Outdoor Journal: So far, fishing in Florida is good

Ed Noonan's weekly outdoors column
Daily Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan displays the first red fish he caught and released in the intercostal waterway.
Daily Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan displays the first red fish he caught and released in the intercostal waterway.

Categories: Sports

It was too late for fishing when we arrived at the Surfside Estates and settled in, but at sunup the next day, I was casting shrimp off the docks into the intercoastal waterway. 

Last year, the fishing wasn’t very good. But this year was very different. On the first cast, I don’t think that the shrimp got a foot down below the surface before I shut the bale on my real and the rod bent. It was a red drum about 12 inches long, which are a good fighting fish. And for the next hour and half, the reds continued to bite, along with several blue crabs. 

But the real excitement was when my 7-foot graphite rod bent, and the big red wrapped around one of the wooden pillars before I could stop him. These pillars are full of sharp barnacles, and that is why my reel is filled with 30-pound test braided line.

The battle began, and once I got him in open water, I was able to work him into the net and measured him at 19 1/2 inches. Photo time. I did not want to take a photo of him while in the net, so I grabbed him with my left hand and started to take the photo. However, one flip  out of my hand onto the deck and into the water. I know what you are thinking, fish story.


DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced anglers will have at least 1 million reasons to fish walleye in Oneida Lake.

Cornell University researchers have been tracking the lake’s walleye population for over 60 years and reported an estimated 1 million walleye in 2019, a number that hasn’t been reached since the 1980s.

“It has been three decades since we’ve seen the Oneida Lake walleye population this abundant, and is twice the size observed in any year since 1993,” Seggos said in a statement. “Also, Oneida Lake is a nationally recognized fishery that will be getting better in the coming years. This robust walleye population is due to DEC’s responsive management and the dedicated research performed by Cornell University.”

DEC and Cornell’s study and its remarkable recovery of the adult population of walleye, which declined through the 1990s, has remained around 400,000 fish since 2000. DEC will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop an approach for cormorant management to safeguard our fisheries from over-predation by these fish-eating birds.

To help the Oneida Lake walleye fishery, more than 150 million walleye fries will be stocked in the lake. The legal minimum size of walleye in the lake is 15 inches, and the daily possession is three. For some tips on walleye go to DEC’s Fishing or Walleye web page.


NYSDEC reports that the 2019 hunting seasons in NYS was the safest on record. There were 12 hunting related shootings, seven of which were two-party firearms incidents, five were self-inflicted and one resulting in a fatality.

Four were not wearing orange. DEC wants to again to remind you of the importance of wearing orange or pink when afield. As for the seven tree-stand incidents, the hunters were not wearing a body harness, or the harness was not attached to the tree.


This year’s Shot Show in the Las Vegas Sands Expo set records, attracting 6,000 professionals from across the globe representing 113 countries. If it had anything to do with hunting or shooting, it was on display, especially if it was new. There were 2,400 exhibitors.

I have gone to quite a few of these shows but never was able to visit every exhibitor. If you are looking with “what’s new in guns” go to https://gunmagwarehouse.com/blog/shot-show-2020/.

If I had attended, I would have definitely visited the Outdoor Edge booth. Five years ago, while at its booth, I got my first razor-knife and used it for everything, both hunting and fishing. And this past fishing season, I lost it while fishing in my boat on the upper Hudson River.  Foolish? Yes.

Well, last week, I was looking at the Outdoor Edge for a replacement knife. It didn’t take long, my choice is its razor lite that comes with three razor-knife replacement blades that are 3.5 inches. I have found them to be the sharpest and strongest. Choice of non-slip handle is black or my choice, orange and a black nylon sheath.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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