Joe Rufin shows off a snook from the trip that landed him two lunkers and a nifty prize from Garmin, thanks to Guy Harvey Outpost.On Jan 31, Joe Rufin (St. Pete Beach) had a very productive snook fishing trip. He not only landed a pair of bruising line-siders, but he opted to enter his fishing trip into the shiny new iGhoFish smartphone app, the latest data collecting tool in the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action Program (AAP). Lucky for Joe, Guy Harvey Outpost is hosting a data sweepstakes, randomly drawing anglers each month who have logged their fishing trips into their iGhoFish app or web portal.

For Rufin, that meant a surprise phone call informing him that he won Garmin’s VIRB action camera. “Actually, it was the first time I ever used the Guy Harvey Outpost app,” he said, still sounding a little shocked that he won a prize for simply going fishing and logging it into the app. “A friend who heard about the app at the St. Pete Outpost told me about it so I downloaded it and gave it a shot.”

Some of the details about the data and sweepstakes were lost in that conversation with his friend, so Joe didn’t realize he was even eligible to win a prize. “I thought there was a tournament going on, but I didn’t think I was actually entered. But I wanted to see what it was like to log a fish anyhow.”

Rufin and his friends mostly fish Pinellas County, and on the day he logged the winning trip, he was fishing a usual haunt in his typical fashion. “I like to fish big baits – the biggest I can find,” he said. “We had just found some nice sized greenies on the north side of the Skyway.” They were working through some kinks with a potential new bait pen location that day when Joe pinned a bait to a circle hook and lobbed it in.

“My first bait hit the water, and it got hammered right at the dock. It was the usual epic snook fight - I had to climb over a few things to get the rod tip high enough to clear some pilings." That first fish was 33’. Matt [his fishing buddy that day] didn’t even have his bait in the water when Joe landed that fish, put another bait on and wham! "Fish on again,” Joe recalled. That fish was even bigger, measuring in at 35’.



The Snook & Gamefish Foundation's Board of Directors will meet in Tampa of Feb 28 at the Cigar City Brewery tasting/meeting room. This annual meeting will cover election of new board members and re-election of BOD members whose terms are due to expire.

The meetings are open to SGF members. If your membership is up to date and you are interested in serving SGF as a board member or advisory committee member, please contact brett@snookfoundation NLT Feb 13. 


These meetings will also discuss updates on the progress of the Angler Action Program, and partnerships with Guy Harvey Foundation and CCA. 

SGF maintains an unwavering ethos of the conservation, preservation, restoration and enhancement of estuarine and coastal water habitats that define fishing - and SGF believes informed anglers are the key to realizing these goals. - See more at:
SGF maintains an unwavering ethos of the conservation, preservation, restoration and enhancement of estuarine and coastal water habitats that define fishing - and SGF believes informed anglers are the key to realizing these goals. - See more at:

SGF maintains an unwavering ethos dedicated to the conservation, preservation, restoration and enhancement of estuarine and coastal water habitats that define fishing - and SGF believes informed anglers are the key to realizing these goals.




The Inshore Kickoff is complimented by the Freshwater Kickoff - both free, both this weekend. ...and win a prize!

SGF and Elemental Methods teamed up again to bring some exciting new changes to the iAngler-Tournament system.

You can help us test them out by fishing, and maybe winning a little something for your time on the water!

 iAngler-Tournament is a fishing tournament management program that allows tournaments to be run through your mobile smart device. Translation: You can enter, then record fish, in a tournament using your smart phone - photos and all.


Writer and photographer Sam Hudson took one of our favorite snook shots this year. What a beauty! (er... the fish, not Sam...)2014 was a good year for Florida’s snook anglers. The recovery from the 2010 cold snap seems to be right on track, thanks in part to FWC’s astute management plans, SGF’s Angler Action Program, and the overall outstanding conservation ethos of most snook anglers.

Looking back at that chilly stretch in early 2010, there was a lot of concern about Florida’s premier inshore game fish. Many anglers were at near panic mode, and frankly our best researchers were very concerned too. At the time, Jim Whittington, the lead east coast snook researcher told SGF that there was a lot of uncertainty regarding snook. He also pointed out that the strict snook regulations were in place for just such an event. Those who pursue snook understand there are some very tight parameters required for a healthy population: nursery habitats, ample prey, viable spawning sites, and of course tropical water temperatures.


Barracuda capture anglers and divers alike. They are an important part of Florida's experience and ecosystem. photo: Dean HulseWith its menacing crooked teeth, evil eyes and foul smell, the great barracuda is not the poster child for gamefish.

Outside of the shark, there is no backcountry fish more demonized than the barracuda.

The fish is not given the same level of respect than that of its contemporaries on the flats — permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook.  Rarely does one see a photo of a flats guide posing with a barracuda and beaming with the same admiration that he or she would give the four other prized fish.

The fish’s status has never really been elevated to that of the four backcountry fish. However, the barracuda fights as hard, if not harder, than any of the other four fish and in a pinch can rescue a slow day of fishing.


Goliath Grouper have moved to center stage for many Florida anglers, divers, and conservationists. Photo: underwaterjournal.comThere seems to be little argument about whether conservation measures put in place to protect the Goliath grouper have been a success. But a debate is waging about whether they have been successful enough to reopen the fishery to even a small limited harvest.

Those who want to reopen Goliath grouper to fishing argue the fish has become so plentiful that anglers can’t reel up smaller fish without them being snatched off their lines by the giant beasts, which can weigh in excess of 500 pounds.

Also, Goliath groupers are consuming large numbers of spiny lobster, a major cash crop, supporters of opening the fishery say. They are calling for a small limited harvest.


What to fish and how.

While giving a saltwater fly-fishing seminar at a fly shop in northeastern Pennsylvania this summer, I was asked this question, and it is one of the most frequently-asked questions I hear. Dave Keck, the store's owner, who I fished with for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River, five minutes from where we were in Berwick, Pa., was close to me and I asked Saltwater flies are varied and impressionistic, but matching a hatch is still important.him to get out his fly box. Some flies did not have stainless steel hooks, but the flies we selected were all effective patterns to use in the Tampa Bay area where I do most of my fishing. This applies to most areas of Florida as well. Minnow imitations were most prevalent with hook size appropriate for snook, redfish and speckled trout, which are the most predominant quarry most of the year. Colors were also consistent with patterns that either "match the hatch" of local baitfish, or even imitate shrimp or small crabs. If you believe, as I do, that presentation is more important than color and size, his fly box would give you a good start if you ventured south for a few days of R&R with your fly rod.


By filing an Amicus Brief, SGF entered the net ban law suit on behalf of FWC as a "friend of the court."First District Court of Appeals Strikes Down Gill Net Use upon Appeal

The appellate court’s decision overturns ruling that gill nets ban was unfair; reinstates ban which was passed in 1995 and challenged almost universally since


TALLAHASSEE (July 7, 2014) – Calling the ruling “erroneous” and saying trial court judge Jackie Fulford did not follow precedent, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals once again upheld the net ban amendment.



Courtesy of Fly and Light Tackle Angler

Hull shape determines hull slap; therefore it needs to be a factor in determining your boat purchase.Guidelines to follow before buying your flats boat.

In the rush to compete in the skinny water marketplace, some companies built boats too large, or too heavy, or too wide, or too noisy, or from a skinny water standpoint, an unworkable combination of some of the above. Another important genre of boats emerged from the larger designs, vessels that we now call "bay boats." And important improvements have since been made to true flats skiffs. If you're in the market for a boat that fishes skinny water really well, here are some things to keep in mind in your search for a flats skiff.

Stealth Is Job One

The shallower the water, the quieter that boat has to be. The slightest hull slap can send an edgy bonefish, redfish, striper, tarpon, permit or seatrout packing. If you can hear any noise from water making contact with the hull, you can bet that every fish in the vicinity registered it as a loud noise and/or vibration. Sound is amplified and travels faster under water. And since most gamefish experience a lot more fishing (and unrelated boating) pressure today than ever, it's easy to understand why they're getting a bit high strung.

So don't be surprised if any hull or cockpit boat noise makes fish in the shallows wary enough to stay just out of practical casting range (How do they know this?) or to simply not bite even if they don't flee. Also keep in mind that "shallow" is a term relative to the size of the fish. A 6-foot tarpon in three feet of water is every bit on edge as a bonefish in 12 inches.


Registration is free, and you can win prizes just by participating. In an effort to bring more anglers into the data collection fold, the Snook & Gamefish Foundation is hosting a series of free 'virtual’ tournaments. Anglers across the country – and globe – are able to participate and potentially earn prizes just for participating.

YOU can participate in the next FREE events, which are scheduled for July 4-6. There will be both a fresh water tournament and an inshore tournament.


Designed to manage current tournaments as well as host new events that can focus on specific research needs, iAngler-Tournament has already successfully managed a tournament from the legendary Redbone series in the Florida Keys, and SGF hosted their own events throughout the month of June.