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Plenty of fight left in redfish
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Found from Massachusetts to Florida on the Atlantic coast and from Mexico to Florida on the Gulf Coast, redfish numbers are on the rebounds thanks to the united support provided to it by sportsmen and women around the country.
Once highly coveted for its meat, redfish, which inhabit warm, shallow coastal waters, were netted by commercial operations intent on becoming wealthy over the demand for redfish meat. The great taste of blackened redfish nearly spelled the species’ demise in some areas, until concerned groups banded together to lobby state, local and federal governments to end the wide-spread commercial netting and to impose slot and creel limits.
Today, populations of the redfish throughout its original North American coastal home range are stable and in some cases increasing.
One of the most iconic of all the coastal North American fish, the redfish features an easily distinguishable dot (or dots) on its tail, which sticks out of the water as the fish searches the soft bottom for shrimp, crabs and baitfish. With its large, pale lips indicative of the drum family and a muscular, streamlined body, the redfish is ferocious when hooked. Anglers in search of a challenge prefer sight casting to tailing redfish, while others employ spinning and casting equipment and lure the fish with all manner of tackle.
On Sept. 22, millions of Americans will celebrate the success of the redfish and many other species as part of National Hunting and Fishing Day activities that will be going on nationwide. National Hunting and Fishing Day began after a presidential proclamation in 1972 that sets aside the fourth Saturday of each September for the event. Since then, national, regional, state and local organizations have staged thousands of outdoors-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing millions of Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.
The careful redfish conservation efforts of the past have given millions of people the thrill of seeing the fish tailing in the shallow, coastal waters, to have the chance to fight one with a rod and reel and, when local regulations allow, enjoy its table fare.
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