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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Boca Grande Pass Boundary Shift – and NO JIG Fishing says FWC

Recent changes to the buoys marking the Boca Grande Channel will affect tarpon anglers and others fishing in Boca Grande Pass during the months of April, May, and June.  


Because of natural shifts in the depth, location, and configuration of shoals bordering the channel, the U.S. Coast Guard recently moved several buoys that marked the Boca Grande Channel to better align with the current location of the channel.  One of the buoys that was moved (Flashing Red Buoy #12) was used as a reference point to mark the boundaries of Boca Grande Pass for the purposes of implementing specific fishing gear restrictions in the area.  Flashing Red Buoy #12 was removed and was replaced with a new buoy (Charlotte Harbor Channel LB 6), located approximately a quarter of a mile to the East-Southeast of the old buoy.  This change required that the boundaries of the Boca Grande Pass gear restriction area be updated to incorporate the location of the new buoy marking the entrance to the Pass (see the attached map).  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued an Executive Order to ensure that the area where the Boca Grande Pass gear restrictions apply is updated before the regulations take effect on April 1, 2016.  FWC staff plans to recommend the Commission permanently correct the name and location of the new buoy through the formal rule change process at the June 2016 Commission meeting in Apalachicola.


Regulations that apply within this area defined as Boca Grande Pass include:

·         During the months of April, May and June, no more than three fishing lines may be deployed from a vessel at any one time.

·         During the months of April, May and June, no person shall use, fish with, or place in the water any breakaway gear.

·         Fishing with gear that has a weight attached to a hook, artificial fly or lure in such a way that the weight hangs lower than the hook when the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited.  This applies to fishing for all species year-round within Boca Grande Pass.  If this gear is on board a fishing vessel while inside the boundaries of the Pass, it cannot be attached to any rod, line or leader and must be stowed.  Natural bait is not considered to be a weight.  If the jig fishes in an illegal manner it is prohibited.  Any jig that allows the attached weight to slip down the shank so that it hangs lower than the hook while the line or leader is suspended vertically from the rod is prohibited, and must be stowed so it is not readily accessible.


Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Fishing Boundary Shift


To learn more about tarpon, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations,” and “Tarpon.”


For additional information regarding the change to the Boca Grande Pass gear restriction boundary, contact Kyle Miller at 850-487-0554.

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Snook reopens in Gulf state waters March 1 – Book Your Captain NOW!

The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier fish  ̶  snook  ̶ reopens on 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 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.


It is illegal to buy or sell snook.


Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The 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 the carcasses after they are filleted and provide the carcasses to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. This program allows anglers to participate in the collection of data such as the size, age, maturity and sex of one of Florida's premier inshore fish. For a county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”


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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Gag grouper recreational harvest closes in most Gulf waters in early December


Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.

State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1 through Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded from the July 1 through Dec. 3 season because it follows Atlantic rules for gag grouper.

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Get Your Snook While You Can! Season Closing Soon!

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. 29, 2016, reopening to harvest March 1, 2016. Snook can continue to be caught and released 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, 2016, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2016.


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

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2015 Gulf red snapper season closes after this weekend

Halloween (Oct. 31) and Nov. 1 are the last days the recreational red snapper season for Gulf state waters will be open in 2015.

State waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. Federal waters extend from where state waters end out to about 200 nautical miles.

This year’s 70-day state-waters season began the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 23) and ran through July 12. The season then reopened for Labor Day weekend and weekends in September and October, including Sunday, Nov. 1.

Red snapper is a popular species that has a strong economic impact for many coastal communities throughout Florida.

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FWC passes new stone crab trap regulation

At its September meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its stone crab trap regulations for stone crab traps used in Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.

Beginning this year’s stone crab season, the use of round entrances (also known as throats or funnels) will no longer be allowed for stone crab traps used in state or federal waters off these three counties. The changes will also require that the rectangular or rounded rectangular entrances typically used in stone crab traps be no larger than 5½ by 3 1/8 inches at the most narrow portion of the opening.

The changes will bring the gear regulations for these three counties more closely in line with the way the stone crab fishery has traditionally operated in the region and prevent the use of stone crab traps to target lobster. The FWC did not adopt any changes to the allowable size of the overall trap, although that had been considered previously.

The new measures related to configuration of the stone crab trap entrance will be effective Oct. 5.

For more information on marine fisheries and stone crabs, please visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Saltwater Fishing.”

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Catch and Eat Some Lions!

lion fish derby sarasota

You’re invited to partner in the second annual Sarasota Lionfish Derby. This exciting and environmentally beneficial event will be hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory, a world-class marine science institution, in cooperation with Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), which helps study and address the lionfish invasion and sanctions official Lionfish Derbies, and ZooKeeper, the Sarasota-based manufacturer of the leading lionfish containment unit used throughout invaded areas.


Lionfish Derbies are an important way to harvest large numbers of this invasive species that has spread along the eastern Atlantic coast, Columbia to Escambia counties. Derbies help divers harvest lionfish, provide public education and opportunities to taste the delicious lionfish for free.  


This year’s event will be based at Mote, with a captains’ meeting on July 10, lionfish hunting July 11 in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico — tournament boundaries are defined as Collier County to Escambia County — and the lionfish weigh-in July 12 at the Sarasota Outboard Club next door to Mote. 


The Sarasota Lionfish Derby is looking for sponsors! Check out our sponsorship packet.


Upcoming Dates

•July 10, 2015

•July 11, 2015

•July 12, 2015


"Sarasota Lionfish Derby" occurs at regular dates and times beyond the dates listed above, until further notice.



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Get your snook in while you can!

Snook to close in Gulf state and federal waters


          Snook will close to all harvest in Gulf state, federal and inland waters, including all of Monroe County and Everglades National Park, starting May 1. Seasonal harvest closures conserve Florida’s valuable snook populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.

          Snook is open to harvest in Atlantic state, federal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, through May 31, closing June 1.

          Both the Atlantic and Gulf will reopen for recreational harvest Sept. 1.

          Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. Snook may be caught and released during the closed season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to handle their catch 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,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

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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.

Confirm Your Trip Now!
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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Plan your trip! If you are knowledgeable about tides and moon phases, please feel free to check our area tide charts to get the best dates!

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