Welcome to the Florida Guides Association

Below is the latest news related to the Florida Guides Association and other topics related to fishing and boating in the state of Florida.  Check back here often to stay up-to-date with the latest.  You can support us and our mission to protect the Florida fisheries by becoming a member.

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Where the catfish are big as Volkswagens 

As the sport of catfishing grows and tournament trails like the Bass Pro Shops Big Cat Quest look for new destinations to attract catfish anglers, Henderson Kentucky is high on the list. Setting on the banks of the Ohio River with Indiana on the other side, Henderson is known for catfish, big catfish. But there is more. 

The boat ramp facilities are tremendous with two expansive ramps to handle the boating and fishing public. At the top of the ramp is the old town area with plenty of outstanding food choices, boutiques, and gift shops. Nearby parks offer great family opportunities and the community is just plain welcoming. 

Bridge sundown

I had a chance to visit Henderson during a Big Cat Quest event that brought catfish anglers from around the nation to test their skills on Ohio River catfish. The format of this particular tournament was hourly, meaning there were prizes awarded for the heaviest four catfish during each hour of the event. The result was a steady flow of big cats coming to the scales all day long. Bridge Big Cat

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Change Your Routine for June, July and August 

Summer has arrived and the heat and humidity are rising along with the fishing opportunities throughout the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. Our hot summer days are brutal for both angler and fish alike, so the wise angler and the fish takes advantage of the cooler nights, early morning and late evenings hours to stock their prey, and then they snooze in the shade, or in the case of the fish, retrieve to deeper areas once the heat turns up. So, anglers who adjust their routine in June, July, and August, by fishing at night, during the predawn hours and in the late afternoon after work and reap the rewards of our summertime fishing bonanza.

VanHorn-Kumisky-Red

 On the flats, focus your efforts between 5am and sunrise, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate. Night fishing will also produce descent catches of redfish, snook, and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark s lures like the DOA Shrimp. 

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Fish the calm mornings and beat the heat

Summer has arrived and you can bet on hot afternoons and lots of great fishing action around the Treasure Coast during June.  The mornings will be calm and it is certainly to your benefit to get out early to beat the afternoon heat.  Being on the water at first light is worth the effort to watch the sun rise.  Expect a chance of afternoon thunderstorms each day…we can always use some rain around the area this time of year!  Watch the weather each afternoon out there.  It’s a fantastic month to fish.Conner-Photo-1

Inshore will provide lots of redfish, snook and trout action on the flats.  Get those top water lures cleaned up and plan an early morning to get some of that explosive action in the shallows.  Try the DOA Airhead or Bait Buster for great top water action.  Switch to DOA shrimp or a CAL jerk bait as the sun warms up to continue your success.  Watch for bait schools on the flats and you can be assured there are fish nearby.  You can expect the fish to be feeding shallow early and move to the edges of the flats as the sun rises.  Look for sand holes on the flats!  Fish are traditionally lazy and love to sit in a sand hole and wait for the tide to bring the food for them to ambush.

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As the "Fishing Capital of the World," Florida boasts more than 3 million anglers. At the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), we appreciate feedback from these responsible conservationists. This time of year concerned anglers and citizens begin to see sporadic fish kills across the state. Most are on a small scale but, depending on circumstances, can seem quite significant. Florida Fish Kill Photo

A recent example occurred in Lake Weir, a 5,685-acre lake in Marion County. Several people took time to call the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 1-800-636-0511 or went online at http://research.myfwc.com/fishkill/ to report the incident directly to the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Health Group. 

The FWC dispatched freshwater fisheries biologists Andrew Schaefer and Dustin Everitt to investigate. Following standardized procedures established by the American Fisheries Society, they counted and identified dead fish in random zones throughout the lake. This allows an estimate to be made of how many fish died. At the same time, they collected water samples and dissolved oxygen (DO) measurements. 

At Lake Weir, it seemed like a case of nature taking its course. Heavy rainfalls likely flushed dead leaves and other plant material into the lake. This organic matter began to decompose, resulting in a low-DO fish kill. As is true in most such cases, the die-off did not kill all of the fish; biologists observed numerous surviving fish. 

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