Snook Catches Have Been Plentiful This Week

By Jonie Maschek

Were you fishing in these waterways in the late 1980s?

There was no saltwater fishing license required in Florida until around 1989. There were many pros and cons in regards to this. But finally the state won by telling anglers they would use the license fees to conserve and protect natural resources.

Do you agree with this?

The first catch and release program took place at Bahia Beach. The FCA Polaroid Photo All Release Challenge Fishing Tournament gained national attention. FCA were recognized for not killing fish at tournaments but taking photos of the catches and releasing their fish. This still exists and is an advancement in tournaments.

There were fishing contests with cash monies in Simmons Park. This is no longer in existence.

Catfish tournaments started at Williams Park and monies they received from anglers’ fees to get in the tournament was used to build the first pier for boaters. This is still going on every year and getting bigger and better each year.

A fishing club was organized in Ruskin and had more than 100 anglers. They had all types of tournaments from snook to shark with trophies and cash awarded. It was for both men and women. It was a group of anglers in this area that enjoyed the togetherness. But the Ruskin Reelers no longer exist.

Beanie Tichy won a snook contest with a 10-1/2 pounder. He now owns Beanies on U.S. 41 in Ruskin. I doubt if he has time to fish much anymore.

Phil Wise caught a 24-1/4 pound snook while fishing in the Little Manatee River.

Brian Jones won second place in a snook contest in 1988.

When the Hillsborough Tarpon Tournament was going strong — it was a challenge for all anglers in the area. But it is no more because of lack of interest.

Giant’s Fish Camp was the oldest bait and tackle shop around. It no longer exists.

Custom handmade boats were made in this area back in 1988 by Ken Robertson A custom handed down to him from generation to generation. As far as I know, he no longer makes boats.

Now there are fewer commercial fisherman and not much netting going on. How times have changed.

Rick Tastad had bought Cole’s Landing, a favorite hangout for anglers in south Ruskin. It is no longer a bait shop.

J.O. Guthrie donated a fleet of fishing boats for the Little Manatee River cleanup. The fish company no longer exists. There is an auction house in that building now.

Those venturing out into the Bay, Gulf or rivers this week are reporting the best fishing ever with catches of many species.

Seems snook “no-catch” is over with snook catches this week reported from north, east, south and west.

Julie Deriso had something on her line and her fishing buddies told her she had hooked bottom, until out of the blue a snook jumped into the air. She is a small girl, but she held on to that pole and outsmarted that snook. Her male fishing buddy, Mike, came in without a catch. They were fishing in Apollo Beach and the snook was of legal size.

Those fishing in waters 2 to 6 feet are catching sea trout in the flats and grassbeds.

Snook, most often are found in 6 to 12 foot deep water, as are redfish, drum and pompano.

Many have fished in the rain this week and made great catches.

I heard of three fishing fatalities this week. One with lightning striking a pole and two drowning when a boat tipped over.

Please fish safely, always take a buddy along. And be sure to watch the weather.

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