Go Fishing
by Tom Greene

The first of February was opening day of snook season on the east coast.  We were lucky over here since the end of January, with little rain, no strong winds, and no extreme cold fronts.  Then came the changes but we’ll all make the best of it.

We call this time of year the start of snook season and, yes, we have plenty of fish in the area that will be feeding daily.  All we have to do is figure out what tide, the winds, and what bait will be the best depending on all that.

We also are at the end of sailfish season, and the start of small and medium size boats all fishing the tournaments along our coast for the next 3-4 months.  Some of these tournaments have very big paydays, from 10-20 thousand dollar single days to 50, 100 and 300 thousand dollars in 3-day events.  We are talking “reel” money.

I keep saying the new, young fishermen of the day are still some of the best in the world, and they come from right here in South Florida.  They are all learning from each other, putting in their time and working very, very hard to all get better.  Growing up here the past 50+ years, these young men and a few women have taken the fishing we know today to new and better heights.  This past week four young men caught and boated a 767-pound swordfish right off our shores.  Many more in the 300-500 pound range were caught the same week.

We also had several sailfish tournaments that were won with 10-20 fish in a 2-day event, all catch and release.  We quit killing sailfish many years ago, and they are now a lot thicker along our shores than ever before.

Fish stories are also even getting bigger.  The one joke we have always heard is: “is it true that fishermen are liars, and all liars fish?”  That’s only an old wise saying.  With all my years of snook fishing and everyone saying I caught a 30-pounder, I use a true IGFA scale that does not lie, so I would then say you better go home and check on that fish to make sure he does not takeover your house. Yes, just a play on words.

We are very fortunate to live and fish in this area.  People come from far and wide and spend many thousands of dollars to fish in our backyards and on our shorelines and in our ocean, and have the chance to catch some of the finest gamefish in the world right here where we take it for granted every day.

Okay, start asking questions.  Read the newspaper and ask the kids next door, the ones that fish.  It will amaze you what knowledge they all have and the recommendations they can give you, and teach you how to fish.

Tight lines and good catching.