Fightin' to Fish in South Walton

March 6, 2011 by Larry Pentel

It's officially spring here in South Walton. Lot's of warm days, sunshine and yes, it's windy!

There haven't been many calm days to get offshore, so several of us charter captains and a couple recreational fishermen went to the "Fishing Matters to Me" Rally in St. Pete last weekend to protest the National Marine Fisheries' and NOAA's agenda to make fishing illegal for all but a select few.

I don't know if we had any political impact but I guess the powers that be are scared of a few hundred fishheads as the NMFS building across the street from the rally was under "lock down" while we were there with gates across the parking lots and guards all around.

We all went to learn a little more from the folks on the front lines to protect our fishing rights and to show them a little support, not to mention get some attention from the politicians that can stop this federal supported "grab" of all the fish in the sea for the profit of a few groups.

I learned several facts as to how the "science" they are using is so twisted as to make even Dr. Seuss blush. Any of you folks out there that are politically active please tell your representatives and congressmen that you like to fish and are against catch shares and "sector separation" (a sly way to slide catch shares into policy). If we don't get this stopped the only way anyone will be fishing in a few years will be to "rent" the right to fish from the rich or politically connected.

South Walton was represented

The home of the "enemy", behind the stage. Fisheries should be managed by science, for the use of ALL folks. NOT by fiction for the monetary gain of a few.

On a much lighter and more fun note- I ran a couple trips up the inter coastal this past weekend. The folks had wanted to go out and chase Amberjacks offshore but with 25- 30 knot SE winds our only option was to hide in the "canal".

Friday started out pretty hot with a good school of Redfish and a bonus Flounder on the first stop. Lots of trout on the next hole with the bite slowing down a little as the day went on. My anglers landed about 18 Reds, 3 dozen or so trout and a few odds and ends- sheepsheads, whiting etc.

Most fish were just undersized but we came in with 10 nice dinner fish. Today I took some more of the group right back to the same areas but the fish had shut down with a front on top of us. We fished hard for 4 hours and they got 7 Reds and 14 Trout but none made the cut for the box. We did get a couple Sheepshead to add to yesterdays fillets so there was good mess for a fish fry.

Lots of Puppy Reds

Small but Fun !

A big SE push the past few days and the weatherman says another is coming in 2 days. All the conditions are coming together and the first cobia should be caught in the next 10 days or so!



Larry Pentel's picture

Captain Larry Pentel is a native of South Walton, growing up just 300 yards from the beach. Having fished the local waters for over 40 years, he is very familiar with all the different types of local fish, their habits, and most importantly - their habitats. Captain Larry is the owner of Dead Fish Charters

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