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Trout for tea

One of the most successful conservation stories in the Florida Keys has been our spotted seatrout. Their numbers had been getting low so a tough policy was adopted, a closed season so all spawning fish were released, and a slot size for keepers. It was this slot size that had the greatest benefit all fish under 15 in went back as did all fish over 20 in. The exception is that you can keep just one big fish over 20 in so that fish of a life time can be kept but only one per day meaning all other big fish, all females, have to go back. Well it has worked so well that as from this year the closed season is over and you can now keep trout all year. This slot management of fish stocks works so well over here it is such a shame so many big spawn bearing female bass are kept in the UK. In fact it is the releasing of the big fish they have found over here is far more important than the killing of small usually male fish. Back to this weeks fishing holiday with strong winds all week we have had to find shelter and fish where we can. Some 20 miles north of our base are two classic desert islands Sandy Key and Russell Key both giving lots of shelter and trout and lady fish.

Yesterday with the strong wind still blowing the plan was to go to the islands with a quick stop on the wreck to give two guys a goliath grouper on the way. Far from pretty on the wreck but Rob had a one just under a 100lb and Nigel had one about 120lb so first part done.  Much nicer water on the lee of the islands and fish a plenty, hard fighting trout and lady fish. Rob was working soft plastics and the rest of the crew shrimp till they ran out of bait but Gulp came to the rescue and the fish kept coming. So all in all the plan came together again and well all had some tasty trout for tea.