It will come as no suprise to those of you who have been watching the news that Florida, and the Keys, has experienced a fish kill over the last few weeks. As a result of an extended period of cold weather, we have watched with dismay as more than a few species of fish succumbed to the cold water temperatures and died. Grey (mangrove) snapper, needlefish, and grunts seemed to be the hardest hit.
However, I fished on Monday with Captain Zack Bentley aboard his Yellowfin 31′ and we had a great day of offshore fishing. Additionally we found a TON of pilchards (the predominant bait used by offshore captains to draw fish into range) inshore. Additionally, reports are beginning to stream my way from all over the Keys and Key West that the permit are back to their old tricks on the flats.
What will the long-term effect of this kill be on the fishery. Specifically, how will it effect tarpon season for 2010? These questions are unanswerable now. Certainly there will be many effects: primary, secondary, terciary, etc., and we simply do not know what this means for our fishery. However, it seems as though the effect on the gamefish will be minimal.
Hre are some things to consider: This fishery has around for long before we started to fish in it, and this was certainly not the worst weather the Keys have ever seen.
Good luck to all the angelrs today on the water, and we are glad to be back on the flats!