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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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. 


Expert saltwater anglers can tell you the day of every new and full moon in every month of the year, because they depend so much on the big tides that are generated for three days on either side of these strong lunar periods to create lots of current and cause a feeding binge among species like sea trout, redfish and snook. Fishing The Moon

The strong moon phases make the high tides higher and the low tides lower, and moving that much water in and out of the estuaries naturally creates lots of tide flow, which pushes the bait around and makes it easy for gamefish to feed, which is why tide tables are so important to coastal anglers.

Freshwater anglers, not so much, but many of us could probably catch more fish more often if we paid closer attention to the big cheese-head in the sky. 

Biologists say there's definitely a surge in spawning activities for many species, including largemouth bass, crappies, bluegills and shellcrackers, on the strong moon periods. They just don't come in the same months. 

Why the pull of the moon seems to affect freshwater fish when there are no noticeable tides in fresh water is hard to figure, but some think it's a leftover from the days when all fish were saltwater denizens. 


The Florida Guides Association held their annual meeting and elected a new president. At last years meeting longtime president Capt. Pat Kelly announced his retirement at the end of the 2014-15 year. The announcement provided the organization with one year to find a replacement. That process came to an end Sunday March 1, 2015 at the Tampa Tribune Expo at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Capt. Charlie Phillips, outgoing Secretary/Treasurer, was elected to the lead the group. 

Charlie at Poduim

The Meeting 

The FGA annual gathering began about 7:30 am on Sunday morning. An estimated 65 people attended for coffee and donuts before the official business began promptly at 8:00 am. Outgoing president, Capt. Pat Kelly, led everyone in the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

The first order of business was the presentation of the FWC Officer of the year award. Capt. Kelly presented the award to Officer Ken Thompson for his outstanding service to Florida’s fishery resource. 

Next the annual Capt. Phil Chapman Conservation Award was presented. The award is given annually to a deserving person that shows a true commitment to conservation of Florida’s fisheries and aquatic resources. Capt. Kelly presented this year’s award to Dr. Luiz Barbieri, of FWC, for his efforts in managing the state’s fishery. Dr. Barbieri has gone the extra mile in his efforts to ensure a successful Florida fishery for years down the road. 


Whether choosing a weekend getaway, a longer vacation, or a group function you can’t go wrong choosing Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. It was a fishing tournament that drew me to the area, but I discovered a lot more than fishing.

Crappie USA, a national crappie tournament trail chose the area because of the well know crappie fishing on Crescent and Dead Lake. The crappie are big and abundant, every crappie anglers dream. The organization completed a very successful two-day fishing event on the lakes. Darrell Van Vactor, President and CEO of Crappie USA praised the facilities and the support of the area businesses. “We are very pleased with the facilities and excellent support of the tourism folks. We are proud to be here with them as our hosts.”

Happy Crappie Angler

The tournament weigh-in was held at Bull Creek Camp Ground, which offers the perfect facilities for anglers. When you consider the winning weight, based on 14 crappies, was 29.77 pounds you realize immediately that calculates to an average weight of over 2 pounds per fish. That is a measure of a superb crappie resource, and one of the many reasons to put the area on your bucket list as place to visit.   


Corporate Members

We would like to thank all our corporate members for sponsoring the FGA.  Learn more about how you could become a corporate member :

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