News

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.

 

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Was the apparent increase of shark-on-tarpon attacks in spring 2014 an anomaly, or the new norm? Be it geography, demographics or a narrow gene pool, Key West, Fla. is known for unusual occurrences. Spring 2014 is no exception.

Around the island, the migrations of many aquatic species are in full swing, and none more eagerly awaited than the million member march of tarpon moving north, up from the Caribbean.

Two distinct species--Atlantic and Gulf--stimulated by rising water temperatures and the call to procreate, cross the straits of Florida in football-field-size schools. These silver-sided beasts, some in excess of two hundred pounds are historically greeted by large, hungry sharks.

The traveling tarpon’s first port of call are the channels, harbors and grass flats of the Florida Keys. From Key Largo to the Marquesas, world-class anglers also await the fish’s arrival armed with thousand-dollar fly rods alongside shrimp-tinted tourists on the fishing trip of their dreams.

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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.

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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.

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Hart Stilwill loved tarpon. The concept of careful fish handling was unstudied 'back in the day,' but it is clear that he came to understand the need to protect gamefish. Glory of the Silver King, The Golden Age of Tarpon Fishing by Hart Stilwell, edited by Brandon D. Shuler, Ph.D

Tarpon capture an angler’s spirit like no other fish, and this edited collection of Stilwell’s essays in Glory of the Silver King (Texas A&M Press, 2011) impeccably captures a storied lifetime of angling.

Shuler’s introduction gives us more than just a hint of the literary power Stilwell held over his readers. The journey which leads to the publication of this book is worth the price of admission by itself. Shuler brings us to the fire at a fish camp where he first heard about the unpublished manuscripts and knew he had to get his eyes on them. The research that went into compiling and organizing the essays is clearly the trabajo de amor for Shuler.

Stillwell has a direct style of prose. His prologue blackens the dark greys and erases the lighter shades right away – “I tell a fishing story.” While that is certainly true, the magic of his stories is that it might not really matter that it is fishing. In this case, you get the idea that it would be just as fun to read if it were about engineering, or (god forbid) playing golf, so long as Stilwell’s hand is pushing the pen. As you read through chapter after chapter you come to realize that while Stilwell writes with a style that reads very easy, he does indeed color and shade his stories with sensational detail.

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 By MIKE HODGE
 

Tarpon on a fly is challenging and rewarding. Image from www.flyfishfortarpon.comSummer is almost here and the arrival of Florida’s suffocating heat means one thing if you’re a dedicated sight-fisherman.

Tarpon.

In a few weeks, many Florida flats will welcome the popular game fish.  And fly fishermen will be waiting. Some will struggle, muddling along with the hope that enough shots will yield a Kodak moment. Others --- albeit a small fraction of the long rod elitists --- will catch and land fish regularly.
The difference, quite often, comes down to casting. The better you can cast, the more fish you’ll catch. Period.
Below are a few tips to consider while preparing to dance with the Silver King.
 

Practice makes perfect.

Saltwater fly fishing is a skill, yet many anglers treat it as a hobby. They fish, but they don’t practice and if they practice, they don’t put in enough time to truly hone their craft.
“You have to practice,” Peter Kutzer, an Orvis casting instructor, said. “You don’t see golfers going out on courses without practicing and taking practice swings. They go to the driving range. They chip and putt to help with their short game. You have to practice your fly-casting game as well. Chasing tarpon is not a poor man’s sport. It’s tough. You’re going to be a lot more successful if you spend some time practicing.”
 

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Snook are prowling the beaches and can be fooled by those willing to log in the hours needed to learn the tricks, as demonstrated by angler Veronica Lane Ostarly. Photo: Andy TaskerNearly everyone agrees beach snook fishing on Florida’s West Coast has been slow the past few years. Few dispute that. Why is a matter of debate. Is it the weather? Is it the freeze of 2010, which clobbered nearly a third of the snook population? Or is it some unknown variable? Is it a combination of factors?

Perhaps the answer depends on...

“Location, location, location,” said Ron Taylor, a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Snook use the entire habitat. You may find snook today at John’s Pass. Those 10 snook may not be there tomorrow. They’re continuously moving.

“I’ve been doing this 34 years. Every day, there’s questions we don’t have answers for. To expect an answer why there are not snook on Caladesi Island on the 17th of July, that’s crazy. I will say this: There are areas that have certain characteristics that you can predict that snook will be there. Not today. Not tomorrow, but sometime during that season.”

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A familiar sight: Capt. Danny Barrow with his favorite fish. Danny has insightful ideas about his local fishery, from prey to predator.Rock star species? Iconic fish? All of the above? Praise the snook however you will. There’s no denying that the common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) is one of the most important species to attract anglers to the Fishing Capital of the World.

I’ve been obsessed with snook fishing since I was a kid growing up in West Palm Beach, Florida. My clients all want to catch them, so I’m lucky to make a living specializing in fishing for the species that I’ve grown so much to love. And we’re all lucky that the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) does a careful job of managing the species. Still, a couple of things have me really worried about the future of our snook. Those worries boil down to bait.

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Singer and SGF Board Member JJ Grey always electrifies the crowds! photos: Jim Zielinski

On Saturday, March 29th, craft beer aficionados, Florida music buffs and forward thinking anglers met on the sublime lawns of Sunset Cove Amphitheater in west Boca to share their collective passions while supporting a great cause, the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action Program (AAP). Even though severe weather forced an early closure to the day, approximately 1,000 guests left with more than they came with.


“The weather was actually perfect for most of the afternoon – overcast and cool,” said David DeBerard, representing the EPPY group – a new sponsor of the AAP. “It was a great opportunity to come and visit with the kind of people who appreciate the better things in life.”

The day kicked off with a very skilled home brew competition, with 9 different brewing teams bringing up to four styles of beer. The “people’s choice” contest was won by the Florida Keys Brewing Company who plan to dive deep into commercial brewing at their new Islamorada location by the end of this year. 

Brown Distributing also featured several Florida brewers who have already established themselves professionally. Florida has one of the fastest growing craft beer communities, and the Ales for Anglers event pulled local brewers like Due South Brewing (Boynton), Tequesta Brewing Company (Tequesta) and Funky Buddha Brewing (Boca) as well as instate travelers like Mile Marker Brewing (St. Augustine), Green Bench Brewing (St. Pete), and primary beer host Cigar City Brewing (Tampa), who provided the lion’s share of their fantastic flagship brews, both on tap and in cans.

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Cigar City Brewing will be pouring their flagship brews throughout the day. Enjoy!What should you expect?

Be prepared to sample the full range of craft beer and home brews, from the mild “every-day-drinkable” brews to big, bad-ass high octane beers that could probably power your outboard motor. Don't worry, they all are fantastic, brought to you from Florida's finest brewers. Plus you will get to tryJJ Grey’s Nare Sugar Brown and HGWT’s High Road Ale, two great celebrity brews.

 

Craft Beer/Brewery Line up:

Cigar City Brewing: Cigar City Brewing was founded with two goals in mind. The first to make the world's best beer and the second to share with people near and far the fascinating culture and heritage of the Cigar City of Tampa.
From its past as the world's largest cigar producer to its Latin roots and the many other diverse peoples that call it home, Tampa draws on many sources to develop its unique culture.
At CCB we are fascinated by Tampa's history and suspect you will be too. We use the highest quality ingredients we can lay our hands on and that is not just marketing jargon. If it makes better beer, we use it. We also strive to use local ingredients when and where we can. Not only do fresh local ingredients help us to make better beer, it helps us to make beer that reflects the culture and heritage of Tampa Bay.

Tequesta Brewing Company: Microbrewery with great tasting room and growler filler insanity!The sight of the new stainless steel brew house, fermenting tanks and bright tanks that occupy the back third of the new Tequesta Brewing Company is imposing. They rise from behind the seating areas’ couches and upholstered chairs, gently lit from above and below by strips of colored LEDs: mighty space capsules filled with craft beer. The floor beneath them is new, an expanse of rough green concrete cut with stainless drains and decorated with a nod to the past: a neat line of three 1921 silver dollars set in the floor at the entry- way.

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JJ Grey & Mofro take the stage at 7:30. Don't miss a moment - Ales for Anglers has your tickets ready for you.Ales for Anglers is finally upon us, with just what any music buff wants - and plenty of it. What should you expect from this powerful lineup of all-Florida bands and musicians?

In a nutshell, be prepared to be blown away. JJ Grey & Mofro’s swinging style of Florida swamp funk will suck the air out of you and replace it with powerful vibes of pure energy. Thomas Wynn & the Believers might be the only band around that can stand up to Mofro’s intensity. Have Gun, Will Travel’s balance of precision and character will leave a permanent dent in your brain, and Forrest Hoffar might just make your lady fall in love…

 

JJ Grey & Mofro


Over the course of six albums and a decade of touring, JJ Grey's grimy blend of front porch soul and down-home storytelling has taken him around the world and back again. Beating the streets on nearly every continent, he and his band Mofro have sewn a continuous thread of laying-it-on-the-line shows that move folks to dance and at times to tears.

JJ was raised in North Florida by a typically Southern extended family that valued hard work and self-reliance. This upbringing permeates his no nonsense approach to writing and performing and has given him an abundance of material to write about in his songs.

Thanks to the Angler Action Program, researchers can use angler data to help map fish populations.The Snook and Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action Program (AAP) has Reached a New Milestone.

 

For the 30,000th time, anglers have shown they are ready to contribute to a brighter fishing future. That’s how many fish the Angler Action Program (AAP) participants have logged since the most recent database upgrade in 2012. “It was perfect timing. The 30,000th fish was logged about 15 minutes before our monthly Board phone conference, so the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s board was able to hear the news hot off the press,” said Executive Director Brett Fitzgerald.

To date, over 130 different species of fish have been logged into the system, with inshore saltwater species getting the most tallies. Snook remain the most common species targeted in the AAP logs, but spotted (speckled) sea trout are the most logged fish.

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JJ Grey is not only an accomplished musician, he's an avid outdoorsman who appreciates tradition yet welcomes new ideas.The Ales for Anglers event on March 29th presents Florida’s finest creative musicians, showcases Florida’s young but already rich craft beer industry, and benefits Florida fishermen and women.

At first glance, this might seem like an unlikely combination. But as we draw closer to what promises to be one of the most exciting days of your entire year, my mind keeps hearing our headliner JJ Grey's voice from a conversation he and I had years ago.

That day we and a few others were talking about his music. The conversation started with someone in the group trying to categorize his style of artistry. Blues? Funk? Swamp rock? This is a frequent question and conversation among his fans. His style is truly remarkable, although it is impossible not to draw certain flavors from his industry heroes - Bill Withers, Otis Redding, and Donny Hathaway to name just a few, plus a handful of southern rock bands and country musicians. And if you blur your ears a little you might pick up some hip-hop tones here and there. “Front Porch Soul” used to be the description his loyal fans used. Personally I don’t know exactly how to describe it except damn good.

 

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Barracuda are reportedly on the decline in the Keys, as well as around the state. The great barracuda is a thrill to catch on light tackle, and landing one can make an angler's day. Barracuda sightings also provide excitement for snorkelers and divers navigating coral reefs of the Florida Keys.

The Lower Keys Guides Association is calling on state fishery managers to implement more protection of the toothy beast.

The idea of barracuda becoming a viable commercial fishery did not seem probable more than a decade ago. State and federal fishery managers never established rules for its commercial harvest, leaving it basically an unregulated fishery.

That means commercial fishermen with the most basic saltwater products license can harvest as much barracuda as they want, said fishing guide Capt. John O'Hearn, president of the Lower Keys Guides Association.

State fishery managers did establish a two-fish, or 100-pound, bag limit for the recreational harvest of the fish.

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In its continuing battle against overfishing and protecting all of our marine resources,Keep images like this in the past - Florida overwhelmingly voted to keep entangling nets out of our inshore waters. Let's make sure it stays that way. The Snook and Gamefish Foundation is participating in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s litigation against the Wakulla Fisherman’s Association attack on Florida’s long standing net ban. The Foundation is participating in the suit as “Amicus Curiae,” also known as a “friend of the Court.”

    The Court officially granted the Foundation’s right to participate in the case on Jan. 29, which  means the court will give full consideration to its brief in support of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s position in defense of the net ban and related administrative rules.

    “I cannot stress enough how important this decision by the court is for the recreational fishing community we represent throughout the state,” said Brett Fitzgerald, Snook and Gamefish Foundation CEO. “It means recreational anglers will have a voice in one of the most important court cases facing the inland marine environment of our state right now.”


    The case is an appeal of a November ruling by Leon County Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford who, in an 11-page order, overturned the net ban, the FWF rules implementing the ban and enjoined the FWF from regulating in relation to the net restriction. Fulford called the 1994 Net Ban a “legal absurdity” and effectively opened the doors for fishermen everywhere to place gill nets, rather than the hand-thrown nets required by the law.

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Ales for Anglers will blend three Florida cultural fixtures: craft beer, swampy blues, and fishing. Get your tickets now on the cheap!Celebrate Florida’s Blues and Beers - and raise money for a brighter fishing future. 

Next March, the Ales for Anglers event in west Boca Raton, FL will showcase an absolutely banging lineup of Florida musicians, headlined by none other than JJ Grey & MOFRO. If that wasn’t enough to drag you out to the stunningly beautiful Sunset Cove Amphitheater, a bevy of Florida craft beers will also be on hand, highlighted by a solid line-up of Cigar City Brewery beers.

Ales for Anglers will be sort of a beer fest, but not quite, says SGF director Holly Andreotta. “Sally Parsons (owner, BX Beer Depot [Palm Springs, FL]) and SGF’s Brett Fitzgerald talked through the idea of putting together an event that really showcased what Florida craft beer can be. Of course, we can’t throw a party celebrating Florida culture without inviting SGF director JJ Grey – and by the time things settled out, Ales for Anglers shaped into a wonderful and very ‘green’ event, from which 100% of the profits will benefit SGF. It’s truly a win-win for everybody, and we can’t wait!”

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Capt. Mike Makowksi (center) is flanked on his left by combat veterans CW2 Rob Dixon (left center) and Kevin Willette (right center). As the Fishing Capital of the World, Florida is host to more fishing tournaments than anywhere on the planet.

If not by sheer numbers, the variety of events in the Sunshine State far outshines any other single destination on earth. From freshwater crappie derbies to the ever popular sailfish circuit to invasive lionfish roundups, fishing competitions in the sunshine state draw anglers from around the globe.

While the competitive nature of a fishing tournament doesn't appeal to every angler, there are many benefits from a well-run event. Aside from bringing a boost to local economies, the right tournament can be a fantastic learning experience for anglers who want to pad their arsenal of tricks.

Most tournaments these days are assigned to a benefit or charity of some kind. And every once in a while, an event comes along that has it all – well run, designed to release fish, amazing ambiance, and a great cause to benefit.

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All game fish no matter how big are more valuable to recreational fishing when they are logged into the AAP.As the Angler Action Program (AAP) is once again upgraded to improve speed, efficiency, and function, I sit here and wonder if we’ve come to a time and place where the understated yet immense need for rec fishing data is finally matched by the right tools to put it all together.

Most of us everyday anglers enjoy fishing for more intimate reasons than we generally admit. Solitude, appreciation of natural beauty, the challenge of enticing a bite – the kind of things you typically don’t find posted all over facebook or fishing forums.  I’d also say that most of us would rather just go about our business, and don’t feel the need to share the day’s experience with more than maybe a close friend or two – usually someone who we know “gets it” the same way we do, whatever that might be.

But if we want to ensure those idyllic episodes don’t get flushed away by the different forces that press against recreational fishing – sloppy land development, degrading water quality, industrial fishing, etc. – the days of locking your fishing memories in your private vault need to be over.

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Florida's inshore fish are safe from gill nets - for now. Stay informed and involved.Florida anglers are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the official memo we've all been waiting for has finally been sent.

"Effective immediately, we are resuming enforcement of the net limitation amendment (FL Constitution Article X, §16) and all associated statutes and rules."

The memo, sent from Col. Adams of FWC, reiterates the sensitivity of the issue and encourages officers to maintain their typical standard of excellence while on the water. 

SGF would like to extend that sentiment to all anglers - remember that this is not a fisherman against fisherman issue. It is something that needs to be settled off the water. If you come across what appears to be a commercial angler setting nets that are illegal today (but not yesterday), do not put yourself in the middle of the situation. Report the situation to FWC's hotline number (888-404-3922) and trust them to carry out their job with the standard we've come to appreciate and expect.

I offer a few things every recreational angler can do right now, to help ensure a brighter fishing future in Florida.

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 Mullet in NE Florida netted for roe. While the netting of mullet is not illegal, certain net gear has been. As of today, Florida is NOT enforcing net gear limitations. As many of you may have heard, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ordered to stop enforcement of Florida’s constitutional amendment limiting the use of nets.

While challenges to the “net ban” have surfaced in the past (the original amendment dates back to 1994), they are usually appealed without much fanfare.

In this case, it appears to be a bit different. While a notice of appeal was filed within hours -– essentially stalling Judge Fulford's ruling –- late last week her ruling went into affect until the 1st District Court of Appeals grants an emergency hearing. On Nov 1, a memo was sent to FWC law officers notifying them they must respect Judge Fulford's ruling, to refrain from enforcing gill net laws, until otherwise notified.

As a result, Florida's inshore waters faced unregulated netting for six days, until finally the decision was made to allow enforcement until the case is heard.

Reports of large net hauls in the Jacksonville area and along the pan handle spread around the state, as well as news that nets flew off the shelf all over Florida.

Aside from the typical valid arguments against entangling nets, I feel doubly duped - here's part of the reason why.

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The festival will include lots of entertainment, education and raffle opportunities. Join us!Join us at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park. Live music, food trucks, raffle prizes, Dragon Boat Races, expert speakers, Art Zone with unique gifts for sale, photo contest, kid stuff, boat displays, and exhibits promoting water recreation, wildlife protection, photography and bay stewardship.

2013 Highlights:

Have Fun – Live music from noon until sunset, food trucks & local restaurants, beer & wine garden. Visit the Arts Zone featuring fine artists & wildlife photographers selling gift items for the holiday season. Check out the seven great raffle prizes, the bay’s first ever Dragon Boat Races, and a display of the winning photos to the 'I Love Sarasota Bay' Photo Contest. Wear a costume with an aquatic or nautical theme to have an opportunity to win a gift certificate from Whole Foods Market. Help other participants paint the Community Art Mural acknowledging the beauty and diversity of Sarasota Bay (all of the art materials will be provided and the mural is being supported by an art team from Bayshore High School and Keeton’s Office & Art Supply in Bradenton).

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Chief FWRI snook scientist Ron Taylor  believes the carcass program might be the "most important part of the snook assessment procedures."

Attention recreational fishermen:

Next time you fillet a snook, don't just wrap the carcass in The News-Press and dump it in the trash.

Courtesy: News-Press.

Take it to a participating bait shop so scientists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg can use it for research.

  "Do you have life insurance?" said Ron Taylor, Florida's snook program coordinator. "I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts your insurance company has staff who do nothing but statistics and actuarial analysis. They can tell you to the day when you'll die, what you'll die of, how many children you have and how long they'll live. We do the same thing with snook."
In January 2010, the harvest of snook was closed in Florida after extremely cold weather dropped water temperatures into the 40s, and tens of thousands of snook died.

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Plenty of vendors with a wide variety of marine products will be on hand at the South Florida Fall Boat Show and Seafood FestivalWest Palm Beach, Florida -The South Florida Fall Boat Show, Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival are at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach is this weekend, Friday Sept. 20th  through Sunday.

One of the highlights of this year’s gigantic marine event is that all four of the weekend marine events are included in one admission price. The South Florida Fall Boat Show, the annual Florida Marine Flea Market, Public Boat Auction and the Seafood Festival are all included in the $10 admission price.  Children 12 and under are free. Senior’s are two for one on Friday September 20. A coupon for admission can be printed from the event website.

The South Florida Fall Boat Show will showcase hundreds of new and used boats that are available to buy on site. Often some of the best prices of the year are available as dealers offer special show pricing and other incentives.

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David Conway (right) accepts a letter of recognition for his award winning efforts as an outdoor writer from SGF Director Capt. Mike Readling.David Conway, Managing Editor of Florida Sportsman Magazine, walked away from the Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) Excellence in Craft awards ceremony with both first and third place recognition in the conservation article category. Sandy Huff earned second place with an informative article about butterfly gardening that originally ran in Florida Gardening.

Conway, who has been writing for Florida Sportsman since 2001 and a full timer there since 2007, says outdoor writing is a natural fit for him, since he's been outdoors and writing all of his life. "I just found myself at a place about 10 years ago where I was getting published and paid." At the time, he was living in Key West - not a bad place to be for the angler immersed in the writing lifestyle.

Obviously, not everyone who "writes" becomes a professional writer, let alone an editor of one of the most prestigious outdoor periodicals in publication. Conway's ability to take complicated topics and distill them down to very readable chunks is a rare skill, and one that came in handy as he tackled the winning conservation article, "The Permit Zone" which ran in the April 2012 issue of Florida Sportsman Magazine.

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Come say Hi to your SGF volunteers! Feb 1 & 2 at the Lee County Civic Center. Hoorags, phone cases, X-Fish tickets, Ales for Anglers tickets, and more!Visit our booth Feb 1 & 2 at the Ft. Myers Florida Sportsman Expo, held at the Lee County Civic Center.

Come see the fabulous X-Fish microskiff, learn all about how the new and improved Angler Action Program can make you a better angler, chill out with some SGF brass, and browse the always amazing Florida Sportsman Expo.

SGF volunteers will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the Angler Action Program. The new look of the program highlights just how powerful the tool will be as your personal fishing logbook as well as an invaluable tool for fishery management, and habitat protection and improvement. "These Expo shows are a great opportunity for anglers to talk directly with an AAP expert, and that isThe "new look" AAP has a user friendly dashboard, allowing anglers to easily sort through their own fishing trips, view pictures, and better plan your future fishing trips. usually all it takes to bring a loyal new angler into the AAP family," says SGF Chairman Jim Bandy, who plans to be on hand for much of the show. "Our partnership with Florida Sportsman has always been one of our best ways to connect directly with anglers in Florida. We learn just as much from the anglers as they do from us. Personally I love to see the reaction of the public when they get their first real look at our X-Fish, too."

The X-Fish microskiff is a one of a kind fishing boat you have to see to believe. Light enough to toss onto your vehicle rooftop, it comes loaded with a custom built Tropic Trailer, plus a 2.5 hp motor, Frigid Rigid cooler, and plenty of other extras. A mere $15 donation nets an annual membership plus a chance to win the X-Fish. This baby will be raffled on March 29th at the Ales for Anglers bash - buy your tickets now!

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