Fishing News

Everett Johnson
One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to be informed of the new tackle, fishing clothing, boats, outboard motors, and the stream of other fishing related product introductions.

Leaving tomorrow, I will be attending the granddaddy of all fishing trade shows, the annual ICAST/IFTD in Orlando, FL. This year's event will be held in the Orange County Convention and promises to be a great one. Economic trends on the upswing will usually spawn a veritable flood of new offerings; akin to Christmas morning for tackle retailers and outdoor writers, and we here at TSFMag are excited to say the least.

ICAST/IFTD, or by its full name, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades is produced by the American Sportfishing Association in conjunction with the International Fly Tackle Dealers annual trade show. The combined effort of these organizations will mark the debut of literally thousands of new products aimed at bluewater, inshore, freshwater, and fly-fishing markets.

I will be bringing news of as much as I can cram into my ICAST recap in the September issue.

Along with the hype of ICAST/IFTD, a major wave of outboard motor technology is about to sweep the market. Chris Mapp hints of what BRP/Evinrude will be unveiling shortly in his column this month, and this is but the beginning. Keep an eye peeled – what is about to appear in dealerships across the nation are not your daddy's outboards!

Other news includes a unified push by Gulf state governments and marine resource management agencies to gain greater management control of Gulf of Mexico fisheries beyond state water boundaries. Gulf red snapper are the headliner in this; recreational anglers are totally fed up. Nine days in June is a joke of a season when measured against the commercial side's opportunity to access this fishery.

Winding up, I want to touch briefly on the generally dismal summer speckled trout season that is being experienced in our middle-coast bays. I have been preaching greater conservation of this fishery for years, if for no other reason than pro-activity. I do not understand how anybody could argue against a healthier stock prior to any natural disaster being the best possible recipe for quick recovery. While there has been no major freeze; five years of horrible drought, two minor freezes in 2010 and again in 2011, and a bad dose of red tide in 2011 seem to have exacted a toll.

Fishing has been tough to say the least. Maybe now more fishermen can buy into the reasoning behind the five-trout bag limit that will take effect September 1 on the middle Texas coast.