We are excited to share great news for recreational fishermen and the marine industry as a whole coming this January. The proposed Okaloosa County recreational fishing Buoy/Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) system has been approved for the upper Gulf for 2020. Four FADs are launching before the first of the year; with four more to come before the Spring of 2020. These are the first of its kind in USA waters. The eight FADs, with no trailing lines, floats or attached streamers, will be placed inside DeSoto Canyon; in depths of 1,191 to 2,359 feet and 60-80 miles offshore.
FADs are a new technology designed to attract large pelagic fish such as Mahi, marlin, and tuna to close proximity to these devices. These FADs are used as a means to improve pelagic fishing in the area; opposed to targeting reef fish, such as red snapper.
How does it work? Large game fish are attracted to floating objects and will cause them to aggregate under these floating devices that are strategically placed near the coastline. The fish aggregating device will consist of a buoy that floats on top of the water tethered to anchors on the seafloor. The eight buoys will be equipped with real-time weather stations for accurate reporting. In addition, each buoy will include USCG approved solar-powered light, integrated radar reflection, and a remotely tracked GPS signaling device. These devices will be able to withstand oceanographic conditions within the area for approximately 5-7 years; in which the system will be replaced or maintained.