Gerardi Outdoor Column: Use courtesy and common sense when launching your boat

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Well, the stupid season has begun.

Traditionally, the Day of the Fallen is when the sailors of good weather sink their boats. That was a few weeks ago, but the following information is timeless, especially with the opening of the scallop season on July 1. Most know the official rules of the water, but they are the courtesies and the common sense that sometimes is missing … The golden rule.

One really annoying thing is when the boat has been sitting in your trailer all winter, but it did not start until the boat has the ramp blocked. You know what I mean, first start and start until the battery runs out and the starter starts smoking, then the engine cover comes out and a series of excuses to explain why it does not start.

The excuses range from "it ran very well the last time I used it (last October)" to "it's what puts ethanol in gasoline". What they overlook is the long line of sailors who have turned on their engines before they get there and are waiting to launch. A simple set of $ 10 dollar engine sleeves would have allowed him to start the engine at home. Anyway, at least have the courtesy to take your boat off the ramp so others can throw it.

The same goes for the first time you release the boat and then you must park the trailer and walk back to the dock. Once again, pull the boat to one side for others to introduce it

Then there's the guy sitting in the queue for half an hour to launch his boat, but wait until he retreats to the water's edge before he starts loading refrigerators, life jackets, bars and other accessories. Then he sinks the boat, parks the trailer and returns to the dock, wondering why people are looking at him badly.

Another situation that infuriates experienced sailors is the guy who never bothered to practice backing the trailer. He is all over the place, almost shrinking in other boats and closing double ramps. No one wants to risk him taking out a piece of his own boats. This type is usually accompanied by an equally inept partner who gives instructions that may well be in another language. "No, Harry, I wanted you to turn the boat to the other left." These people should wait until later in the day when there is no one around to practice. Or better yet, go home and come back on Wednesday.

If you think throwing is a panic, come back in the afternoon when Joe Boater decides he has had enough. That's when you should be recording for "The funniest home videos in the United States."

Imagine if it is five or six drunk alpha males, who have been under the hot summer sun, recovering beers for hours and all trying to use the same boat ramp at the same time … so they can urinate. Now is where you will see the courtesy. If you think that people have problems with four-way stops on the road, just try to understand the twisted reasoning that these people use to determine who follows. Many launching ramps even have attendees, often with badges and guns, who direct the flow of boats. And one of the ramps I used had a tow truck parked on weekend afternoons to pull out the combinations of cars and trailers that were in the drink for various reasons. It really is entertaining.

So, please, if you are going to put the boat this weekend, use a little politeness and common sense.

TOP AND TOP: The scallops in the bay are hidden in the sea grass. photos from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Photo: FWRI / Florida Fish and Wildlife)

The scallop season at the bay begins on July 1 at Franklin-Jefferson, a part of Taylor County and Levy-Hernando

The recreational season of the bay scallop for Franklin through the northwestern part of Taylor, as well as the counties of Levy, Citrus and Hernando opens on July 1 and will remain open until September 24. This includes Carrabelle, Lanark, St. Marks, Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa.

Do not discard scallop shells in coastal waters commonly used for recreational activities such as the Homosassa River or the Crystal River. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create dangers for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be disposed of in trash receptacles or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.

Limits of the stock market and other regulations.

The limits of the bag and container for 2019 throughout the whole scallop collection area in the bay are 2 gallons of whole scallops in the shell or 1 pint of scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of scallops in the shell or 1/2 gallons of scallop meat per container.

The scallops can be picked by hand, or with a landing net or dip. There is no commercial harvest allowed for bay scallops in Florida. Direct transit of legally harvested bay scallops is now allowed through enclosed areas. Navigators can not stop their boats in closed waters for harvest and must proceed directly to the dock or ramp to land scallops in a closed area. For information on Bay scallop regulations, visit and click on "Saltwater fishing," "Recreational regulations" and then on the "Crabs, shrimp and shellfish" tab.

Safety for sailors and scallops

The FWC encourages mariners to be safe when traveling to and from the scalloping sites, and while scalloping. Wear a life jacket and do not drink and bounce. When partaking in open water, divers must remain within 300 feet of a properly displayed diver's flag or device, and within 100 feet of a diver's flag or device deployed correctly in a river, inlet, or navigational channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a diver's flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one in a river, inlet or navigational channel should slow down at idle. For more information, visit and click on "Downhill Warning Devices".

Save it, do not throw it away

Do not forget to keep your trash safely in your boat so you do not fly and do not discard the empty scallop shells on the Hernando or Crystal rivers.

Citizen science

Done for the day? Help the FWC researchers complete an online survey at You will be asked a series of simple questions about where you harvested the scallops, the amount you collected and the time it took to harvest them. Participants can send an email to [email protected] to ask questions or send additional information.

For more information on long-term abundance trends in open and closed areas, visit and click on "Saltwater," "Bay Scallops," and "Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey."

Shark fishermen on the coast will operate under new regulations as of July 1.


The permit / educational component for shark fishing on land is now available online; required for July 1

Planning to fish sharks soon? The new shark fishing requirements will take effect on July 1, including an annual Shark Fishing Permit, mandatory and free of charge, and an educational course for anglers and other requirements that apply to all shark fishing and Fishing from the beach in general.

Shore-Smart Fishing based Shoreline and Shark-Shore Shore Permit Shoreline educational courses are now available online. To take the educational course, which must be completed before obtaining permission, visit

The permit is mandatory for all shark fishers on land who are 16 years of age or older, including those over 65 who are normally exempt from the need for a fishing license.

Children under 16 must take the educational course unless they are fishing with an adult who already has the permit. People under 16 are not required to obtain permission.

Fishing report


Island of St. George

Captain Russ Knapp on St. George Island ([email protected]) said: "In the bay, Captain Randy Peart is finding nice fat trout in the apartments behind Little St George." Look near the stop and catch a fish. 3 "Gulp shrimp under a Cajun Thunder. Captain Russ Knapp has been fishing on the beach in 15 to 20 feet of water and getting a good bite of silver trout with a small piece of shrimp in the bottom. Be prepared since the black tip sharks of 3 to 4 feet will surely show up. Off shore is your game. Captain Clint says to fish any wreck anywhere and find Red Snapper. Use live bait if you can get it, Spanish sardines if you can not. The bigger the fish the bigger the bait. If you leave 30 to 40 miles, bring your trolling equipment for black tuna and wahoo.

Apalachee Bay

Otto Hough at ([email protected]) said: Despite the harsh conditions with an afternoon breeze blowing from the southwest almost every afternoon over the weekend and a few days before. Those fishermen who venture out in one or another shower and thunder as they bounce a little, have certainly been rewarded generously for their efforts. The red snappers "in danger of extinction" have been devouring most of the offerings that occur in waters of 40 to 100 feet above the structure and the living bottom. If those baits can run the glove down, the gags have also been celebrating. Slow, since, in a very slow crawl, a blue runner on a sting platform has been circling in some quality kings along the outer edges of Ochlocknee Shoals. Also hanging around the bait pods in the Shoals has been a lot of Spanish mackerel. In the irregular bottom areas along the Shoal, some fine and powerful trouts enjoy the deeper, cooler waters and feed on live pinfish offerings.

Inside, the news is good too. From the Aucilla to the western end of Turkey Point Spit at approximately 4 to 7 feet, the trout have been feeding voraciously as the new moon approaches. Outside the "party" of the sandbar at St. Marks Birdrack, many good trout hang and eat at similar depths. Reds, especially those in the "bull" category, move east of the Aucilla until they reach Long Point. The Rock Garden area has been giving up quality reds that have been tasting the Aqua Dream golden spoons. The hard waters of the irregular bottom of the east-southeast of Gray Mare have been delivering fine and thick trout. Stickbaits such as the redfin belly of golden / orange and the back / green Bite-a-Bait have caught the attention of many good trout. Around Peter's Rock, the live bait pods have prevailed with the Spanish predator and the blues that regularly feast on these easy targets. Anything bright and bright will attract the attention of both species. Tripletail has been practically camped along the buoy line of the St. Marks Refuge. A strip of squid presented on a circle hook from 2/0 to 3/0 with a small split shot just above the hook when it is thrown on buoy markers or markers of the crab pot more frequently will not cause a bite. Although, most of the tripletails are running just below the new minimum size limit of 18 inches, but fun fights in light tackle, nonetheless.

Brandon Crawford caught two large trout in a Steinhatchee plaster fishery. The fish are feeding aggressively.

(Photo: Sea Hag Photo)

With the trout looking for colder waters in the range of 4 to 7 feet, the MirrOdine XL and the softbaits such as the Saltwater Assassin and the Z-Man sherk shads, as well as the 1/4 ounce templates with Gulp. or Z-Man shrimp have all been hunting trout. The clarity of the water is almost as good as that obtained in all the floors. The only thing that ruined the clarity in the afternoons were the strong breezes from the southwest, but during the first half of most fishing days, the waters have looked very good. As the day progresses, the stronger winds of the afternoon have been stirring the sand to reduce visibility a bit. However, the waters are extremely apt for the fish, but the bad words can abound if the sea breezes in the afternoon increase beyond the expected range of 5 to 10 knots, as they have done during the last week or so.

During the next three days, the movements of the tides will increase with the fall of the tide at the end of the afternoon, drawing a large amount of water. Almost the only thing that will prevent the last low tide of the day from falling even stronger will be a southeasterly breeze of 5 to 10 knots. The seas should be in the 1 to 2 foot range throughout Apalachee Bay over the weekend. The low tides of the morning will occur during the three days following the security light on Friday just after dawn on Sunday morning. High tides will be in square brackets at noon, and then fall at strong flows before the new moon a little before the sun falls during the day.

After all, it should be a long and decent stretch of days to chase after them, although you will pay to chase them early to avoid the greatest chances of rain and thunder in the afternoon hours, either inside or outside, depending on where the boat may be. go Make sure you have personal flotation devices (PFD) easily accessible. Better yet, put on an inflatable car. The current models of this PFD to save lives are light and comfortable to use. Do not let the fishing ego get in the way of navigational safety. Use one and never look back. Those on board my ship will always get self-inflatable. Regardless of the PFD selection made, navigate safely and please exercise the ramp label, since all the ramps are full of bumpers during the weekends. Embark wisely, safely and watch the horizon and radar.

Captain Dave Lear of Tallahassee said: "The wind, the rain and the heat have been the three factors that the coastal fishermen of Big Bend have been facing last week." And since El Niño has a strong influence on weather patterns, it does not seem that things are going to change much in the short term. The solution is to go early and late if possible, especially when heading to the exit of the vehicle, which are more sensitive to temperature than their red drum cousins. The patrols of the dawn when the water is colder and these predators in ambush have an advantage are the best times to go. In addition, it is always a pleasure to see the sunrise through the bay.

"The trout are windy for the noisy plugs of high water and it is another delight to see a large trout with yellow mouth bristles explode in a surface lure, with the abundance of floating grass at this time (and more is expected with the opening of the season of scallops), in The individual line hooks are a viable option to get rid of the lawn and still provide good connections.Rapala offers lures with singles and MirrOlure will soon present the conversion kits.

"If you can not get out early and still want some trout for the box, try bouncing a soft plastic template on the top of the grass submerged in depths of 7 to 10 ft. The trout will move to deeper waters to relieve you The heat shrimp lures also work well for these presentations, however, the redfish are perfectly happy with the water hot enough for a bath tub.Find the reds by throwing a spoon without herbs along the submerged coasts, the oyster bars and the mouths of the rivers If a fish is hooked, others will probably be in the vicinity.

"Do you want variety?" There is no shortage of other species to catch at this time: cobia, sharks and tarpon require heavier tackle, but offer a great sport.The tasty plaice is lurking around the pinch points and the fall and Spanish mackerel is hammering schools of bait in the depths near the coast "The season of scallops opens on July 1 in our local waters. Make sure all required flags are displayed and be careful when operating the boat around swimmers.

"Winds and seas are predicted to be more tolerable this coming weekend, which will be a welcome change, but there is always a chance of emerging storms, so keep an eye on the sky and the rain at hand With next week approaching the new moon, the tides will be quite steep, the descents will vanish just before sunrise and sunset, with the morning cycle still leaving a little water behind, strong high tides will overflow around the Lunch time and solunar feeding windows will be better an hour or two around that period.

Keaton beach

Captain Pat McGriff of One More Cast Guide Service (, [email protected] (850) 584-9145) reported: "The trout were still biting like crazy, last Friday, for my letter with Dan Burch, Wes and Garrett Norris, all from Cordele, Ga. We brought a trout and two red limit with a 25.5 "Pig Trout to the trout fisherman for the first time Garrett. Garrett also captured his first red fish in a 24 "fine fish, trout limit in live pinfish moored under Back Bay Thunders of 5.5 – 6.5 feet of water.I must love the scallop season as it has reduced the number of fishermen and There is rarely anyone close to you I love this weekend will be crazy on the ramp with lots of scallops Be patient and use your cell phones to coordinate when the driver is on the ramp with your trailer, when you are trying to Get out of the water … As for the crazed crowds, Be careful out there and FLY YOUR DIVING BANNERS, IT'S THE LAW! "


Chaeli Norwood at Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee (352-498-3008) sent photos of red snappers, gorges, trout, redfish, cobia and a variety of other fish.

Sweet water

Jackson lake

Captain Cliff "JR" Mundinger, Jr., of the Talquin Lake Trophy Guide Service ([email protected], said: "With the recent rains, the water levels have reappeared giving access to the areas that seem to be "overgrown" as the water levels went down, bass fishing in general has been very good lately, with several Florida bass trophies being caught. Throwing thick hydrilla is the best way to fish The big ones right now with a soft plastic frog just behind Do not forget about the big Texas rigged worms that fished around the water lilies Bream has been feeding every time the moon is full the last two months. none of July, since it is always one of the best months to catch lots and lots of breams.Worms have been working better, but a drowned cricket at the bottom of the bed is also quite deadly .


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