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  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 10:33 AM | Eric Griggs (Administrator)

    Fishermen are reminded that harvest and/or possession of red snapper is prohibited in federal waters off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida. The fishery remains closed as NOAA Fisheries and the Secretary of Commerce continue final review of Amendment 43 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan for the South Atlantic Region. A Fishery Bulletin regarding approval is expected from NOAA Fisheries and the Secretary within the next two weeks. Given the timeline for the review process, it is likely that, IF the amendment is approved, a red snapper season would begin in August 2018.


    The amendment specifies a total annual catch limit (ACL) for red snapper of 42,510 fish, with 29,656 fish allocated to the recreational sector. The bag limit for red snapper would be 1 fish per person/day with no minimum size limit. The recreational season would be weekends only (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The number of weekend openings for the recreational fishery would be determined by NOAA Fisheries and announced in advance. The commercial fishery would open with a 75-pound trip limit (gutted weight) with no minimum size limit, and close when the commercial ACL is met or projected to be met. The Council approved Amendment 43 for Secretarial review in September 2017. A benchmark stock assessment for red snapper will be conducted in 2020.


    Sign up for E-News from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's website at www.safmc.net and receive Fishery Bulletins from NOAA Fisheries' Southeast Regional Office at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/index.html.

  • Monday, July 09, 2018 12:26 PM | Eric Griggs (Administrator)

    For those of you who were planning to watch the latest artificial reef deployment tomorrow, July 9, IT HAS BEEN POSTPONED ROUGHLY A WEEK.

    Keep watch here and on Facebook for any updates.

  • Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:39 PM | John Durkee

    Repeating his blue chip performance of a year ago, Dave Robb Jr. of Titusville once again led the ranks of club anglers in the 2017 Florida Sport Fishing Association’s (FSFA) championship and awards program.

    The 49-year-old retired Senior Chief Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy Seabees was honored at the club’s recent awards dinner as the Overall Club Champion, giving him back-to-back titles.

    But this time around Robb also claimed the Fish of the Year, the award judged as the most outstanding catch for the year in the 225-member Cape Canaveral club.

    Bill SargentBuy Photo

    Bill Sargent (Photo: FLORIDA TODAY FILE)

    It was a massive 80-pound black drum that Robb landed after an hour’s fight on 15-pound test plug tackle. Considering the size of the fish and the tackle used, a committee of fishing experts judged it as the top catch.

    The FSFA, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, annually recognizes its members who score top catches under the club’s ratings and points system with varying tackle gear and strengths.

    Robb set nine FSFA tackle records during his quest for the championship that also earned him the highest accumulative angler rating in the club – Grand Master.

    The big drum, along with a 125-pound tarpon, was among five club records for Robb. During the year he was credited with releasing 24 different species of fish and also achieved Species Master for black drum and sheepshead.

    For Robb the 80-pound drum was a “dream catch,” he said. It came from a school of the large drum that he and friend Frank Curran found in the Canaveral Bight north of Port Canaveral last winter.

    “Earlier that morning we had fished for Sunshine Bass in the St. Johns (River) and on the way back we decided to launch at the port and try for drum up in the bight. We knew the big drum were there,” Robb said.

    “The school was in 18 feet of water and I used a 2-ounce bucktail jig, working it near the bottom.  he fish stayed with the school through most of the fight,” Robb said, adding that he was fortunate the fish didn’t rub his thin 15-pound test line against other drum in the school that could have caused the line to break.  

    More: Sargent: Poveromo closing seminar series at Daytona Speedway

    The heavyweight was 52 inches long and 36 inches in girth.

    Robb joined the FSFA in March 2016 and being one that thrives on competition and challenges he immediately set to work fishing for catch points.

    After achieving 870 points in 2016, it was early in the 2017 season that he achieved the 1,000 points needed for Grand Master. He said he did it in 10 months and 24 days of fishing, meaning he was fishing four to five days a week.  

    His points total for the 2017 championship was 490. A family illness and other responsibilities kept him out of fishing for several months.  

    Robb’s wife Stephanie was named the Women’s Champion with 210 annual points, in the process setting a club record with a 5-pound, 12-ounce Sunshine Bass and landing a Five-to-One catch of a 22 pound, 6 ounce drum on 4-pound test line. She also received a certificate for releasing 16 species.

    Other division champions were Dan Thompson, Freshwater, and John Dobbins, Saltwater. Dobbins also released 19 species, Emily Rupe 15 species, Hunter Delaney and Cassie Delaney, each had 13.

    Charlie Rupe received a plaque for his club high 29 species released. Chris Delaney followed with 26.

     Phil Woodham earned a Five-to-One plaque and a Heavyweight award with a 13-pound catfish landed on 2-pound test line.

    Ryan Vetsch, a 22-year-old Eastern Florida State College student, was the first member in seven years to receive a Tackle Master award for his 410 accumulated annual points with Light-General tackle catches. He also took the General Tackle Division championship for the year with 90 points.   

    More: Sargent: “Relentless” captain works sailfish magic again

    At the same time Vetsch achieved Species Master, another accumulative award, for drum, along with Chris Pashos and Rob Hollander, also for drum. One of Hollander’s catches was an 82-pound 10-ounce drum for a Light-General record.

    Two impressive heavyweight catches by Vetsch was a 32-pound, 10-ounce gag grouper and a 19-pound, 6-ounce snook, and he set a club record for General Tackle with an 81-pound, 14-ounce black drum. Vetsch also won a Fish of the Month award in July for a 33-pound permit he landed at Sebastian Inlet.

    Tackle class champions were Charlie Rupe, Ultralight, 90 points; Zella Helton, Spin, 50 points; and Hunter Delaney, Light General, 60 points. Helton, the 2015 Overall Club Champion, also took a Heavyweight award for a 45-pound cobia.

    Other Heavyweights were Cassie Delaney’s 58-pound, 9-ounce king mackerel, Mark Wilson’s 60-pound, 4-ounce dolphin, Dobbins’ 7-pound, 11-ounce seatrout, Charlie Rupe’s 3-foot, 8-inch redfish, Doug Kaska’s 14-pound tripletail, David Werner’s 7-pound, 13-ounce largemouth bass, Dan Thompson’s 8-pound bowfin, and Margaret Thompson’s 2-pound, 4-ounce panfish.

    Juniors receiving club record awards were Carolyn Costello for a 14-pound, 8-ounce drum and Greg Bernard for an 8-pound sheepshead. Junior Heavyweights included Lorna Rupe for a 3-pound largemouth bass and Wesley Rupe for a 12-ounce panfish (crappie).

    A 165-pound swordfish on 80-class General tackle set a club record for Wilson and was the Fish of the Month for December. Wayne Bogle won in November with a 26-pound, 14-ounce red snapper.  

    Master Angler rating certificates went to John Durkee, Alex Gorichky Jr., Charlie Rupe, Hunter Delaney and Stephanie Robb; Intermediate Angler rating to Jay Young; and Angler ratings to Bill MacVittie, Wesley Rupe, Emily Rupe and Yay Young.

    Forty-eight plaques, trophies and sculptures designed and produced by member Chris Costello, owner of Fishing Tournament Trophies in Port St. John, went to the many winners, along with multiple certificates.  

    The FSFA is more than a fishing club. It sponsors community projects including its annual Offshore Tournament out of Port Canaveral, the annual Kids Fishing Clinic at Canaveral, an on going artificial reef program, plus student scholarships and grant programs for Brevard County schools. It has North and South Brevard chapters, each with separate monthly meetings with speakers.

    For more information log on to www.fsfaclub.or

  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:41 PM | John Durkee

    Members only. :  time for another Members only fishing contest.

    December 1-December 31.  FLOUNDER.   Largest flounder caught on hook & line (no gigging) wins a $50 Gift Certificate at Black Dog Bait & Tackle.

       Enter fish using Points Entry Form.  In comments put "flounder contest".  Take a photo of fish on scale.  If you want to back up, photo with ruler too.   Email the photo to Dave Robb   usafldave@cfl.rr.com.       Winner to be announced at awards banquet 



  • Wednesday, November 01, 2017 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    November 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

    (Atlantic Legal Season only)

    One winner will be recognized at the Annual FSFA Awards Banquet with bragging rights and a very nice hand carved wooden plaque commemorating the catch.

    How to play: 

    1.  Catch the Snapper during the dates of the Tournament. 

    2.   Use a scale to weigh the fish.  Take a picture with the Scale showing the weight and entire fish in the picture frame. 

    3.   As a back-up, we will also accept an overall Length and Girth with a legible Tape Measure, each measurement must be captured in a photo.  Catches must be photographed to enter. 

    4.   Enter your catch at fsfaclub.org under Point fishing/point fishing entry form.  If you are a point fisherman and you catch a qualifying fish, check the appropriate boxes upon entering (Master/Annual points). 

    5.   Email catch photos to Dave Werner DW FSFA(dwerner70@att.net) and David Robb FSFA (usafldave@cfl.rr.com).

    6.   We will announce the leading weight at the conclusion of the first weekend (before the second short season)

  • Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:41 AM | John Durkee

    excited to forward this announcement regarding building more artificial reefs! 

    Greetings Brevard Reef Advisory Board Members,

    First off I have some great news, we received funding from FWC for next year’s deployment (letter attached). Our grant application got us the points needed and we are set with the funding for another deployment in 2018. I spoke with the FWC program administrator and he said that we made the cut because of extra points for items like advisory boards, such as ours, and because of all of the public support. Please  pass word along to everyone in the FSFA, CFOA and CCA thanking them for their letters and emails of support. It is community involvement and support like we received this year that keeps these projects funded and continuing forward.

    Also, McCully Marine has been awarded the contract for this year’s project and we expect to be deploying reef modules in about 4 weeks. I will keep you all informed on the final timing.

    Thank you all again your time and assistance on these projects.




    Matt C. Culver

    Boating & Waterways Program Coordinator


    Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department

    2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way

    Building A, Room 219

    Viera, FL 32940

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:01 PM | John Durkee


    FWC law enforcement to participate in Operation Dry Water, national effort against boating under the influence


    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds boaters, as the holiday weekend approaches, that boating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is dangerous and illegal. During Operation Dry Water June 30-July 2, and extending through the July Fourth holiday, boaters can expect to see more officers on the water.


    During this annual three-day awareness and enforcement campaign, officers will be educating the public, identifying and deterring operators from boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


    Law enforcement agencies nationwide will be out June 30-July 2, looking for boaters who choose to boat under the influence, and removing them from the water.


    “Although the national Operation Dry Water event goes through July 2, FWC law enforcement officers will be extending our efforts through the Independence Day holiday to help everyone have a fun and safe holiday weekend on the water,” said Maj. Robert Rowe, FWC’s Boating and Waterways section leader.


    Increased awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence, along with officers focused on identifying impaired operators, aim to drastically reduce the number of accidents and deaths due to impaired boating.


    “A big part of enjoying Florida’s beautiful waterways is doing so safely and responsibly. It is our job as law enforcement officers to identify and remove impaired boaters from the water so that everyone else can continue to have an enjoyable boating season,” said Rowe. “By participating in Operation Dry Water, the FWC joins thousands of law enforcement officers nationwide to decrease the number of accidents, injuries and deaths that come as a result of boaters who choose to drink and boat.”


    In Florida it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher. Alcohol use is one of the leading contributing factors in recreational boater deaths. In 2016, July had more reportable accidents (96) and more fatal accidents (eight) than any other month. Last year in Florida, 24 percent of fatal accident victims (16) were related to alcohol or drug use. During the national Operation Dry Water weekend of heightened awareness and high-visibility enforcement, boaters can expect to see an enhanced law enforcement presence and increased messaging about this dangerous and preventable crime.
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  • Monday, June 19, 2017 8:58 PM | John Durkee

    Efforts underway to allow limited red snapper harvest in 2018; cobia stock assessment scheduled

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL -  JUNE 18, 2017 (Corrected)

         Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council gathered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida this week, where red snapper and cobia fisheries continued to dominate discussions. The harvest of red snapper is currently prohibited in federal waters ranging from three to 200 miles off the South Atlantic coast as the stock continues to rebuild. The recreational fishery for Atlantic cobia (Georgia to New York) closed in federal waters earlier this year as a result of harvest estimates from NOAA Fisheries showing the annual catch limit was exceeded in 2016.      

         The Council received a presentation by NOAA Fisheries during this week’s meeting showing that the estimated number of red snapper removed (landings plus dead discards) exceeded the acceptable biological catch in 2016, a situation that has kept the fishery closed for the past two years under the current management plan. The removals are primarily associated with the recreational fishery where red snapper are captured and released while fishermen target other co-occurring species. Approximately 28% of the fish released by recreational anglers are estimated to die primarily due to barotrauma, the physical damage to body tissues caused by differences in pressure as the fish is being retrieved.      

         Meanwhile, Council members, with representatives from both commercial and recreational fisheries, focused on how to allow limited harvest of red snapper beginning in 2018. “Council members and members of the public have repeatedly expressed their frustration at the increasing numbers of red snapper that are being released as this stock recovers,” said Council Chair Dr. Michelle Duval. “While we explore measures to allow limited harvest we must also be cautionary in our approach to not allow overfishing to occur should the fishery reopen next year.”      

         After lengthy discussion, the Council approved modifying draft Amendment 43 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan to include a single action to revise annual catch limits for red snapper. The draft amendment would remove the current process and equation used to specify the annual catch limit and includes alternatives for establishing an annual catch limit for 2018 ranging from approximately 23,600 to 76,000 fish. The intent is to expedite the amendment by holding public hearings via webinar in August, in-person hearings at the Council’s September meeting, and approving the amendment for Secretarial review at that time. The new measures could be in place in time to allow limited harvest beginning in July of 2018.      

         Earlier in the week, the Council hosted a workshop on “Improving the Survival of Released Fish”. Eight speakers presented on best practices for reducing discard mortality, including the use of various descending devices, minimizing handling, and other practices. “These best fishing practices show the cumulative positive affects recreational anglers can have in reducing mortality of fish that are released,” stated Council member Chester Brewer, a recreational representative from West Palm Beach, Florida. “It is imperative that anglers learn about these tools and put them to good use.” Workshop information and the presentations are available from the Council’s website at: http://safmc.net/briefing-books/2017-june-council-meeting-briefing-book/.  

  • Friday, June 09, 2017 3:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    49th Annual FSFA Offshore tournament completed in beautiful weather with 91 entries. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made this happen and stay tuned for Number 50 next year. Special events and prizes are being planned.

    Following a well-attended and fun Captain’s Expo on Friday night, June 2, the tournament itself kicked off on Saturday, June 3, with 91 boats headed East to try their luck. The weather forecast called for calm seas and late afternoon thunderstorms—they were right on with the seas but the thunderstorm all stayed inland. 

    The other consideration was a scheduled rocket launch for 5:07 PM which closed much of the area North of the Port starting at 3:00 PM. The launch went off as planned but the captains had all been briefed at the Expo as to their need to plan their fishing day around it.

    In a first for the FSFA and I think any central Florida tournament, we were streaming live video on the internet! Thanks to Capt. Alex Gorichky III, the weigh in was posted live on Facebook. You can find the live feed on the FSFA Facebook page. The crowd, the fish & the fun was shared.

  • Friday, June 09, 2017 3:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the weigh-In was taking place, one Team came up to the stage to ask if they could weigh a big fish, even if they were not in the tournament. As the process for entrants was slow, at the moment, the answer was “sure, bring it up”. They returned with an ENORMOUS

    wahoo—72 pounds.

    Turns out, they had been at the Captain’s Expo the night before but decided

    not to enter for whatever reason. At the end of the day, that was a $5,000 decision. Their wahoo would have been the big fish of the tournament.

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