Rick Murphy

Welcome to the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club

2013 april Fishing Club Mtg - Whit party 387

Welcome Aboard. . . .

Welcome to the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club, located in Fort Pierce, the best fishing area in all of Florida. Established in 1980 as a family organization whose members share a common interest in sportfishing, conservation, community service and boating. Our members enjoy both inshore and offshore fishing in local waters that produce spectacular catches in one of the most diverse fisheries anywhere. Come join us the third Wednesday of every month at the Fort Pierce Yacht Club located on the beautiful Indian River starting at 7 pm. Admission is always free and you don’t have to be a member to attend.


Our next meeting is Wednesday, May 18th at 7 pm.

The next Fishing Trip / Cookout is Saturday, May 21st at 3:30 pm.

Club News

Guest Speaker for May Meeting
Capt Stan Jarusinski, a two time National King Mackerel Champion and a Southern Kingfish Association Hall of Famer, will present information on the Southern Kingfish Association’s National Championship to be held in Fort Pierce November 11-12, 2016. Don’t miss this meeting.
Monthly Club Fishing Trip & Cookout
The Club has scheduled a regular monthly fishing trip (weather permitting) and cookout for any and all members every third Saturday. The cookout will start around 3:30 pm at Taylor Creek Marina. This recently established event is now posted on the Club Calendar and should not be missed.
Introducing the Club’s Monthly Fishing Derby
To get folks out fishing and maybe drum up a little friendly competition, the Board of Directors thought it would be fun for the members to participate in a fishing derby each month. Targeted species will change each month. For the month of May, the targeted species is dolphin (mahi mahi)!
The rules are simple:
1.  Fish for the targeted species.
2.  Weigh (your scale or a public one) the fish.
3.  Using the honor system, email the info along with a photo, if you can, to fpsc@live.com
We will track the leaders on the website. Winners earn bragging rights and Club recognition!
For the month of June, we’ll be fishing for Grouper!
Fishing Photos

Jack Yolinsky, Frank Briganti, Darrell Smith and Bruce Das caught a few dolphin the last weekend of April. Check out the fish photos.

20th Annual Fishing Frenzy on May 13-14, 2016

The St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce will host its 20th Annual Fishing Frenzy, presented by Geico Treasure Coast at the City Marina in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. The Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club is one of the sponsors of this event. This offshore dolphin fishing tournament offers $16,000 in cash and prizes with a $10,000 Grand Prize for the heaviest dolphin.

Congratulations to Deb Anderson, Craig Iserer, Donald Caudil, Bob Hain, and Gary Greenfield!!! They were randomly selected in a drawing by the Club members to represent the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club in the Fishing Frenzy. They will fish with Capt Rick Kulczynski aboard the Gray Ghost.

The Captains Meeting is Friday, May 13th; fishing Saturday, May 14th. Weigh-in is at the Fort Pierce City Marina. Biggest dolphin wins!!! Best of luck to all of you!!! Hope to see our members at the event and to cheer for our folks. For more information on the tournament, click here.
IGFA Observer Training Course May 7, 2016, in Delray Beach

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) OTC trains captains, anglers, and mates to participate as observers in national and international billfish tournaments. IGFA’s OTC benefits both tournaments and our fisheries by promoting billfish conservation through an all release tournament format. The half-day session trains attendees on IGFA’s International Angling Rules and billfish identification. Additional topics covered in the class include observer etiquette and boating safety. The cost of the class is $150.00, which covers the OTC manual, two DVD’s, and a one-year IGFA membership. The class will run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

For more information on the course, click here.

Pair of students at Fort Pierce Central High School win Florida State Fishing Championship

Griffin White and Kyle Vericella, students at Fort Pierce Central High School, won the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida State Championship on Lake Toho. The 2016 Florida State High School Fishing Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. For more details on the event as well as our local winners, click here.

[TBF/FLW = The Bass Federation / Fishing League Worldwide]

Club Discount

DeBrooks Fishing Corner, St. Lucie Fishing Center and White’s Tackle offer a 10% discount on items purchased within their stores to members who are currently paid up on their annual membership dues.

discount flyer

St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program

Artificial Reef materials

The Artificial Reef Program continues to receive donated materials for deployment (photo enclosed).

050516 ACI Structure 5

Tug Kathleen

The Tug Kathleen was delivered to Harbour Pointe Park staging area for cleanup prior to deployment. The cleanup was extensive and lasted about a month (see enclosed photos). Businesses involved in the transfer include Prosperity Dredging, the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, and McCulley Marine Services. Special thanks to Waste Pro, who donated a dumpster with which to clean the tug, and Commissioner Dzadovsky and Ron Roberts who arranged the dumpster donation.

040116 Tug Kathleen 040316 Tug KathleenThe Reef Program will have to conduct a stability analysis on the tug to determine where to sink her. The next tasks will be to place secondary concrete below deck and perform the stability analysis. The plan is to sink her between 120′ to 150’.

The proposed plan is to deploy the Kathleen in early July and to have a live TV feed as she is sinking. Currently working on a connection with a local TV station and local brewery to host a deployment party.

Please email Jim (oppenbornj@stlucieco.org) if you have recommendations for deploying the Tug Kathleen. Emails should come from as wide a variety of interests (both anglers and divers) as possible.

State Fisheries News

Stone crab season closes May 16

The recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on Monday, May 16, with the last day of harvest on Sunday, May 15. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct 15. This five-month closure occurs each year during the peak spawning season to help conserve and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource.

FWC’s monthly newsletter for May, Fishing in the Know, is available for viewing
The May 2016 issue of the Fishing in the Know newsletter from FWC is available now. To view and/or download a copy of the newsletter, click here.
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lionfish_decalLionfish Derby Events and Statewide Removal Program

For more information and details on the Derby Events, read the April newsletter or click here.

Aside from the state’s Derby Events, FWC’s newest way of encouraging divers to target these spiny invaders is the lionfish state records program. For more information on the lionfish state records program, click here.

To qualify in the statewide program, participants must remove 50 or more lionfish between May 14 and Sept 30. Among other rewards, qualified participants will have an opportunity to take an additional spiny lobster per day during the 2016 mini-season (July 27-28). For more information on the lionfish state records program, click here.

New statewide red drum assessment

FWC has recently completed a new red drum stock assessment and is seeking input from anglers about their experiences with the red drum fishery. FWC wants to know how anglers think the fishery is doing and what anglers think of the current bag limits.

Click here to learn more about red drum and take a short survey.

Share your experiences and opinions, see what other anglers in Florida think, and find out where FWC staff will be next by visiting FWC’s Facebook page.

red drum
The recreational harvest of shallow water grouper species opens in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Monroe County, May 1, 2016

The season will remain open until Jan 1, 2017. Grouper species that may be harvested are gag, red, black, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, graysby and coney.

Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three grouper per person per day. Within this three-fish limit, anglers may possess only one gag or black grouper (not both).

Dehooking tools must be aboard recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from reef fish, including Atlantic grouper.

gag grouperSpiny lobster season closed April 1

The recreational season for spiny lobster closed to harvest in state and federal waters on April 1 and reopens Aug. 6. The two-day recreational sport season for 2016 is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July, which is July 27 and 28 this year.

FWC approves barracuda conservation measures for south Florida

FWC approved new recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda for waters off south Florida. The changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only, and will include a:

  • Recreational and commercial daily bag limit of two fish per person and
  • Recreational and commercial daily vessel limit of six fish per vessel.

These new limits went into effect Nov 1, 2015.

Stakeholders in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys have voiced concerns about declining barracuda numbers observed when fishing and diving. FWC is responding to these concerns by creating bag limits to prevent further declines and conserve barracuda in the region. FWC staff gathered public input from concerned stakeholders at workshops conducted in Feb. The goal of the workshops was to determine if there is a need for any additional management changes for barracuda, including, but not limited to, a possible size limit.

Click here for more information.

Gray triggerfish size limit changes in Atlantic state waters effective Nov 21, 2015

At its Nov 18 meeting in Panama City Beach, FWC approved changes to the gray triggerfish size and bag limits in Atlantic state waters.

The approvals include:

  • In Atlantic state waters – changing the recreational minimum size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length and creating a 10-fish recreational bag limit
  • Statewide – changing the sale and import size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length

These changes make Atlantic state water regulations inconsistent with the minimum size requirement (14″) for triggerfish in Atlantic federal waters. These changes will go into effect on Saturday, Nov 21.

Stakeholders expressed that a smaller size limit is more appropriate because gray triggerfish are, on average, smaller in size in state waters off the Atlantic coast of south Florida than they are in other federally managed regions along the Atlantic. FWC realized public input from all areas affected by the size limit change was not received by federal fishery managers.

For more information on the changes, click here.

gray triggerfishNew state permit allows mackerel tournaments to donate catch to benefit charity

With just a no-cost permit, mackerel tournament directors can donate tournament-caught king and Spanish mackerel to a licensed wholesale dealer in exchange for a donation to the charity of the tournament’s choice. While this activity has traditionally occurred at mackerel tournaments in Florida, recent federal regulation changes prohibited the activity unless a state permit was issued.

In addition to helping tournaments raise funds for charity, this permit will help minimize waste of tournament-caught king and Spanish mackerel that otherwise may not have been eaten. FWC approved the creation of this permit at its June 2015 meeting in Sarasota.

Donated fish can be caught in state or federal waters and would have to be handled and iced in accordance with seafood safety standards. Wholesale dealers must be onsite during the weigh-in to obtain the tournament-caught fish. The fish would also have to be identified as tournament catch on commercial trip tickets.

This permit will ensure that tournament-caught fish are not counted toward both the recreational and commercial fishing quotas. Although fish are recreationally caught, they enter the commercial market once donated to a wholesale dealer. Preventing these fish from being double-counted in both the recreational and commercial fishing quotas ensures more accurate landings data and prevents possible negative impacts to the commercial fishery, such as early season closures.

For more information or to apply for a permit, click here.

Discarded monofilament line injures and kills wildlife

Fishing is an important part of the Florida lifestyle as well as its economy. To ensure that this activity doesn’t lead to problems for birds and other wildlife, the FWC wants anglers to know about the potential hazards and sure-fire solutions. FWC warns that monofilament fishing line and fishing hooks can snag and entangle birds, sea turtles and manatees, leading to injury and even death.

For more information on the statewide Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program, click here.

Nine New Saltwater Grand Slams for Florida

FWC has introduced nine new Saltwater Grand Slams. Grand Slams challenge anglers to catch three specific fish species in a 24-hour period.

The new Grand Slams include:

  • Inshore Grand Slam: red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder
  • Family Slam: any three fish in the same family (example: red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout)
  • Blue Water Slam: dolphin, sailfish, wahoo
  • Florida Grand Slam: permit, tarpon, bonefish
  • Shoreline Slam: sheepshead, whiting, Florida pompano
  • Reefs and Rubble Slam: black sea bass, gag, gray triggerfish
  • Nearshore Slam: cobia, tripletail, king mackerel
  • Bay and Estuary Slam: gray (mangrove) snapper, snook, Spanish mackerel
  • Small Fry Slam (for children 15 and under): pinfish, grunt, catfish

Click here to view more information.

Federal Fisheries News

SAFMC schedules Advisory Panel Meetings in April and May

A number of fishery issues to be discussed include proposed management measures for spiny lobster, hogfish, mutton snapper, and cobia. For more information on the meetings, click on each of the species as well as here here.

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SAFMC’s quarterly newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is available for viewing
The 2016 winter issue of the South Atlantic Update newsletter from the SAFMC is available now. To view and/or download a copy of the newsletter, click here.
NOAA Fisheries announces new regulations for dolphin, wahoo and snapper grouper species effective Jan 27, 2016

The final rule implementing (1) Amendment 7 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and (2) Amendment 33 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper-Grouper Amendment 33) was published on Dec 28, 2015 (80 FR 80686).

The management measures in Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper-Grouper Amendment 33 address dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species lawfully harvested by recreational fishers in the Bahamas and brought into U.S. federal waters.

The final rule will:

  • allow recreational fishermen to bring fillets of dolphin and wahoo from the Bahamas into U.S. federal waters and update regulations that currently allow recreational fishermen to bring snapper-grouper fillets from the Bahamas into U.S. federal waters;
  • specify two fillets are equivalent to one fish for dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species brought into U.S. federal waters from the Bahamas;
  • require fishers to retain skin on the entire fillet of dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species;
  • require fishing gear to be stowed while transiting U.S. federal waters from the Bahamas [a vessel carrying fillets of dolphin, wahoo, or snapper-grouper species lawfully harvested in Bahamian waters would not be allowed to stop in U.S. federal waters during the transit];
  • require stamped and dated passports as well as valid current Bahamian cruising and fishing permits to prove that the recreational fishers were in the Bahamas;
  • not allow recreationally caught dolphin, wahoo, or snapper-grouper from the Bahamas to be sold or purchased in the U.S.; and
  • not exempt recreational fishermen from any other Federal fishing regulations such as fishing seasons, recreational bag limits, size limits, and prohibited species.

For more information on the final rule, click here.

NOAA Fisheries announces the 2016-2017 recreational fishing season for black sea bass in the South Atlantic Region

The recreational season will start on April 1, 2016, and end on March 31, 2017. For more information on this, click here.

black sea bassThe recreational harvest of hogfish in Atlantic federal waters reopened Jan 1, 2016

Anglers may keep a daily bag limit of five hogfish per person; no bag limit elsewhere. Size limit is 12 inches fork length.hogfishThe recreational harvest of golden tilefish in South Atlantic waters reopened Jan 1, 2016

To view more information, click here.

The recreational harvest of shallow water grouper species in Atlantic state and federal waters closed on January 1, 2016

The season will remain closed through April 30, 2016. Grouper species that cannot be harvested are gag, red, black, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, graysby and coney.

gag grouperThe recreational harvest of snowy grouper in South Atlantic waters closed on September 1, 2015

Recreational harvest in federal waters will reopen on May 1, 2016. To view more information, click here.

The recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters closed June 20, 2015

Recreational harvest in federal waters will reopen on May 1, 2016. To view more information, click here.

Sharing Knowledge

Down Rigger Depth Chart (contributed by Cort Schult)

To download a copy of the chart, click here.

Fishing websites & apps

SAFMC has introduced a mobile app on fishing regulations for the South Atlantic. The apps listed below are free at the App Store on iTunes as well as on Google Play.  Also useful is a flashlight app available on both iTunes and Google Play.

A website useful for local tide information is Tides4fishing.com. If you have other apps or websites that you believe may be useful to the Club members, please email them to the Club at fpsc@live.com.

Also, a number of you recommended getting live bait from Dave Maxwell (Dave’s Live Bait). He can be found most days motoring between the Stan Blum boat ramps and the inlet early in the morning. He’s usually done by 8 am. If he’s on the water, he can be reached at 772-519-2104.

Automated VHF Radio Check Service

We all know that having a functioning VHF radio on board is a necessity. Checking your radio to ensure it is working should be done every time you go out boating. In the past, you used to need to make a radio check request and wait for a response, but no longer.

Now you can do it yourself with Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service. Provided as a FREE public service to boating communities nationwide, Sea Tow’s innovative Automated Radio Check Service reduces the volume of non-urgent communications traffic on VHF channel 16, the international hailing and distress channel, while still allowing you to perform the check to ensure that your radio is functioning properly.

VHF Channel 26 serves Fort Pierce.  Google “Automated Radio Check Service” if you wish to read more info on the service.

Tie Knots Professionally

Tie-KnotsPro-Knot Fishing Salt Water Description:

NEW! Featuring knots for fluorocarbon and Spectra. Includes the new Seaguar (fluorocarbon to mono) Knot introduced by the Japanese reps from the Seaguar factory to West Coast tackle shops in early 2003. Also has the rarely published San Diego Jam Knot which can be tied reliably and easily in monfilament, braided and fluorocarbon lines! Read the rest of this entry