Outdoors

Maybe Santa can help make 2019 a better year for Florida fishing

Jon Chapman, top right, on a fishing trip with friends back in December 2010.
Jon Chapman, top right, on a fishing trip with friends back in December 2010. Provided photo

Dear Santa, I know I haven’t written anything to you in recent years. Probably more than 20 years to be more specific.

Back then I was probably asking for video games, fishing rods, and sports stuff.

Honestly I’d probably ask for the same now, but I’ve got a few other favors to ask if you don’t mind.

First, I’m going to help you out. My kids have probably sent you their wish lists already. Lots of PJ Masks, My Little Ponies, and Disney. Don’t worry about that too much. I’ve got it covered.

Second, can we do something about this weather? I’ve been wanting to get offshore so bad, and it’s making my life a little more stressful. Gag grouper season closes at the end of December and now is the best time of year to fish for them.

I’ve got my frozen sardines and Penn Senators ready to go. I think you know Mother Nature, and if you could talk to her about this, that would be great.

I’ve also included a picture of a gag grouper trip I had a few years ago with the Grimes family on Christmas Eve. We’re going to try to do something similar next weekend if you’ll allow it.

Third, I saw potential dates for red snapper next year. From what I can tell, it’ll be about a month from the middle of June to the middle of July. Could we perhaps get that to be longer?

Some of the best memories every year are the times I’m able to fish with old and new friends charging deep into the Gulf of Mexico. A longer season would allow more of those trips. Maybe you could provide a few extra goodies to those in charge.

Fourth, it seems like red tide is finally less of a problem in our area. The only red I want to hear about the rest of the year is Rudolph’s nose.

I feel bad for my friends who have lost business and the damage it has caused to our local environment. It looks like we’re finally rebounding. I’m not sure if you can help out with this for now and the future, but if you could, that would be great!

Fifth -- and this last one might be tough -- could you help spread the message of being kind and respectful to your fellow angler?

These days there are so many more people fishing, it can be tough to find some locations to fish by yourself. I like to fish to get a little quiet time, and when other boaters don’t respect each others space, it makes the day a little tougher than it should be.

Help teach the golden boating rule. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else. Thanks Santa.

P.S.: If we get some nicer weather, maybe I’ll leave out some grouper fingers instead of cookies this year? They’ll be great!

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