calling 888-824-7472. If you accidentally harvest a tagged cobia, report all of the information above and return both the internal acoustic tag and plastic dart tag to:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

Attn: Jim Whittington 

Tequesta Field Laboratory 

19100 SE Federal Highway 

Tequesta, FL 33469.

Anglers can also assist by collecting fin clips from cobia caught on the east coast of Florida. For more information on what to do if you catch a tagged fish in Florida waters, visitMyFWC.com/research, click on “Saltwater” then “Angler Tag Return.” For information on cobia regulations visit  MyFWC.com/fishingclick on “Saltwater Fishing” “Recreational Regulations” and "Cobia."

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2016 Tournaments Just Around the Corner!

Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce will present four tarpon tournaments to anglers this year, as the Gasparilla Outiftters’ Howl at the Moon Tournaments come under our wing.

Capt. Sandy Melvin, owner of Special Effects/Gasparilla Outfitters and Chamber board member, has announced the date for the traditional “Howl at the Moon” Open Invitational Tarpon Tournament on Friday, May 13 from 8 to 11 p.m. The entry fee will be $500 per team.
Melvin also holds a Ladies Howl at the Moon Tournament every year, and that date will be announced at a later time.

Winners will be determined by the most releases, and an observer will be placed on every boat. Many other prizes will be awarded as well.

“We’re very grateful to Capt. Sandy for thinking of us,” said Chamber President Marcy Shortuse. “These tournaments are very popular, a bit laid-back and more mellow. We are happy to be a part of the whole experience.”

Melvin said fishing during these tournaments has been very good lately, and they are particularly popular with the night fishing crowd.

“Tarpon season has been so good the past few years, especially at night, we want to continue to let people know that,” Melvin said. “This will be our 12th year and the tarpon we have caught number in the hundreds. Fishing has been great, with lots of fun and excitement. We want everyone to come on down and celebrate the season with us. We’re trying to just have some fun, and we want people to get their teams together, to enjoy the parties with food and entertainment, and even if people don’t feel like fishing they can come down to the Lighthouse and support the local fishing guides.”

For more information call Special Effects/Gasparilla Outfitters at (941) 964-0907.

On Saturday, May 7 the Chamber will host their annual Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament, with fishing from 5 to 8 p.m. in Boca Grande Pass. Stay tuned for details on the party, artwork and more. Call the Chamber office at (941) 964-0568 for more information or to register your team.

On Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. the Chamber will hold the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament. More information on that tournament can be found at worldsrichesttarpon.com. Spots are still available at this time.

Artwork for this year’s tournament is by local artist Daniel Godwin, who has done several posters in many years gone by.

 

**Republished from the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce: http://bocagrandechamber.net/news/four-great-tournaments-coming-up-this-season/

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2016 Gulf recreational red snapper state season set

 

At its April 13 meeting in Jupiter, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the 2016 recreational red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

 

The 2016 season will open Saturdays and Sundays in May starting May 7. On May 28, the season will open continuously through July 10. Finally, the season will reopen for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. This would provide for a 78-day season in Gulf state waters.

This season will help maintain fishing opportunities for recreational anglers in state waters and provide additional May and fall weekend fishing days.

 

The private recreational angler red snapper season in Gulf federal waters has not yet been announced by NOAA Fisheries but is estimated to be 6 to 9 days. The federally-permitted charter boat and headboat season for federal waters is estimated to be 38 to 56 days. Both of these federal seasons are slated to open June 1.

 

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Charter Information
Half Day & Full Day charter fishing trips are available. Back Bay Charters are limited to 3-4 passengers per boat. Tarpon Fishing Charters are limited to 4-6 passengers per boat. Sorry, no pets.
Just Come Aboard! Everything is Provided

Our charters come complete! All equipment, bait, and licenses are provided by the Captain.

You are welcome to bring your own beverages and snacks if you'd like, and we certainly recommend sunscreen and protective clothing/hats.

We only ask that you please refrain from wearing dark soled shoes as they tend to mar the deck of the boat.

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Our Captains are now accepting credit card payments via PayPal for your convenience. You do not need a PayPal account to make your deposit; you only need a valid credit card. We are happy to send you an e-invoice through PayPal so that you can simply click one link to confirm your trip! Call us at 941-405-FISH for further details!
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