Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last two weeks mired in our current algae crisis. So I’m thrilled to be shedding light on some positive SWFL fishing news!

Local Captains and Scientists Team Up to Study Permit Fishery

The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) recently teamed up with local fishing captains to catch, tag, and release permit fish. Florida Fishing Products and Costa Del Mar has since released a great video documenting the team’s permit fishing trip and research initiatives.

As BTT’s Florida Keys Initiative Manager, Dr. Ross Boucek explains, “Project Permit addresses low-hanging conservation concerns”. The tracking and research program is designed to identify immediate threats to permit and how the fishery can be maintained and improved.

As a prized gamefish, anglers typically target permit on the flats of Florida Bay and the Keys. They are a member of the jack family and renowned for their fight. Like jack, pompano and bonefish, they have little to no food value to humans.

In winter and spring, large permit schools congregate on deeper reefs to spawn. Anglers commonly find permit fish throughout the Gulf of Mexico. They school up on some of the most popular fishing spots nearshore to Naples, Marco, Bonita, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel.

Permit Tagging
Permit Tagging – Florida Fishing Products

BTT’s permit tagging program uses a variety of tracking tools, including chemical markers and dart tags. The program will also be placing acoustic telemetry tags in fifty selected permit fish.

Captain Bill Hammond of Endless Summer Charters says, “It will be really interesting to see the data that comes back… These fish mean a lot to me… We need to do a better job as fishermen to help protect them for the future…”

The results of this study will provide interesting information for flats fishermen, offshore anglers and the scientific community alike. I can personally attest that the permit schools have been showing up in great numbers on Lee County’s nearshore wrecks this year. I think we can all agree its worth working to sustain that!

Give this terrific video a watch for more details or learn more about Costa’s Project Permit.