If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’re well aware that red tide has made fishing in a large portion of our inshore waters iffy at best. Also, it’s red snapper season, and a lot of anglers have been taking this opportunity to go after them. Put those two things together, and what we have is a whole lot more boats out there on the open Gulf.
Avid offshore anglers probably already know about the Gulf Reef Fish Survey. For the rest of you, a little background information: The survey was created in 2015 to help the state of Florida collect better data about the harvest of reef fish in state and adjoining federal waters. Until the survey, the best data was pretty weak because it included anyone with a fishing license. Since only a small percentage of anglers actually go offshore, the data was skewed to make it appear that actually catching grouper and snapper was uncommon.
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