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, September 21st, at 7 pm.

Club News

Monthly Meeting – Wednesday, September 21st

Pizza and Fish Tales !

Vote on the incoming Board of Directors and officers for membership year October 1, 2016, thru September 30, 2017.

Guest Speaker – John Krivoshyff of the St Lucie County Conservation Alliance. This group is tasked with preserving the North Jetty area and helping to create the Savannah’s State Preserve.

Last month, we had a very good turn out for the fish fry. Thanks for all your delicious donations of fish, side dishes and dessert . .YUM! Bud and his crew did a fabulous job frying all the fish you brought. The amount of fish we had is testimony to your outstanding fishing skills! Great job everyone.

The Board of Directors voted to increase the annual dues to $60 per membership. The best “fish tale” was Capt Tim Simos having caught two fish on one hook at the same time !!! You can check it out on his Facebook page.

We have Club fishing towels and new sizes of Ladies’ shirts available. See you the 21st!

Leslie Briganti, Secretary

Kids Fishing for the Day – Wednesday, July 27th
We had a very good day on the water. No keepers, but a good time with a very nice group of young people. Photos (click on the images below to enlarge) and a summary of the event were sent to the St. Lucie News Tribune.
IMG_0004IMG_0015 IMG_0018
 Fishing 1 Fishing 3 Fishing 7 Fishing 5 Fishing 6
Fishing 8 Fishing 10 Fishing 11 Fishing 12 Fishing 13a
Fishing 16 Fishing 18a Fishing 14 Fishing 17 IMG_0034

St. Lucie County Artificial Reef Program

Deploying artificial reef materials

Earlier this month, McCulley Marine Services finished the concrete deployments and module deployments. Recently, the Program received and accepted additional donated materials which have been stored over at the former trailer park (now vacant) on South Causeway.

080516 Secondary Concrete (2) 080516 South Causeway Fishing Piers (3)080516 Secondary Concrete






Tug Kathleen

McCulley Marine continues to work on the Tug Kathleen, preparing the tug for deployment which includes (1) floating the vessel again, (2) removing the funnel, (3) lifting the manifolds from the rear deck, (4) removing wiring and debris from engine room, and (5) removing the remaining bumpers from the bow.

Once the engine room is cleared, it will be pressure-cleaned and ballast added to make her stable. A stability analysis will be conducted and contracts prepared for SeaRover Services to inspect areas to deploy the Tug Kathleen. She should be ready for the U.S. Coast Guard inspection. The plan is to deploy the vessel before Labor Day as we do not want the Tug Kathleen in harbor during hurricane season.

073016 Tug Kathleen with barge and crane081616 Generator and ramp to Tug Kathleen

State Fisheries News

FWC’s monthly newsletter for September, Fishing in the Know, is available for viewing
The September 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.
An Angler’s Guide to Florida’s Marine Resources, the new edition of Fishing Lines is now available

This guide was developed by FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management Outreach and Education Program as an educational tool to provide the public with information about Florida’s marine resources.

This publication includes articles about marine angling, important habitats, saltwater fishes and state efforts to enhance marine resources. Information is also included about fisheries management in Florida, the importance of catch and release, where money comes from and where it goes and that’s just the first half of the guide.

The second half of Fishing Lines has a field guide to help anglers and the public identify some of the many fish species that live in Florida’s marine and estuarine waters. Illustrations and descriptions for 145 species are included in the Identification Section.

Note:  The guide is an excellent source of fishing-related information and is recommended reading for anyone interested in Florida’s marine resources.

To download a copy of the guide, click here.

The recreational harvest of Atlantic snook in state and federal waters reopened on September 1, 2016

The recreational harvest of snook in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, reopened on September 1 and will close on December 15.

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.

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, click here.

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.

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. 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. For the county-by-county list of participating locations, click here.

If you see a snook fishery violation, call the Wildlife Alert Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Bringing fish back from the Bahamas became easier on September 13

Bringing fish caught recreationally in the Bahamas back to Florida by water became a little easier recently. A new exception went into effect September 13 in state waters, allowing anglers to possess and land filleted dolphin, wahoo and reef fish that were caught in Bahamian waters. Similar allowances for dolphin and wahoo, as well as modifications to existing recreational regulations for reef fish managed as snapper-grouper being brought back from the Bahamas by water went into effect in Atlantic federal waters in January 2016. These regulations apply to fish being transported by water only and do not apply to fish being transported or shipped by air.

The changes will allow more fishing freedom for Florida’s residents and visitors while creating consistency between state and federal regulations.

Some requirements to keep in mind when bringing recreationally-caught dolphin, wahoo and reef fish managed as snapper-grouper back from the Bahamas by water include:

  • skin must remain on the fillet (to aid in identification by law enforcement);
  • anglers must comply with Atlantic federal bag and vessel limits;
  • two fillets count as one fish toward the bag limit;
  • vessels must have valid Bahamian cruising and sport-fishing permits;
  • passengers must possess a valid government passport with current Bahamian stamps and travel dates;
  • travel through state waters must be continuous and gear must remain stowed which means terminal tackle, such as hooks, leaders, sinkers, etc., must be disconnected and stowed separately from the rod and reel; and
  • fish landed under these conditions cannot be sold.

Bahamian regulations may be different than those in U.S. state and federal waters. Before you return with your catch, make sure you comply with the more restrictive U.S. and Bahamian recreational bag and possession limits. For example, species that are prohibited from harvest in the U.S., such as queen conch, goliath and Nassau grouper, cannot be transported back into U.S. waters by boat. Spiny lobster must be in whole condition and can only be transported into U.S. waters during the recreational season (August 6 through March 31).

To learn more about bringing your Bahamian catch back to Florida, click here. To learn more about the Federal fishing regulations for bringing fish back from the Bahamas, click here.

FWC approves management changes for mutton snapper effective January 1, 2017

At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the FWC approved several management measures to mutton snapper in Atlantic state waters. The management measures going into effect January 1, 2017, include (1) increasing the recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits from 16 to 18 inches and (2) reducing the recreational bag limit to 5-fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit.

To learn more, click here.

FWC approves management measures for Atlantic gray triggerfish management measures approved at FWC meeting

At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the FWC approved several management measures to gray triggerfish in Atlantic state waters. Temporary gray triggerfish changes were put into effect in November 2015 and set to expire in October 2016. The approved changes for gray triggerfish will put these temporary changes into rule as long-term management measures. These measures include (1) reducing the recreational minimum size limit in Atlantic state waters to 12 inches fork length, (2) reducing the statewide importation and sale minimum size limit to 12 inches fork length; and (3) creating a recreational bag limit of 10 fish per person in Atlantic state waters.

To learn more, click here.

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.

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

The recreational harvest of jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, whitebone porgy, saucereye porgy, and scup in Federal waters of the South Atlantic closed on September 3, 2016
During the closure, the recreational harvest or possession of any of the species in the other porgies complex is prohibited. The recreational harvest of this porgies complex will reopen on January 1, 2017. The recreational annual catch limit for the other porgies complex is 106,914 pounds whole weight. Landings data and projections indicate that recreational harvest of the other porgies complex has reached the annual catch limit.

For more information on the final rule, click here.

The recreational harvest of golden tilefish in Federal waters of the South Atlantic closed on August 27, 2016

During the closure, the recreational harvest or possession of golden tilefish in or from the federal waters of the South Atlantic is prohibited. The recreational harvest of golden tilefish in federal waters will reopen on January 1, 2017. The recreational annual catch limit for golden tilefish is 3,019 fish. Reports indicate that recreational landings have exceeded the 2016 annual catch limit for the recreational sector.

For more information on the final rule, click here.

The recreational harvest of almaco jack, banded rudderfish, and lesser amberjack in Federal waters of the South Atlantic closed on August 9, 2016

Recreational harvest will reopen on January 1, 2017. During the closure, (1) harvest or possession of species in the other jacks complex is prohibited in or from Federal waters in the South Atlantic, and (2) the sale and purchase of species in the other jacks complex is prohibited in or from Federal waters in the South Atlantic. Note that the other jacks complex does not include greater amberjack.

For more information on the final rule, click here.

SAFMC proposes management measures to reduce overfishing of hogfish

SAFMC approved measures for hogfish in Federal waters that would establish two separate management units, a Florida Keys/East Florida stock and a Georgia/North Carolina stock and implement new regulations through Snapper Grouper Amendment 37. Hogfish are primarily harvested off the coast of Florida and a popular target for both divers and hook-and-line fishermen. A recent stock assessment found the Florida Keys/East Florida stock overfished and undergoing overfishing. Measures proposed to end overfishing and rebuild the stock include substantial reductions in the annual catch limits and limits to harvest.

If approved, the amendment would implement the following regulations for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock: (1) increase the minimum size limit from 12 inches fork length to 16 inches fork length for both commercial and recreational sectors; (2) decrease the recreational bag limit from 5 fish to 1 fish per person per day; and (3) establish an annual recreational fishing season from May through October.

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.

SAFMC’s quarterly newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is available for viewing
The 2016 summer 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 red snapper will remain closed to recreational fishing in South Atlantic federal waters in 2016.

For more information on this subject, click here.

NOAA Fisheries announces new Text Message Alert Program

NOAA Fisheries announces the introduction of the text message alert program. The program will allow anyone to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts include (1) immediate fishery openings and closures and (2) any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.

Sharing Knowledge

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

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