Some of us remember when the best freshwater fishing around was on Lake Parrish. But the events of September 2001 changed that when Florida Power & Light closed the lake for security reasons.
Those giant bass, crappie and lunker catfish are still there, and you might get the chance to fish for them again. The United Way is now sponsoring tournaments on that lake. The next one is scheduled for May 17. For information call (941) 484-4811 or visit the website here.
The opportunity to buy bait on the Little Manatee River just returned. Jason Barth, the new owner and manager of Shell Point Marina, has provided space for a bait-barge anchored right next to the launch ramp. Its in the same location as the old Shell Point Bait and Tackle. The launch ramp will be open to the public at a reasonable rate for a limited number of boat launches per day.
This area and the marina have been a historic staple in the Ruskin fishing community for decades. It’s sure nice to see them providing more opportunities to serve our fishing and boating community again. Next time you ride down Shell Point Road or boat the Little Manatee River, stop by and check out the bait-barge and newly remolded marina. Even a few captains might be there for a chat.
You do know the kingfish are here, right? For the past few weeks they’ve been showing up along the Egmont Channel – and in fairly close. By the time you read this, many will surely be chomping on bait near the Port Manatee Channel and back toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This presents an opportunity to get into something large, toothy and aggressive that can “smoke” your reel before you put it in the smoker. Spring sure brings a welcome change in our fishing patterns.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is meeting in Tallahassee right now to create another fishing license.
A proposed new rule would require people recreationally harvesting red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, greater amberjack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, almaco jack, vermilion snapper and gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico, excluding Monroe County, to possess a valid Gulf Offshore Recreational Fishing Permit. This would apply only to harvest from private vessels and not include for-hire vessels. Visit the FWC website for further information.
This spring the fishing is unreal. Never have I seen so many large, bay sheepshead caught. Snook, trout and redfish are really biting well, and the weather is just so nice to enjoy. So get out there and…
Catch ‘em up!
Larry Malinoski, aka the FishHawk, is one of three Ruskin-based fishing guides and charter captains who share this column. He can be reached at (813) 469-7251 or [email protected]