Thousands of anglers converging on the same areas day after day eventually must have an impact on populations of popular game fish and food fish. In addition, pristine coastal habitat is increasingly lost to human encroachment. Florida serves as a prime example of the heavy price saltwater game fish pay for the zeal so many of its 15 million people have for enjoying the outdoors. Despite more than 8,000 miles of coastline around the peninsula, some species have taken a pounding from commercial and recreational fishing pressure and poor water quality.
Report Tags After researchers release fish in the wild, anglers become a stock-enhancement facility's greatest resource. By reporting tags, anglers help track the whereabouts of these fish as they mature. And with new DNA technology, something as simple as a fin clip can provide critical information for researchers about a fish's origins and whether or not it was reared in captivity.
Fish enhancement activity is booming in several parts of the United States and around the world. More redfish are released in Texas than anywhere, as the 60,000-plus-square-foot Sea Center Texas turns loose tens of millions of spotted-tail fingerlings annually. The center, funded by private donors and the U.S. government, is also researching future production of seatrout and tarpon. A recent episode of National Geographic Explorer featured the world's 'irst successful bluefin tuna hatchery in Japan. Florida's 'esearchers have made an impact around the world as well.
Trolling plugs come in several shapes, sizes and styles. One type is the lipped plug, with lips made from either plastic or stainless steel. One of the oldest makers of plastic plugs is L&S Bait Co., maker of MirrOlure baits. The company constructs plugs with both plastic and metal lips.
World-class tuna magnet! The northern Gulf's Midnight Lump.
How to make sure your scenic photos and keepers.
In a scene reminiscent of bluefishing in the Northeast, scores of birds dive toward a maelstrom of white water, looking for scraps of baitfish missed by the jaws of predators below.