Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Winter Of Big Redfish

Wisconsin angler Mike Alexander with his firs redfish, a beautiful 31 incher caught off Matlacha.
It's official. Since New Year's Day my anglers have landed more redfish that were above the 27" legal maximum than below it. This is what I call an "Excellent Problem." But a lot of folks who charter me this time of year also want to take a fish home to eat. The looks on their faces when I say "Sorry, too big." are usually quite frustrating, but they always understand. Once our reds cross that 27" mark they become breeders, at least according to the state's biologists, and I have no reason to doubt them. These fish have been studied for decades and the slot limits that Florida has established (minimum 18", maximum 27") are just fine with me. The bag limit of one red per angler per day is also right on the money. I've always been a big fan of FL Fish and Wildlife's inshore gamefish policies and hopefully that will continue unchanged.