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A Special Message For Anglers

Some of the people who will see this site share the pleasure of a lifetime of Florida fishing experiences and memories that I'm fortunate to have. Others may be embarking on their first angling adventure in Florida or perhaps their first ever experience with a rod and reel. No matter how much experience you have, there is no question that fishing in the Sunshine State is exciting, rewarding, and one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Florida has a legacy of great fishing. I've heard many old timers reminisce about the days when every cast caught a fish. Judging from their pictures, the stories they tell are probably true. I still have vivid memories of fishing the Everglades with my grandfather in the 1960s. We fished the canals along the eastern edge of the "glades", under the watchful eyes of alligators, anhingas and great blue herons. During the summers, I spent every day from sunrise to well past sunset fishing off the Lauderdale by the Sea pier, trying my luck from one of the many bridges in Ft. Lauderdale, or spending a morning drift fishing in the Atlantic Ocean on the Captain Bill or Dragon head boats.

For the past thirty year's I've had the opportunity to fish many places in the state. Most of these are described in this book along with dozens of new discoveries that I can't wait to try. In Florida you are never more than a few miles from fishable waters. The state is laced with hundreds of lakes, rivers, streams, rock quarries and miles of freshwater canals which provide some of the best bass and panfish action that you will find anywhere there are fish.

Saltwater enthusiasts have thousands of miles of coastline and the blue waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to fish for over 70 species of fish. If you like to chum for yellow snapper in the Keys, kite fish for sailfish off shore along the Atlantic coast, go grouper grabbing in the Gulf of Mexico, stalk snook among the Ten Thousand Islands, test your skills on giant tarpon around Homosassa Springs, or fish for cobia on the panhandle's super piers, then pack your gear and get to the coast. Florida is a land where your next cast could become the fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Adding to Florida anglin' fever is a new sense of optimism towards fishing. On November 8, 1994 residents of the Sunshine State voted convincingly add an amendment to the state's constitution that bans commercial net fishing in the state's nearshore waters. The event marks the conclusion of the most successful grassroots movement in the State's history.

An increasing body of evidence demonstrated that several species of fish were decimated by nearshore netters and that several others were close to collapsing. With the state's multi billion dollar recreational fishery in danger, Florida's sport anglers took the initiative to remove entangling nets from the state's nearshore waters. As of July 1, 1995 most forms of netting were banned in the state's coastal waters. The first indications, based on data collected by state fisheries biologist, strongly suggest that the net ban is working; there are more fish in the coastal waters and anglers are catching not only more fish, but bigger ones as well.

Good luck on the water,
Kris Thoemke
Creator of Florida-Outdoors

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