Taking advantage of the 18'' limit."
"Taking the very fish that we are made to release"!
I was at Don's Doc again a couple of weeks ago and saw this so I took some shots of it.
As you know I've already sent you some pics about a month ago concerning the commercial fishing activities and landing of Gag's and Red snappers at Don's dock where there are several commercial boats including lone line vessels.
While they were loading the fish on trucks, there was a lady sitting at a card table which didn't look like a representative of NMFS.
At the same time I viewed a very drunk crew member sitting on a large ice chest, and I'm now sorry that I didn't ask him to show off his fish.
This time it was a recreational type vessel unloading "SHALLOW WATER GROUPERS", this is a quote from the captain himself.
I imagine that if there were IFQ's involved, they were from the person who owns the commercial boats there and leased to this guy who purposely targeted 18" reds that would have been fine if released. They were fishing with rod and reels and taking the very fish that we are made to release.
What do you think they were getting for the 18" reds, maybe $8 each.
I saw some Gag's that were barely 22" when I believe that the minimum commercial size is 24" and I saw one gag that was about 20".
This statement is accurate as I've been catching reds and gags all my life for 50 years and I'm a charter captain as well.
There was absolutely no one from NMFS there to count fish.
You can use my pics for any reason you see fit. The VMD antenna was down, but I imagine the it transmits anyway, this is the reason for the shot of the top of the boat.
You can also see the scale and an ice chest that was removed from the cooler with Gag's in it and they were adding more to the ice chest.
They are taking advantage of the 18" limit that was made for deep water fishing and cleaning up the small reds that we have access to without going far offshore.
"Taking the very fish that we are forced to release"!
Capt. Clayton James