By: Bailey Myers
July 1, 2013
Panacea, FL - Today marked the start of Gag-Grouper Season. Many fishermen are looking forward to catching Grouper and Scallops at the start of the season, but something has caused a snag in their plans.
Every fishermen knows it all depends on the weather, and since the start of scallop season Saturday, two things have been a little gloomy. That gloomy weather is not making it easy for fishermen or business owners.
Owner of Crum's Mini Mall in Panacea, Ronald Crum explained, "Coffee time here in the morning, all the fishermen in here are looking at the weather trying to decide whether to chance it or not. They are ready to go."
Mother nature isn't quite in agreement. So, fishermen have to decide whether or not they want to risk getting stuck on a boat when a storm hits.
After a twenty hour plane ride from Thailand the Duval's are hoping things turn around. Scott Duval said, "And so I think there is a little bit of a concern, relative to the weather but what I think is based on what we have seen online and so forth, it should be a fantastic week to ten days for us."
They aren't the only ones hoping the weather doesn't ruin their plans. Crum said, "We live or die on Gag-Grouper. This is our main stay fishery."
Around thirty to forty percent of yearly sales for businesses around this area revolve around Scallop and Grouper season. That's because tourists and natives alike are stopping by to picking up their fishing supplies. That means a lot is riding on the next few months. Now, there is nothing left to do but hope the weather turns around.
Staying positive Crum said, "The ocean is ready and the marine environment is ready. And the weather will come and the people will-- well, I think it will be a good weekend."
The week around the fourth of July is usually one of the busiest times for bait and tackle stores, but so far Crum's mini-mall hasn't seen much of a crowd. They are hoping as it gets closer to the holiday, more people will be excited to fish and scallop.