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Palm Coast Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 8 years ago

To fish or not to fish?

by: Capt. Rob Ottlein

That is the question. Lately it seems I’m getting a lot of e-mails on how the government wants to curtail our fishing. Let me explain …

The National Marine Fisheries Services, which has already put the clamps on red snapper, grouper, black sea bass and other species, now plans to put drastic changes on the bag limits for cobia in our state waters. Right now, the bag limit stands at one per person or six per boat per day. The new legislation would cut the number to one cobia per boat per day. You wonder why the government would want to do this when fishermen say the cobia stocks are the strongest in 25 years.

You can read more about this in this month’s issue of the Florida Sportsman or online at

You may also ask yourself who is pushing the government to make all these changes to our fishing regulations?

In this writer’s opinion, it’s the environmental group known as PEW Charitable Trusts. For the sake of losing my cool here and going off on my soap box, I urge you to go to and find Protecting Ocean Life. See what they’re up to.

In my opinion, they would like to see fishing shut down altogether.

Here’s another e-mail I received: Florida State Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) introduced Senate Bill 744, which would eliminate resident and nonresident fishing licenses. If this bill passes, Florida’s fisheries management system and the recreational fishing economy would be devastated. You can learn more about this ridiculous bill by going to www.keepamerica I strongly urge you to do so because this will affect fishermen, businesses and jobs.

I read all this stuff and I ask myself, “Why?”

Why would people or organizations want to affect the lives of millions of people? Before I get into politics, which I really don’t want to do in a fishing column, let me just say this: “Can’t we all just get along?”

Enough depressing news. Let’s talk about fishing.

The inshore fishing this past week has been on the slow side overall. High tides and the full moon both had an affect on the bite. Look for this to change with the new moon and warmer water temperatures. It’s been beautiful lately, so do yourself a favor and get out and enjoy these days before the real heat sets in. Looking at the national weather, I feel very lucky to be living in Florida.

Capt. Rob Ottlein can be reached at 439-2636, or at www.flaglerfishing


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