If you are a Florida resident, saltwater fishing "from shore or a structure affixed to shore" now requires a shoreline fishing license ($9), or a regular $17 saltwater fishing license.
This law went into effect last Saturday.
"Non-residents must purchase a regular non-resident saltwater fishing license for $17 for three days, $30 for seven days, or $47 dollars for one year, regardless if they fish from shore or a vessel."
Capt. George Tunison
Wading fishermen need a shoreline license as well.
If you are over the age of 65, under 16, on active duty in the military but at home on leave, you do not need a license. Also exempt are those on temporary cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid.
Another exempt group is residents fishing in their home county, using live or natural bait, on a line or pole without a reel or line retrieval mechanism. One of the benefits is that you will pay only for the state license, instead of both a state and federal license which is expected to run $15-$25.
If you need more info about the new license regulations go to www.MyFWC.com
If you like to "eat 'em as well as catch 'em" then a meal of fresh caught snapper is very hard to beat. Capt. Dick May shares a recipe for sauteed snapper from his well-known cookbook of seafood delights.
Put one cup of flour in a Ziplock bag. Add 2 tsp. garlic powder and 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning. Place small batches of snapper fillets in the bag and shake until well dusted.
Dip fillets in a bowl of beaten whole eggs plus 1 tsp. water to each egg. Press each fillet into a dish of Panko Japanese bread crumbs and coat each side.
Cook the fish in a non-stick skillet with just enough olive oil to cook one side of Mr. Snapper and turn to brown each side till they are done then place fillets on a platter.
If you like capers, saute several tablespoons in the same skillet after removing fillets, in a little olive oil and butter for 30 seconds, then pour over the cooked fish. Serve with lemon wedges and tarter sauce
Capt. Greg Hood of Tarpoons Charters reminds us that September is right around the corner and so are the redfish. This time of year he likes to get up on the poling platform and work around sandbars, especially on an incoming tide. He chooses soft plastics instead of live bait, that way he is able to stay quiet as well as weed free when he makes his presentations.
First light is always good, but temperature drops and windy conditions around isolated storms work well and usually results in over-slot redfish. Long casts with light lines and leaders make this fishing even more exciting.
Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters reports a good selection of bait both on the beaches and on the grass flats. The beaches held white bait and the grass flats are covered up in pinfish and small threadfins. The best bite on the outside was provided by huge schools of Spanish mackerel. Once you locate a pod of surface bait the macs will be right under them or very close by.
The May Reef still holds a good number of mangrove snapper along with lots of undersize grouper. The grass flats of Estero Bay are still full of trout and the mangrove islands are also loaded with snapper and mid-sized snook. Redfish are still hard to come by, but the ones that are landed
In this super hot weather a cold beer or cocktail hits the spot, but drinking and driving a car as well as a boat is illegal, as well as dangerous. Drinking in the hot sun magnifies the effects and increases the danger to you, passengers and other boaters.
Be responsible, boat and drive safely.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at email@example.com, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.