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The Gulf of Mexico is a major body of water bordered and nearly landlocked by North America. The gulf's eastern, northern, and northwestern shores lie within the United States of America. The gulf is bordered on the southwestern and southern shores with Mexico.
The Gulf of Mexico is well known for its calm sea conditions and excellent year round deepsea fishing. Deep sea fishing on the Gulf of Mexico for grouper and snapper is good most any time of the year. Other offshore fish such as kingfish, cobia, tuna, amberjack, Spanish mackerel, dolphin, shark, barracuda, tarpon, permit, mahi and giant red fish are all caught as they seasonally migrate through the deepsea waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


The total area of the Gulf of Mexico is approximately 615,000 square miles. Coastal cities along the Gulf of Mexico include Tampa, St. Petersburg, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, Beaumont, and Houston in the United States,Veracruz and Mérida in Mexico, and Havana in Cuba.



Federal Fishing Rules for the Gulf of Mexico


NEW GROUPER AND TILEFISH REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE JULY 15, 2004
Recreational:

Maximum of 2 red grouper allowed within the 5-fish aggregate grouper bag limit
Commercial:

Shallow-water grouper quota reduced from 9.35 mp gutted weight to 8.80 mp gutted wt.
New red grouper quota - 5.31 mp gutted wt (counts as part of shallow-water grouper quota)
Commercial shallow-water grouper fishery closes when either the shallow-water grouper or red grouper quota is reached, whichever comes first.
Deep-water grouper quota reduced from 1.35 mp gutted wt to 1.02 mp gutted wt.
New tilefish quota - 0.44 mp gutted wt

All other grouper regulations remain the same, including the minimum size limits of

red grouper - 20 inches total length
gag and black grouper - 22 inches total length recreational, 24 inches total length commercial
yellowfin grouper - 20 inches total length
scamp - 16 inches total length

Commercial closed season on red grouper, black grouper and gag - Feb. 15 to March 15


FISHING CHARTERS
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Florida Deep Sea Fishing Charters
Deep-sea fishing for red snapper, kingfish, ling, wahoo, dorado, shark, amberjack, barracuda, bonito and more!
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Gulf Coast Fishing.org
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Florida Tarpon Fishing Guide.com
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What to Bring on a Fishing Charter:
Appetite for a great fishing/boating experience.
Sufficient sea sickness and sun protection.
Sunglasses, camera, hat or cap and binoculars.
Either bring your own fishing equipment or make sure the boat provides equipment.
Soft-soled shoes required. No Cowboy boots & no black soled shoes.
Plenty of beverages.
A fishing license is required.
Include lunch, snacks, and soft drinks should your boat not provide these.
A change of clothes is a good idea as well as a wind breaker.


The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
A huge "dead zone" of water so devoid of oxygen that sea life cannot live in it has spread across 5,800 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico this summer in what has become an annual occurrence caused by pollution. The dead zone lacks oxygen because of pollution in the form of excess nutrients that flows into the gulf from the Mississippi River. Animals trying to live in this smothering layer of water near the bottom of the sea must either leave or they will sufficate. To learn more about the "dead zone" please visit the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Assessment' s website. NOAA's Official Website

FLY FISHING GUIDE


Gulf Of Mexico Facts & Information

  • Gulf of Mexico Depth
    At a depth of more than 12,000 feet, Sigsbee Deep is the deepest part of the Golf of Mexico . It is more than 300 miles long and is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon under the sea.” Its closest point to the Texas coast is 200 miles southeast of Brownsville.
  • Gulf of Mexico Size
    The total area of the Gulf of Mexico is about 600,000 square miles
  • Gulf of Mexico Width
    The shortest distance across the Gulf of Mexico is about 500 miles between the Mississippi Delta and the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.
    The greatest distance across the Gulf of Mexico is approximately 1,000 miles going east to west.
  • Gulf of Mexico Ports
    The Gulf of Mexico links the ports of five southern U.S states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) and six Mexican states (Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo) with the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
  • Gulf of Mexico Shoreline
    The United States and Mexico form the Gulf of Mexico's mainland shore, which extends more than 4,000 miles from the Florida Keys to Cabo Catoche, at the northwestern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
  • Gulf of Mexico Sanctuaries
    The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary contains the northernmost tropical coral reefs in the U.S.
    Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is the wintering ground of most of the world's whooping cranes in the wild.
    Padre Island National Seashore in Texas is the nation's longest stretch of undeveloped beach.



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Gulf of Mexico facts:
At a depth of more than 12,000 feet, Sigsbee Deep is the deepest part of the Golf of Mexico . It is more than 300 miles long and is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon under the sea.” Its closest point to the Texas coast is 200 miles southeast of Brownsville.
Gulf of Mexico Size
The total area of the Gulf of Mexico is about 600,000 square miles
Gulf of Mexico Width
The shortest distance across the Gulf of Mexico is about 500 miles between the Mississippi Delta and the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The greatest distance across the Gulf of Mexico is approximately 1,000 miles going east to west.
Gulf of Mexico Ports
The Gulf of Mexico links the ports of five southern U.S states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) and six Mexican states (Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo) with the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
Gulf of Mexico Shoreline
The United States and Mexico form the Gulf of Mexico's mainland shore, which extends more than 4,000 miles from the Florida Keys to Cabo Catoche, at the northwestern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
Gulf of Mexico Sanctuaries
The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary contains the northernmost tropical coral reefs in the U.S.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is the wintering ground of most of the world's whooping cranes in the wild.
Padre Island National Seashore in Texas is the nation's longest stretch of undeveloped beach.


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Gulf of Mexico Fishing Environmental Issues
For Immediate Release: July 19, 2005

Ecosystem Management Means “Every Fish Counts,” says Coalition of Fishing and Conservation Organizations

(New Orleans, Louisiana) The Gulf Restoration Network along with a coalition of conservation and fishing organizations today released a report analyzing and critiquing fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico. The report, titled “Every Fish Counts,” exposes a failure to minimize bycatch—wildlife caught accidentally when other species are targeted.

The two primary government entities responsible for fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico’s federal waters are the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Both have recognized for many years that important wildlife interactions need to be considered for good management. This “ecosystem-based approach” is now being considered by NMFS and the Gulf Council.

Reducing bycatch is a major component of any effective ecosystem management plan. The Gulf Restoration Network’s report “Every Fish Counts” sends that message to the Gulf Council, NMFS, and the public.

The amount of bycatch in the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery is highlighted in “Every Fish Counts.” Reef fish include popular fish such as red snapper and grouper. The report indicates that bycatch could be a key reason why such fish are depleted and significant fishing restrictions have been required.

“Many popular Gulf reef fish are depleted,” explained Aaron Viles, Fisheries Campaign Director of the Gulf Restoration Network. “A significant factor is that we don’t include estimates of fish that die in other fisheries. For example, when setting an annual quota for red snapper, we need to include the number of red snapper caught and killed out of season when people are fishing for vermilion snapper.”

Bycatch is an important factor in managing depleted fish. Internationally, an estimated 25 percent of the world's fish catch—some 44 billion pounds of fish—and thousands of other ocean animals such as dolphins and seabirds are captured annually as bycatch. Anecdotal estimates from the Gulf of Mexico indicate that bycatch more than doubles the directed allowable catch of some reef fish species. In fact, the report finds that 100% of overfished reef fish species in the Gulf lack a comprehensive effective bycatch plan, despite a legal mandate to minimize bycatch established by the U.S. Congress almost ten years ago.

“Current regulations don’t address the big picture,” agreed Maura Wood of the Sierra Club. “The message today is simple: until we account for all fish that are killed, no matter the source, fish populations will be depleted because overfishing will still be occurring.”

In the report, the Gulf Restoration Network calls on the Gulf Council and NMFS to develop and enact effective bycatch regulations as part of long-term ecosystem management. The regulations must include the following guidelines:

· All managed fisheries must develop bycatch estimates.

· Bycatch estimates must take into consideration species that are thrown overboard because they are too small or are out of season as well as those that are discarded because they have no value.

· Bycatch estimates must include all commercial and recreational types of fishing gear.

· All efforts to estimate bycatch must be peer-reviewed.

Bycatch estimates must by fully incorporated into management decisions, including calculations of yearly total allowable catch.

The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, a body of knowledgeable individuals appointed by the President to develop recommendations for a new and comprehensive national ocean policy, underscored that action was needed to reduce bycatch in their report released last year.

Ocean Commissioner Frank Muller-Karger, a professor at University of South Florida College of Marine Science, stated, “Various species of animals are caught by accident while we conduct our business or pleasure in the ocean. This bycatch problem is larger than most people know, and larger than some care to admit. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy made a series of recommendations that, above all, will require a scientific process to define the true total allowable catch and will require those fishing to keep within these guidelines. The science needs to help us understand how the fish depend on different parts of the environment including other fish, and how different uses of the ocean affect marine wildlife. This is what we are calling ecosystem-based management.”

Many Gulf fishermen believe that management changes are needed to help reduce wasteful bycatch. Commercial Fisherman William Ward attended the Florida event releasing the report. He said, “Fishermen, NMFS, conservation groups, academics…we all need to work together to develop better ways to reduce bycatch for long term sustainability. Lasting, stable resources should be the management priority. Immediate profit can’t be the primary focus.”

Recreational Fishermen also spoke out for better measures to reduce bycatch. Captain Bob Zales, II, a charter boat owner and operator with over 40 years experience said, “Regulatory and economic discards need to be addressed. Shrimp bycatch of red snapper and commercial hydraulic and electric bandit rig fishing with 30 and 40 hook rigs cause release mortality of red snapper to exceed 80% of discards. These destructive gears and the destructive longlines, which kill everything that is hooked, are not only killing juvenile fish but also ripping apart the bottom habitat and destroying the resources.”

Charlie Smith, with the Louisiana Charterboat Association said, "I believe in a holistic approach to fisheries management. All sides benefit from bycatch reduction and the resource is important to all, including consumers of fish and shrimp. If shrimpers alone are blamed for not using technology which doesn't exist, it is unfair. They are also part of the fishery."

The groups hope that the “Every Fish Counts” report will motivate positive changes in the Gulf of Mexico fishing regulations.

To download a copy of the report, please visit http://healthygulf.org

 

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We invite you to visit Anna Maria Island , Florida

Enjoy your visit on Anna Maria Island by relaxing on the pristine beaches or tour the island's many historic sites by bicycle. Let our Anna Maria Island Guide help you plan every aspect of your Florida vacation - from lodging & dining to local island history and weather.
Anna Maria Island is a seven mile barrier island located in the southern Gulf Coast area of Florida and is renowned for its white sand gulf beaches and gin clear water. Anna Maria is the northernmost of a string of barrier islands that extend in a southerly direction to the Florida Keys.The Island itself is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Tampa Bay to the north and Sarasota Bay and Anna Maria Bay on its eastern shores.
Fishing abounds on Anna Maria Island. The island offers three fishing piers: Anna Maria City Pier, Rod & Reel Pier and Bradenton Beach.
White Beaches & Glorious Sunsets
Anna Maria Island is a famous for its miles of white sandy beaches with stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. Here visitors can find world class angling, boating, surfing, golf, tennis as well as a rich selection of exotic wildlife. In fact, the entire island of Anna Maria is considered a wildlife sanctuary!
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Mississippi River.com
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Hurricane Season
The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from June 1 to November 30. The peak of the season is from mid-August to late October.

Hurricane Katrina

Gulf of Mexico Weather.com & Florida Visitors Guides.com network announce the launch of a powerful disaster relief network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 
Gulf Coast Disaster Relief.com &
New Orleans Charity.org are designed to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina, now considered to be the single worst natural disaster in United States history. All federal, state & private disaster relief organizations are listed on this network & may be contacted directly or online
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We invite you to visit Orlando, Florida

Orlando, which is located in central Florida, has become the United States most popular tourist destination. There are three parts of Walt Disney World -- the Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios and Epcot Center -- which draw 25 million tourists a year as well as other area theme parks such as Universal Studios and Sea World that pull in millions more. NASA's Kennedy Space Center nearby is the highlight of Florida's Space Coast. Orlando is also home to one of the NBA's hottest teams, the Orlando Magic.


Orlando also has many year round water parks for the tourists enjoyment as well as the locals. Blizzard Beach is one of the best themed Orlando water parks! Typhoon Lagoon, Wet 'n Wild, Water Mania, and Adventure Island are just a few more water parks!
Orlando International Airport serves more passengers than any other Airport in Florida - 31,143,388 in 2004.
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