Hurricane Ian swept through Florida and brought plenty of destruction. As the seasons change and Florida waters are among the most active, it begs the question of if what you catch can be kept.
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Well, kept and eaten.
WINK News out of Fort Myers thought it was a reasonable question and took to the experts. Local captains.
“Fishing has been excellent. Catching a lot of fish,” Captain Gene Luciano, owner of Dalis Fishing Charters, told the station.
Luciano said that so long as you are mindful of where you make your catch, you should be alright. He added that he is feeding his family from what he brings in.
“We’ve been eating them our children are meat-eating, my grandbabies are eating them. The fish are fine,” he said.
But, he added, that when it comes to fish caught in local rivers or canals, “I would be cautious about that.”
“You can fish, you might, you’ll catch big fish, whether I want to eat them or not. I think I’d still wait a little while longer,” he said.
Luciano was not alone.
The station also spoke with CJ Lafauci, fishing captain for Endless Summer Charters, and Michael Westra, the owner of Lehr’s Economy Tackle.
Lafauci said that a lot of fish are still biting offshore.
“There’s tons of bait, tons of life. The Snook are biting real good,” he detailed. “There’s a lot of Pompano out there. The sea trout are really plentiful. Redfish are really plentiful.”
Both echoed the sentiment that it is best to play it safe on inland catch.
“I wouldn’t eat inshore,” Westra said. “Personally, I don’t think you’re gonna get sick from eating the fish. But we had a lot of fuel in the water. Okay, and we’ve got a lot of stuff in the water from the flood, and we got in the runoff we got we all know what stuff means.”