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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am outright stating what I know as fact! News flash! There are more
fed. water Snapper now on spots and in areas than any time - even in
the 60`s and 70`s. Traditonally some spots have always had more A.J`s,
more bees, more Grouper and even triggers. That has all changed!
NMF thru a policy of overprotecting Red Snapper is the Cause. The
effect is less space, less food for all other reef fish. The results of
NMF policy are easy to see if you look where the fish are (in the water).
The truth is not in your flawed worthless NMF data! You were never
charged with helping Red Snapper at the cost to other reef fish. As
time goes on this will become more and more sure to everyone.
This is the time to increase fed. water bag limit and length of season
to combat over stock of Red Snapper! Lately the focus has been on
seperating fisherman into groups. Take the pie and make it smaller.
I know the popular theme these days is to take stuff that once belonged
to all of us, break it into smaller stuff, sell it to the few and exclude
most! This is not the America we want to leave to our kids! Rik
 

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That's a breath of fresh air, Rik!

In your opinion, has the over-stock of red snapper affected the other species in a negative way?

I ask that again because that's a mind-blowing thought, if true.
sammie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes! I belive it was you a while back speaking to errors of ommison and comission.
I am stating (to borrow a line from Spider Man) - "With great power comes great responsibality"! NMF is tinkering with a naturel system greater than themselves!
When they get it wrong, as they have they should be held responsable!
Red Snapper just as other reef fish are not everyhere. Only so much space
and so much food. Red Snapper are now pushing out other reef fish! Rik
 

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snapper

Rik,
If anyone along the Texas coast knows what's going on with Red Snapper out on the water, it is you. Lead the charge Amigo!
All the best,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Example:

Sharks are protected! Bluefish are not! They have a relationship!
When is the last time you caught a Shark?
When is the last time you caught a Bluefish?
Many of my spots were found in the 60`s and 70`s by sight!
There were so many Bluefish that on flat days they schooled
and boiled the water right over Rocks and Wrecks! Fact!!!
Does anyone want to see the day when screwing with the naturel
balance means only Sharks or only Red Snapper? Rik
P.S. The State record for Bluefish was set on my boat.
The way things are now it will never be broken!
 

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No fish in West Bay
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I have to agree 100%. My 'facts' are merely conjecture from the number of trips I've made where we were fishing for grouper or AJ not wanting to catch red snaps (or the fishery was closed is more like it) but we would catch 10 red snaps for every aj or grouper. The amount of time we lose venting and releasing chews up the fishing day so we move to the next spot hoping that it isn't covered up by snaps. Sure I enjoy catching fish but red snaps were getting like piggy perch in the bay.
 

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Interesting ... last time I caught a bluefish it was with Capt. Durwood Adams (maybe 1999 or 2000) out of Freeport about 20-some clicks, one or two about 15 inches, which we threw back because they were dinks. Never saw one since. I grew up on Long Island Sound so I know my bluefish too, sir. No idea they used to swarm off Texas.

Anyone know if any scientific articles back our claim? How about Dr. Shipp? Seems like the triggerfish, small grouper like the rock hind, and other reef fish have suffered greatly because of the competition from red snapper. Even Lane snapper and B-liners seem less plentiful. Be nice to have some science on our side, even though it seems so obvious to us.
 

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Population dynamics

Rik, thanks for the words of wisdom.

Although I have been offshore fishing for ten years out of the gulf, I also see the same patterns:

1. Red snapper are more abundant than ever before (and bigger).
2. There also seems to be more bottlenose dolphins (perhaps they just learned to be opportunistic feeders). Five to eight years ago, I would see less than 10 dolphins on a trip. Now I sometimes see 20 or more just on one spot.
3. Triggers used to be a major pest and sometimes the water was black around the boat due to thousands waiting for our baits near the surface. Not any more.
4. We are catching more sharks than ever before and I have not caught a bluefish in the last three years.
5. We are catching less beeliners but are spending more time in deeper water where they are normally more plentiful.
6. I am catching less amberjack per trip but spending more time to catch them. I used to pull up to rigs and everyone would limit out in one hour. However, I went to Destin in October and caught all the greater amberjack and lesser amberjack I wanted.
7. Perhaps the only species that appears to be constant are ling. I see just as many and catch even more.
8. I am catching substantially more grouper than ever before but it is because I am using Rik's book to target them after we limit out on snapper.

Mike
 

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I talked to my brother in Mississippi about this. He agrees that triggerfish have all but disappeared, and there are hardly any small grouper anymore. He's talked with the UMISS marine lab folks in Ocean Springs, I forget his name but he's the best ling expert in the world, who agrees with that assessment. An interesting development off Horn Island (off Biloxi) is that red snapper can now be caught in 25 feet of water, right on the drop-off from the island - like casting distance. This is a totally new development, red snapper inside of 3 miles and inside the barrier reef. Could it happen to Texas?

BTW, brother says that a 74# or larger King Mackerel was caught during the SKA tournament over yonder ... was it an 84? Anyway, Hilton should know because he was down there. It was a record setting monster for sure.
 

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An interesting development off Horn Island (off Biloxi) is that red snapper can now be caught in 25 feet of water, right on the drop-off from the island - like casting distance. This is a totally new development, red snapper inside of 3 miles and inside the barrier reef. Could it happen to Texas?

Swells, yes it can, I caught red snapper in 30' water out of Matagorda, in July! Mostly undersize but red snapper on trout fishing tackle is fun. I think Rik nailed it with his opening post, maybe when we start catching them on the jetties NMFS will get a clue.-Mike
 

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Snapper have been caught here and there at the jetties already. Ive talked to some divers that says there are alot of Snapper at the jetties already. Rik is correct, the Snapper are very aggressive.
 

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Snapper have been caught here and there at the jetties already. Ive talked to some divers that says there are alot of Snapper at the jetties already. Rik is correct, the Snapper are very aggressive.
Well we have the Mangrove snapper infested in the bays already, but can you imagine large populations of red snapper moving into the bay waters of Texas, at least the parts where there's good tidal flushing? They'd eat up everything in sight!

One thought I had was that the Mangro snapper were out-competing the speck trout, at least down by SPI, perhaps a reason why TPWD had to put a 5-fish limit on the lower Laguna Madre. There's hardly any flounder left already.

I ain't kidding about the Mangro, like we can catch 100 of them free-lining shrimp, dinks to several pounds. I shudder to think that an equal population of offshore red snapper would move in as well. Goodbye snook, trout, and flounder. That would totally suck.
 

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I think he means red snapper, not the more common inshore mangrove snappa. Our divers have seen them pretty thick at the jetties down by SPI and Mansfield. Like tons. This could be bad ...
 

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The Camo'd Texan
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good point !!

think he brings up a good point...... in the last year there have been a few reports of the kayakers catching them at the close rig in freeport and the one right of Corpus either on here or TKF board... i watched a guy at the jetty catch and release one personally... ...heck remember when a party boat would bring back 15 or so species of fish...maybe 2-4 species now...

not to hijack, but i think we seen this in bay/surf with other species...

makes you wonder about the larger croaker and large sand trout, i remember slaughtering them alot of times years ago, and now we catch a couple and everyone is surprised..i know alot of people on here remember catching the sandies/croakers like that... maybe cause the redfish big boost, or the mangroves we catch commonly now ? i dont know but makes you think..
 

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Yeah Im talking Red Snapper, some were caught at the Galveston jetties last year. And the divers I talked to were diving the Galv Jetties and were seeing quite a few. They also were diving Port A jetties and seeing a buttload there.
 

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7. Perhaps the only species that appears to be constant are ling. I see just as many and catch even more.
Mike
I will disagree on this one. In the past 15 years, the number of Cobia coming down the beach in the FL Panhandle has greatly decreased. Numbers of boats out hunting them are up, yet total catch is way down. Some of it has to do with the # of boats, and them spooking the fish down from the surface so you can't hunt them. That isn't all of it though. They've been pounded on hard, with ever increasing boats. The limit has been curtailed since the early 90's, but there are still FAR fewer cobia coming down the pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all your input guys! Did not think of all of your points but it all makes sense. I belive we are better off on Ling (for sure off Sabine & Galveston) than
some other areas. Snapper are taking more than their share of bait also. Live bait
is harder to come by these days and that too makes sense. Good time to point out
NMF has not installed a bag or size limet for Dorado. They grow so fast any action
on limiting them would surely have a positave effect and quick! Rik
 

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I agree with Rik. Here is a quote from a post I made on here in October "I don't need a degree in marine biology to see that the red snapper is obviously overpopulated at this time and should be fished more heavily next year. What will the results be of overpopulated reefs in the future?" I really think the red snapper are out competing the other fish for the available food. And if a reef becomes overcrowded some fish will move to other structure. I have only fished the gulf for 11 years but we did see the biggest school of blue fish this past summer that I have ever seen. We were about 20 miles down the beach from Pass Cavalo in 40 foot of water. I circled a rig to see if there were any ling, no ling but there was a 25 foot thick stack of fish on the finder so we dropped baits and it was all the blue fish you wanted. Seems to me the blue fish I have caught the last few years are near shore, and there are usually no snapper on the rigs they occupy but usually lots of big lady fish mixed in. NMF needs to get out on the water and survey the stocks in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
NMF/Power & no responsibality

I have only fished the gulf for 11 years but we did see the biggest school of blue fish this past summer that I have ever seen. We were about 20 miles down the beach from Pass Cavalo in 40 foot of water. I circled a rig to see if there were any ling, no ling but there was a 25 foot thick stack of fish on the finder so we dropped baits and it was all the blue fish you wanted. Seems to me the blue fish I have caught the last few years are near shore, and there are usually no snapper on the rigs they occupy but usually lots of big lady fish mixed in. NMF needs to get out on the water and survey the stocks in my opinion.[/QUOTE]

Thanks! Glad to know that Bluefish are popular somewhere. Right you are about Snapper & Bluefish waring over space. Years back when they were more widespread I fished spots where Bluefish had taken over the top half of the obstruction and Snapps on the bottom. When you were lucky enough to get to the bottom and catch Snapper the Bluefish would eat them on the way up. Death by a thousand bites. We would pull up half a Snap and Bluefish swarming and eating all the way to the surface!
NMF should hire some fisherman and start checking real stuff on the water! Rik
 
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