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, July 20th at 7 pm.

Club News

Guest Speaker for July Meeting

Our guest speaker this month is Rick Ryals from Florida Sportsman Magazine. Rick co-hosts the TV show, Florida Sportsman Best Boat (http://www.floridasportsman.com/florida-sportsman-best-boat/).

The meeting will be held at the Fort Pierce Yacht Club, Wednesday, July 20th.  Pizza at 7 pm with Rick speaking at 7:30 pm.

We will start recruiting nominees to serve on the 2016-2017 Board of Directors and Officers. The Board meets one night a month, prior to the Club meeting. Our Club is in a growth cycle and now is an exciting time to have your voice heard. Consider serving on the Board. Talk with any Board member or sign up at the info desk.

New Members

Welcome new members, Walter & Tracey Tolson and Chris & Mimi Palasio of Fort Pierce.

9th Annual Treasure Coast Waterway Cleanup – Saturday July 23rd

Register online at http://www.tcwaterwaycleanup.com/ with your team of up to 6 people (includes your captain). Participants receive a T-Shirt and the boat Captain also receives a burgee! It’s a fun day cleaning our waterways to make them safer for the fish we hope to catch some day!!!

With the Cleanup scheduled this Saturday, it’s unlikely that we will have the Monthly Club Fishing Trip & Cookout.

Kids Fishing for the Day – Wednesday, July 27th
We will be taking 25 teens and their counselors from the St Lucie County Boys and Girls Club out for an afternoon of fishing aboard the Lady Fort Pierce. Many of the teens have never fished. We hope to introduce them to a fun hobby and excellent source of dinner! The charter is from 2 pm until 7 pm. The following members have volunteered to help the young people catch their first fish: Chris & Patty Burgess, Gary Greenfield, Bob Hain, Jack Yolinsky, Jim Anderson, Darrell Smith, and Frank Briganti.
Lobster mini-season Wednesday and Thursday, July 27-28th

See the State Fisheries News section for more information on the 2-day lobster mini-season.

Club’s Annual Fish Fry – Wednesday, August 17th

You bring the fish and the Club will supply the side dishes. Beer available at the bar or BYOB.

In addition to the fish fry, we will have a “marine swap.” It is a good time to exchange or sell some of your fishing or boating equipment that you no longer use. It may be just the thing someone else needs.
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

Deploying artificial reef materials

During the past week, the Artificial Reef Program has deployed over 1,000 tons of donated materials onto the County’s permitted reef sites (photos enclosed). Also enclosed is a figure of the deployment site. Click here to download a copy. The Program has received a conceptual letter of approval from FWC for a grant to deploy another 25 artificial reef modules on the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club site (photo of reef module enclosed).

071416 Partially loaded barge071216 Tug and partially loaded barge071316 Barge with materials071316 Deploying materialsdeployment site062415 Unfinished Limestone Special ModuleTug Kathleen

The Tug Kathleen was set on fire in the early morning of July 9. The St. Lucie County Fire Department (SLCFD) put out the fire, but in the process the Kathleen sank. Subsequent efforts to raise the vessel were unsuccessful and McCulley Marine Services (MMS) called in a crane from Underwater Engineering Services, Inc. (UESI). With the help of 3 MMS vessels and the UESI crane, the Kathleen was righted and is floating again. An oil boom and soak pads were placed by MMS as a precaution, but thankfully no hydrocarbons were discharged. Floatable debris had been largely removed by volunteers.

Thanks to Florida Department of Environmental Protection, FWC, SLCFD, and USCG for overseeing this project. Special thanks to the local companies (MMS, UESI) with the knowledge and expertise to solve this potential environmental hazard.

071016 Tug Kathleen in Taylor Creek071416 Crane and oil boom around Tug Kathleen

State Fisheries News

FWC’s monthly newsletter for July, Fishing in the Know, is available for viewing
The July 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.
Spiny Lobster Sport Season

Spiny lobster will be open to recreational harvest in state waters July 27-28 for the sport season and will open for regular recreational harvest August 6.

During the 2-day sport season, the recreational daily bag and on-the-water possession limit is 6 per person in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, and is 12 per person in all other areas in Florida.  Off the water, the possession limit is equal to the daily bag limit on the first day and is double the daily bag limit on the second day.  Click here for more information on harvesting lobster in Monroe County.

Spiny lobster must be measured in the water and must have a carapace larger than 3 inches. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace.

Want to take an extra spiny lobster per day during the sport season?  Participate in the Lionfish Challenge. Remove 50 or more lionfish from Florida waters before the sport season to qualify.  Click here for more information.

Snook population is on the rise

FWC took immediate action to help the snook population rebound after a prolonged cold spell in January 2010. The cold snap, which led FWC to close the fisheries, had a much greater effect on the snook population on the Gulf Coast than it did on the Atlantic Coast. The Atlantic fishery was closed for nine months while the Gulf fishery remained closed until September 2013.

The latest stock assessment shows that catch rates for the snook populations have returned to pre-cold event levels. The quick recovery demonstrates that FWC’s conservative management strategies resulted in abundant snook populations prior to the cold snap and that this large biomass was useful in population resilience. During the closure, spawning occurred without the threat of fishing mortality. As a result the number of young snook multiplied and adult snook grew larger.

FWC manages snook in the Gulf differently than it does snook in the Atlantic because of their genetic differences and separate life history patterns. Snook from the Gulf typically inhabit a single estuary for their entire lives, while snook from the Atlantic migrate much greater distances. Snook species found in Florida are located at the northern limit of their thermal range. They can experience thermal stress when water temperatures decline in the winter months.

For more information on snook, click here and here.

FWC Angler Recognition Programs

FWC’s Saltwater Grand Slam program is conducted in collaboration with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). A Saltwater Grand Slam is defined as the catch or catching and releasing of three different species in a 24-hour period. All Saltwater Grand Slam catches, past and present, are eligible as long as they can be documented and have been caught in a 24-hour period and in accordance with FWC and IGFA rules. Anglers do not have to harvest their fish to be eligible, and are strongly encouraged to release their catches alive.

Photographs are required and may be used in various FWC publications as well as MyFWC.com. Fill out the application Adobe PDF and mail with photos to: IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004 or email: HQ@igfa.org.

Each time an angler gets a Saltwater Grand Slam, they will receive a certificate of accomplishment and a t-shirt with the fish from that slam on it. There will be eight slams plus a Small Fry Slam for children 15 and under.

For more information on the various grand slam categories, click here.

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Tagged cobia in Florida waters

A cobia tagging project is underway along Florida’s east coast. Scientists with FWC’s 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.

A total of 150 transmitters (50 each in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) will be used for the one-year study. The transmitters will last for up to four years allowing researchers to continue collecting information after the initial report is complete.

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.

For more information on the tagging project, click here.

Atlantic snook closed in state and federal waters on June 1, 2016

The recreational harvest of snook in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, closed on June 1 and will reopen on Sept 1. Snook can be caught and released during the closed season.

For more information, click here.

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New 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.

Federal Fisheries News

NOAA Fisheries announces new regulations for blueline tilefish, black sea bass, and yellowtail snapper in Federal waters of the South Atlantic Region

The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region was published on July 13, 2016. The final rule for Regulatory Amendment 25 implements the following changes:

Blueline tilefish regulations effective on July 13, 2016
  • Increase the recreational bag limit from one fish per vessel to three fish per person per day for the months of May through August within the aggregate bag limit. There will continue to be no recreational retention of blueline tilefish during the months of January through April and September through December, each year.
Black sea bass regulations will be effective on August 12, 2016
  • Increase the recreational bag limit for black sea bass from five to seven fish per person per day.
Yellowtail snapper regulations will be effective on August 12, 2016
  • Change the yellowtail snapper fishing year start date for the recreational sector from January 1 to August 1, each year. Changing the start of the fishing year to August 1 will ensure harvest is open during peak tourist season in south Florida where the majority of yellowtail snapper harvest takes place.

For more information on this subject, click here.

NOAA Fisheries seeking comments on hogfish in Federal waters of the South Atlantic Region

NOAA Fisheries is proposing to manage hogfish in the South Atlantic as two populations: Georgia/North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida. A population assessment determined that the Florida Keys/East Florida population is undergoing overfishing and is overfished and, therefore, in need of a rebuilding plan. The overfishing and overfished status of the Georgia/North Carolina population is unknown.

NOAA proposes to analyze a range of alternatives for actions, which include:

  • modifying the management unit for hogfish;
  • establishing a rebuilding plan for the Florida Keys/East Florida population to increase hogfish biomass to sustainable levels;
  • specifying commercial and recreational annual catch limits and accountability measures for the Georgia/North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida populations of hogfish; and
  • modifying or establishing fishing regulations for both populations of hogfish, including minimum size limits, commercial trip limits, recreational bag limits, and a recreational fishing season.

For more information on this subject, click here.

SAFMC Public Hearing and Scoping Meetings scheduled August 1-17, 2016

The SAFMC will hold a series of public hearing/scoping meetings and webinars August 1-17 to collect public input on proposed management measures for several specie, including dolphin, yellowtail snapper and mutton snapper.

For more information on this subject, click here.

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SAFMC’s quarterly newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is available for viewing
The 2016 spring 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 Snapper-Grouper in South Atlantic waters

The final rule for Amendment 35 removes dog snapper, black snapper, mahogany snapper, and schoolmaster from the Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan. These species have extremely low landings, and regulations governing their harvest differ in state and federal waters.

Regulations will be effective June 22, 2016.

For more information on the final rule, 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 red snapper will remain closed to recreational fishing in South Atlantic federal waters in 2016.

For more information on this subject, click here.

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

The recreational fishing season will remain open through Dec 31, 2016, then close on Jan 1, 2017. Grouper species that can 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 opened on May 1, 2016

The recreational fishing season of snowy grouper is May 1 – Aug 31, 2016 or until the recreational Annual Catch Limit (ACL) has been met.

There is no size limit. The bag limit is only one (1) fish per VESSEL per DAY and is included in the Aggregate Grouper Bag Limit of 3 grouper per person/day.

To view more information, click here.

The recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters opened May 1, 2016

The recreational fishing season of blueline tilefish is May 1 – Aug 31, 2016 or until the ACL has been met. Annually, from Sept through April, the fishery will be closed to recreational harvest; from May through Aug, the fishery will be open to harvest.

There is no size limit. The bag limit is one (1) fish per VESSEL per DAY when the fishery is open.

To view more information, click here.

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

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

black sea bassThe recreational fishing season for hogfish in Atlantic federal waters opened 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.hogfish

The recreational fishing season for golden tilefish in South Atlantic waters opened Jan 1, 2016

To view more information, click here.

Captains Reports

From Capt Stan “Stanman” Jarusinski:
Capt Stanman went catching on June 2nd, caught dolphin, kingfish, barracuda, and a 65″ sailfish that was heavy.
“Would like to have measured the girth and/or weighed it. Was the thickest sailfish I have ever seen. Took about 50 minutes to get her to the boat. With the last jump being about 15 feet from the boat, thought she was coming on board.”
“As usual, 15-lb Hi-Seas clear fluorocarbon line by Frank Briganti caught in good physical condition. It was his fifth sailfish and the largest one he ever caught. Never concerned about his physicality through the entire encounter. It was +90⁰ yesterday, evidenced by his wet shirt and shorts.”
“Weather was extraordinary. Don’t fish weekends, but for a weekday fishery, it was the most boats ever seen on a weekday, Thursday. Didn’t hear much being caught on the radio and by personal observation.  Last Mango boated a nice snapper when we slow trolled near them, only fish we saw caught. Sailfish was caught on a live greenie and a greenie-colored Cape Lookout Flasher.
“Fished with Frank Briganti and Alex Anthony on the Yellow Bird. Alex revived the fish before it swam away to fight another day. Those twin 300 Yammies got us back to the barn fast. Great day on the water.
Thank you Lord.”
“Life is too short to catch short fish”
Capt Stanman held a captive audience during the May meeting. He was very generous with give-aways of stainless steel leader wire, swivels, SKA kerchiefs and raffle gifts included: a Simrad VHF/GPS handheld radio won by Deb Anderson, an American Fishing Wire glove for those slimy fish, and several titanium leaders.
Capt Stanman shared many of his secrets to catching the big one, including:
  • Use a good chart. His favorite is Top Spot Fishing Charts.
  • Clean your fluorocarbon line. Most lines are coated with dust from the factory. Wipe the strand with a soft cloth before using and you’ll get better results.
  • Many believe that you cannot tie monofilament to fluorocarbon. Capt Stanman says you can, but you have to wet the lines before tying them.
  • Use a permanent black marker to color your line and hooks. It will be harder for the fish to see them.
  • When a kingfish bites, let them go. Give them all the line they want. They’ll run from the boat, then turn and run back towards the boat. All that running burns oxygen and they just tire themselves out. Be ready to reel the line in while they are running towards the boat. A good reel comes in handy.
From Capt David Albritton:
Capt Albritton talked about the SKA National Tournament that is coming to Fort Pierce November 11-12, 2016. It is not too late to enter the tournament and there’s plenty of opportunity to practice. It just so happens we live in the best area to fish king mackerel. Head south 3 miles or north 4 miles from the inlet and you’ll be on the fish.
There are four events in our area that could qualify your team for the National Tournament.
We are talking BIG prizes! Visit the SKA website, www.fishska.com, for the entry rules and full schedule.

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