Rick Murphy

Welcome to the Fort Pierce Sportfishing Club

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 17th, at 7 pm.

Club News

May Club Meeting

A seminar on Blackfin Custom fishing rods is scheduled for our monthly meeting this Wed, May 17th. The speakers, Jonathan and Primo from Blackfin Rods, will be demonstrating the rod building process along with displaying their newest line up. For those of you who are interested, there will be an opportunity to custom order a rod(s). As always, we will have food available, cash bar, the 50/50 draw and Club shirts for sale.

April Club Meeting

We wish to extend our appreciation and gratitude to Commander Shawn Hart and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for the presentation on boating safety at last month’s Club meeting. Thanks again.

Bahamas Trip in June

This is a reminder about the Bahamas trip to West End in June. The more boats that participate, the bigger the discount. Latest count is up to 14 boats now. The Club is going to pitch in $ for a Welcome Party.

😎 Capt Mike Rowland


Artificial Reef Program

Entries submitted by Jim Oppenborn

Qualmann Barge Deployment

The Qualmann Barge was deployed Wed (May 10) on the Lee E. Harris Memorial Site. On Friday (May 12), 1,000 tons of secondary concrete were deployed on top of the barge as part of the County’s FWC grant (click on photos). This will be the third barge/concrete reef (BCR) with the fourth BCR to come later this summer.

Please send photos of fish caught and juvenile fish on this and other artificial reefs as I use these photos in future grant applications and to build interest in artificial reefs outside the fishing community. For example, I have photos of loggerhead turtles surfacing on the Lee E. Harris site one summer day followed by photos of a loggerhead sleeping on this site.












State Fisheries News

FWC’s monthly newsletter for May 2017, Fishing in the Know, is available for viewing
The May 2017 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.
FWC’s Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations for 2017

Know or keep a copy of the current regulations with you. Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations publications are issued in January and July each calendar year. Pick up a copy today at most tackle supply stores or print them online at: MyFWC.com/Fishing.

To download a chart of the saltwater recreational fishing regulations, click here.

To download a calendar with up-to-date closures and regulations of species in the South Atlantic, click here.

Grouper fishing reopened May 1 in Atlantic and Monroe County waters

Anglers targeting grouper in Florida state and federal waters of the Atlantic, including state waters off Monroe County, were able to take home some of their catch starting May 1, when the season for several species reopened to recreational and commercial harvest. The following species are available to harvest: gag, black, red, yellowmouth and yellowfin grouper; scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney and graysby.

The harvest of these grouper species will remain open until January 1, 2018. These species are closed annually from January 1 through April 30 each year as a measure to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to 3 nautical miles out.

Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three groupers 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 commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from reef fish, including Atlantic grouper.

For more information, click here.

Spiny lobster season closed April 1

The spiny lobster recreational and commercial season closed to harvest in state and federal waters starting April 1 and will reopen August 6. The two-day recreational sport season is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July, which is July 26 and 27 this year. For more information, click here.

Snook to close in Atlantic state and federal waters June 1

Snook will close to harvest June 1 in Atlantic state, federal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. Seasonal harvest closures conserve Florida’s valuable snook populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future. The recreational harvest of snook will reopen in Atlantic waters September 1.

Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. While snook may be caught and released during the closed season, the 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 Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

2017 Lionfish Challenge

FWC compiled a report reviewing the successes and lessons learned from the 2016 lionfish removal incentive programs and proposing the implementation of a new and exciting statewide 2017 Lionfish Challenge.

More than 164,000 lionfish were removed from Florida waters between May and December 2016 thanks to members of the public who participated in commercial harvest, recreational incentive programs and fishing tournaments.

The newly proposed four-month statewide program for 2017 will include prizes and reward tiers and, for the first time, separate categories for recreational and commercial harvesters in an effort to better celebrate the lionfish removal contributions of both groups. The winners from these categories will be crowned the Lionfish King/Queen and Commercial Champion, respectively, along with a variety of incentives and rewards provided to participants across the duration of the Challenge.

The Challenge begins on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, the first Saturday after Mother’s Day (May 20, 2017), and continues through Labor Day, September 4. Participants that remove at least 25 lionfish recreationally or 25 pounds commercially (with a saltwater products license) will gain entry into the program and be rewarded with the opportunity to take an additional spiny lobster each day during the two-day sport season (July 26-27, 2017), as well as receive a newly updated 2017 commemorative coin and T-shirt.

The FWC hopes to see the public rally behind the effort and remove at least 50,000 lionfish statewide in 2017-2018 through the Lionfish Challenge and other removal activities.

Program details and information on how to participate will be posted on MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

Share your marine fisheries comments on FWC’s new saltwater commenting webpage

FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management wants to hear from you. In an effort to keep stakeholders informed and to gather public input on upcoming issues, a new webpage has been created: MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

Currently, staff are collecting comments on the statewide management of cobia, sheepshead and tripletail, as well as goliath grouper, flounder, spotted seatrout, trap fisheries and shrimp. To comment, fill out the form at the bottom of the commenting page. Comments can also be emailed to Marine@MyFWC.com or submitted over the phone at 850-487-0554.

FWC’s column, Gone Coastal:  Knowing how to catch a giant tarpon is half the battle

Gone Coastal is one of many ways that FWC is helping recreational anglers understand complex saltwater regulations and learn more about saltwater fishing opportunities and issues in Florida. FWC is also available to answer questions by phone or email anytime, and welcomes the opportunity to share information through in-person presentations with recreational or commercial fishing organizations. To contact the FWC’s Regulatory Outreach subsection, call 850-487-0554 or email Saltwater@MyFWC.com.

In addition to informative articles, FWC posts videos on a variety of subjects on its YouTube channel, FWC Saltwater Fishing. You can also view these videos by going to MyFWC.com/SaltwaterFishing. Check out new updates weekly on various subjects from how-to videos to artificial reef deployments.

For more information on this quarter’s column, 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.

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

SAFMC’s winter newsletter, South Atlantic Update, is available for viewing
SAFMC’s winter issue of the South Atlantic Update newsletter for 2017 is available now. To view and/or download a copy of the newsletter, click here.
SAFMC Regulations for 2017

For more information on the recreational regulations for South Atlantic species and to download a copy of the fishing season calendar, click here.

South Atlantic Black Sea Bass Recreational Season

The 2017-2018 recreational fishing season for black sea bass in federal waters of the South Atlantic will start on April 1, 2017, and end on March 31, 2018. Estimates indicate recreational landings for the 2017-2018 fishing year will be below the 2017-2018 recreational annual catch limit. Therefore, black sea bass will be open for the entire April 1, 2017- March 31, 2018, recreational fishing year.

For more information, click here.

NOAA Fisheries announces new Text Message Alert Program

NOAA Fisheries announces the introduction of the Text Message Alert Program. The program allows anyone to sign up to receive important fishery related alerts via text message. Text alerts you may receive include immediate fishery openings and closures as well as any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly.

How to opt-in: Sign up for related alerts for one or more of the following groups. Standard message and data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries: Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries: Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries: Text CARIBFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777

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

Discount offered for FPSC members interested in joining Tow BoatUS
FPSC is recognized by BoatUS as a COOPERATING GROUP. BoatUS, Boat Owner’s Association of the United States, the nations’ largest association of recreational boat owners, promotes the Cooperating Group program which allows a BoatUS Membership at a reduced price and additional benefits to members of the group at no cost!
If you are a member of the Club, contact Capt Stan before you join BoatUS and you’ll save $15 on a membership fee. Just another benefit derived from you Club membership.

Enclosed is the 2017 BoatU.S. discount information for our club members. The code is GA85180B.

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