Sunday, October 16, 2005

Key West Permit Fishing Panic

Wow ! Quite a shock and close call for Mr. Permit.

Two weeks ago my neighbor and pal Dr Jerrold Weinstock of Key West dropped over with the
latest Florida commercial fishing regulation print out.

These are not the sportfishing regs, but the rules that the food fish guys must obey.

The Florida fishing regulations for both commercial and sportsmen change a little every year,
usually to help protect the various species that are regulated in both fresh and saltwater
to ensure that we continue to have fish, and thats a good thing!

Sometimes however, theres a "boo boo"

Because of the political pressures from commercial fishing interests, we ( sportfishermen) worry sometimes about Missprints.

Who is? Miss Prints well she can be a very seductive and convenient or she could be
just little ol' misprint.

This is the " meat of the coconut"

Back in the early 70's Jerry Weinstock and another friend of our's Bob Feldman wrote and pushed a bill that was eventually passed and became a law protecting both the Bonefish and Permit as protected gamefish in Florida State waters.

These two were not fishing guides or sportswrites as you would suspect, but avid sportfishermen with the forsight to act and protect their flats fish friends.

Bob Feldman is a Key West attorney and Jerry Weinstock is a Psychiatrist here so they had the tools to write and drive this bill to and through Tallahassee.

Jerry also build's one of the best damn Key Lime Pie's in Key West, maybe a few pies went up to the capital also.....

Until this last/latest printing of the regulations regarding Permit , commercial fishermen were
limited to a slot of 11 to 20 inches and a daily total catch of 100 lbs per vessel.

The" misprint" was this, it put no limit on total pounds caught per day, per vessel.

Not a small issue!

Florida DNR were flooded by calls inquiring about the apparent changes to the Permit regs by Weinstock, Dan Blanton, Marshall Cutchen, myself and about a hundred avid sportsmen from all over the country and........ it is to be corrected.

Thank the World Wide Web!

We were assured that is was a misprint.....and it probably was.

Part of the rub was that small Permit look very much like Pompano and the slot size of 11-20 inches is the same.

I can tell you that there are very very few 20 inch Pompano and that going forward to better
protect Permit in Florida would be to lower the slot on Pompano to 18 inches.

We'll be watching for, Miss Prints