Fishing Reports   Camping   Archery and Hunting   Hiking   Kayaking

Half Hitch Tackle, Since 1975


First Annual Scallop Rodeo St. Andrew's Bay

 

This coming Saturday, July 21st will be the FWC's first ever scallop rodeo for St. Andrew's Bay. FWC biologists are in need of volunteers to help replenish scallop breeder stocks from St. Andrew's Bay. Volunteers will collect 50 live scallops that will be placed into predator-exclusion cages to protect them from predation throughout the next year. St. Andrew's Bay isn't open to scalloping any time of the year because of low populations; a result of algae blooms in the past. 

Check-in begins 7am CDT

Scallops returned by 6pm CDT 

Event Details:

  • All scallopers must check-in at designated locations (listed below)

  • Scalloping is only permitted within the designated scallop area (see map)

  • Each individual can collect up to 50 scallops

  • Scallops must be kept alive in a bucket of water

  • Live scallops must be brought back to check-in location no later than 6:00pm

 

Check-in Locations:

  • St. Andrew’s City Boat Ramp

  • Panama City Marina

  • Bob George Park

  • Donaldson Point

  • St. Andrew’s State Park Boat Ramp

 

Sign-Up:

  • Please sign up using the FWC's website CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
  • When prompted, please select your preferred check-in location

Important Reminders:

  • Always practice safe boating – wear life jackets and keep an eye out for other divers

  • Use a diver-down symbol when snorkeling or diving

  • Minors >18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult

  • All collected scallops must be turned into FWC

 

Volunteering:

If you are interested in volunteering at a check-in location, please visit https://outreach.myfwc.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1121391&group=

or contact the NW Region Volunteer Coordinator at emily.hardin@myfwc.com.  

 

 

Please note: Bay County does not have a recreational season for bay scallops. This is a special event for restoration purposes only. Collecting scallops outside of this event is prohibited in Bay County.

 

Gag Grouper Season Opens June 1st

Gag Grouper season opens June 1st and ends December 31st. It is open for recreational harvest in all federal waters and most state Gulf of Mexico waters. 

Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, and Jefferson counties are excluded because they have their own season from April 1-June 30 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31. Monroe County is also excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic state season.

To fish for Gag Grouper, you need to be signed up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal required) visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Federal waters start nine nautical miles out and extend 200 out. Gulf state waters end where federal waters begin. 

 Gag Groupers limit is 24 inches total length with a bag limit of 2 fish per person with a total boat limit of 4.  

Learn more about grouper at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”

Photo provided by the FWC 

FWC approves statewide changes to tripletail and sheepshead management

FWC approves statewide changes to tripletail and sheepshead management 

At its April meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to the management of tripletail and sheepshead.

Changes go into effect July 1, 2018, and include:

  • Tripletail:
    • Increasing the minimum size limit from 15 to 18 inches total length.
    • Extending all of the FWC’s recreational and commercial regulations for this species into federal waters (including the new size limit).

Learn more about tripletail regulations at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing.”

  • Sheepshead:
    • Reducing the recreational bag limit from 15 to 8 fish per person, per day year-round.
    • Creating a recreational vessel limit of 50 fish per vessel, per trip during March and April.
    • Extending all of the FWC’s recreational and commercial regulations for this species into federal waters (including the new bag and vessel limits).

Learn more about sheepshead regulations at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing.”

These proactive measures will help conserve both fisheries for current and future generations.

To view presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

Greater amberjack season opens May 1 in Gulf state waters

Greater amberjack season opens May 1 in Gulf state waters 

The greater amberjack recreational season in Gulf state waters will reopen to harvest May 1 and remain open through May 31. The season will reopen again Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.

Greater amberjack is overfished and undergoing overfishing, and the season has closed increasingly early in recent years due to federal quotas being met or exceeded. This new season structure adopted at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in December will optimize recreational fishing opportunities in both the spring and fall while minimizing harvest during the spawning season, helping to rebuild the stock.

For more information on greater amberjack including size and bag limits and other regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Amberjack.”

                                                 

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

First Name:

Last Name:

 By signing up for the Half Hitch newsletter, you'll stay informed about what's going on with outdoor activities around the Panhandle, and receive notification of special buys, seminars and tournament information. Your personal information will never be given, sold or in any other way transferred to any other party or used for any other purpose than providing Half Hitch with a means of communicating with you. We also honor your request to opt out at any time, however you will miss out on important fishing tips, information and specials. 

Read about our newsletter policies here.

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

First Name:

Last Name:

 By signing up for the Half Hitch newsletter, you'll stay informed about what's going on with outdoor activities around the Panhandle, and receive notification of special buys, seminars and tournament information. Your personal information will never be given, sold or in any other way transferred to any other party or used for any other purpose than providing Half Hitch with a means of communicating with you. We also honor your request to opt out at any time, however you will miss out on important fishing tips, information and specials. 

Read about our newsletter policies here.

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email: