Hernando County

Fish Have Feelings Too

Being a charter captain on the water and fishing with clients as much as I do, I’ve come up with a lot of theories of my own. I know, you’re thinking “Oh no, not another one of Fishdaddy’s theories.” This theory is only for released fish, of course. How many times have you fought a fish all the way to and into the boat with what seems like endless energy. Now here is where my theory starts. Once you safely remove the hook, take a few pictures (This is when I believe the fish really starts getting embarrassed–ever see a fish smile for a pic? Just saying) and release the fish. Watch how the fish now will usually swim off very, very slowly and sometimes will just settle to the bottom sulking. I have read that this is from lactic acid build up in the fish from the fight, but I believe we hurt their feelings. Is it possible that fish do get their feelings hurt? I believe so–pay attention next time and let me know what you think.

One major event happing in July. Scallop season opens July 1 to September 24. Regulations are: two gallons whole bay scallops in shell or one pint of bay scallop meat per person. Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or 1/2-gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. A saltwater license is required (unless on a chartered boat) and, always, have a diver down flag up only when swimmers are in the water. As always, check the regulation for your area at myfwc.com. Scalloping is fun for the whole family. It’s like an Easter egg hunt in the water. If you want more information on scalloping, please give me a call, and I can give you more information on them; or, take you out for a great day you won’t forget.

The one we’ve all been waiting for, gag grouper, opened June 1 to Dec. 31 in state and federal waters. Bag limit is two per person. Gags can be caught in our waters as shallow as 10 feet. A couple of techniques I use are trolling plugs or bottom dropping–either live or dead baits. Make sure you have stout equipment. Gags fight hard and will try to run for structure. You will need this to keep them from rocking you up.

Other species we have been catching include tarpon, kingfish, cobia and a lot of big sharks. Inshore, redfish and trout are being caught. Get out there on the water and make some memories with friends and family!