This issue’s cobia story comes at a time when the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is set to hear public comment about a move to lower the daily limit and increase the size limit.
The existing daily limit is two per anglers with a minimum size at 33 inches fork length.
There is no closed season.
It’s difficult to determine what the Council’s 17 members will do if and when it comes time to vote on new cobia regs, but the Louisiana Charterboat Association is calling for “no action.”
The LCA has asked its members to comment on the stability of the cobia stock in the Gulf of Mexico, and that there are sufficient numbers to sustain the stock.
A short introduction to “Coastal Migratory Pelagic Framework Action 7,” the push to change cobia regs, carried this statement: “Anglers have expressed concern for what appears to be a dwindling cobia population and asked the Council to address this issue.”
Addressing the issue appears to be increasing the size limit to 36 inches fork length, allowing only one per day per fishermen with a “vessel” limit of two per day.
A growing number of Louisiana offshore fishermen believe is that Florida Panhandle fishermen — the guy and gals who fish for cobia from piers and in the surf — are the ones pleading for the change despite a GMFMC report.
Some fishermen in the western Gulf believe this is a knee-jerk reaction to a short-term problem, and there’s no need for long-term solution. At least not yet.
A further discussion of this action is outlined in a release from the state Wildlife and Fisheries managers and biologists. Find on the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov under the headline, “Gulf Council Considering Cobia Regulation Changes, Requesting Input from Fishermen.”
The GMFMC will meet Oct. 22-25 at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel, 26 North Royal Street in Mobile, Alabama.
Here’s the schedule:
- Oct. 22, 8-8:30 a.m., committee Assignments; 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., committees meetings;
- Oct. 23, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., committees meetings;
- Oct. 24, 8:30-11 a.m.:, committees meetings; 11:15 a.m-5:30 p.m., Council meeting with 1:30-4:30 p.m. public comment period.
- Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Council meeting.
For further details, go to the GMFMC website: gulfcouncil.org.
More on mangroves
The Council also is expected hear proposals on mangrove (gray) snapper and the latest stock assessment showing mangroves are “considered to undergoing overfishing.”
Know this. The GMFMC staff is preparing reports for Council members to first, review, then next, to draft amendments to lower catch limits along with what the GMFMC staff labels “setting other biological reference points.”
On the block
Die-hard fishermen are wondering why Newell Brands is trying to sell off Pure Fishing, a company producing several of the more iconic fishing brands in the world, lines like Abu Garcia (Ambassadeur & Revo reels), Berkley Lures and Lines, Penn Reels, Shakespeare, Johnson, Fenwick, Mitchell (was your first reel a Mitchell 300?), Pflueger, Ugly Stick, Sebile Lures and Stren and Spiderwire lines and Hodgeman.
While it was first reported in May, a sale of this magnitude hardly seemed imaginable, but Angling International (a European-based tackle trade magazine) ran a story indicating a sale was imminent.
It appears buyers are interested in breaking up Pure Fishing by buying parts of this giant’s footprint on the fishing market toe-by-toe.
Dat’s a big fish
The International Game Fish Association reported approving a black crappie — OK, a sac-a-lait — taken May 15 by Lionel Ferguson near his home in Philadelphia, Tennessee, for a new all-tackle world record.
Ferguson’s fish weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces. He caught it on 6-pound test line and became a Tennessee record before the IGFA certification.
Randy Causey holds the Louisiana black sac-a-lait record at 3.84 pounds from Poverty Point Reservoir.