Southwest Features


The Florida Reef Fishing Menu

What kinds of fish might you find on the artificial reefs and wrecks around the Florida coast? That depends on season and latitude, to some extent. In midwinter, for instance, there’s a pretty big difference between the cold, nutrient-rich green water you’d encounter off Fernandina Beach, in far northeast Florida, and the warm, crystal clear Gulf Stream along the Florida Keys.


Full Moon on Fisheating Creek

Paddle back in time on a storied tributary of Lake Okeechobee.


Where to Fish for Tarpon

Update on where and when to go for silver king action in the Sunshine State. Where do you want to fish for tarpon this year? For Florida boat-owners and even many shore fishermen, the answer may be as simple as, how long do you want to wait for them to arrive?

kowalyk trip

Tripletail Beginning to Show, Great Sport for Fly Fishermen

“This was our first of the season tripletail,” said Kowalyk. “It took a Rootbeer Icicle Shrimp. We went 6 for 7 on shrimp and fly. All smalls so far; there’ll be more pots out soon. My favorite!”…


Gulf Recreational Red Snapper Season Begins June 1

From FWC Press Release The 2013 Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season begins June 1 in state and federal…»


Sugar Subsidy Scandal Draws NPR Attention

  The country’s sugar subsidy program that has enraged many Floridians for decades is spotlighted nationally in a feature on…»


Proposed Rule for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Quota Increase

OAA Fisheries is seeking comments on a proposed rule for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. The rule, if implemented, would set the 2013 quotas for commercial and recreational red snapper harvest.


Southwest Florida Fishing Dreamboat

Tricked out for 24-hour livebait fishing, ease of maintenance.Charlotte Harbor is big-water flats fishing, where conditions can get downright snotty when the wind blows.


Ding Darling National Refuge Fishing

When winter winds blow, this protected system can deliver the hottest bites in Southwest Florida. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is world renowned for its myriad and colorful bird species. Each year nearly a million visitors drive, hike or bike its access road and trails or maneuver kayaks, canoes and other craft through its waters.

Take aim at 15 grand at the Major Dade Shooting Contest in December.

Little Everglades Ranch Hosts the Major Dade Rifle Contest

It is common for gun tournaments around the country to be named after historical figures with whom the contestant can relate. The Major Dade is named after Major Francis L. Dade, who, along 108 of his men, was massacred by Seminole Indians on the morning of December 28, 1835.


Idle Zone to Expand on Okeechobee Waterway?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold a public workshop in Clewiston to discuss possible boating-restricted-area changes…»


Tides in Fishing

Cool Saturday morning on Pine Island Sound. No one on the water. Two friends and I walked our kayaks from the launch 200 yards through thick mud. The extreme low tides of the Florida Gulf coast winter intimidate many anglers, but not those tuned into tailing redfish.


Boca Grande Fishing: One Ton of Fun

Our day had started with a plan to try for Boca Grande’s Big Three: hammerhead shark, tarpon and goliath grouper, a trio whose combined weights could realistically top 2,000 pounds. Ever hear of a One Ton Slam? It’s possible, here in Southwest Florida’s Boca Grande Pass.


Jack Crevalle off the Beach

Play your cards right and get jacks to open at the beach. Sure enough, the yellow tails and black spots behind the gill plates were now clearly visible. The captain was right as rain–they were jacks–but their sizes were amazing.


Red Grouper Rising

Today, anglers are seeing what may be a glimpse of a brighter future. Employing a mix of old-school and new-school tactics, we’re finding more and more red grouper on the shallow, near-coastal, intermediate and distant offshore waters.


The Other Side of the Pass

More than 100 years after the Boca Grande Pass tarpon fishery was first established, there are still tens of thousands of tarpon moving in and out April through June.