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Cedar Key Fisherman Prepares For Stone Crab Season

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Cedar Key’s Bud Collins has been fishing since he was 5.

“This is what we do. We love to do it, and it’s what we’re going to do,” he said.

With the start of stone crab season Tuesday, Collins is disappointed he could not be out on the water due to boat trouble. He wants to get out and check his traps.

“Anxious more than excited, I suppose. Hoping we can get some kind of crabs,” Collins said.

Collins walks this dock multiple times a day just to check his boat because without his boat, he doesn’t have a job. And he said there aren’t as many fisherman left in Cedar Key.

“It’s a lot tougher than it used to be, and there’s a lot less fisherman than there used to be,” Collins said. “Why do you think that is? Mostly because of the regulations and everything and because of the licenses they’re putting on people and things like that.”

These regulations limit fisherman to one single fishery, and Collins chose stone crab.

Ryan Gandy, a biologist with the Florida Wildlife Commission, said last year’s season produced one million pounds less than normal.

“Last year was a low-landing year. They landed about 2 million pounds of claws,” Gandy said.

Still, Collins is ready for whatever the season will bring – just as soon as his boat is.

“It’s hard to say, only thing we hope is that it’s better than last year because last year was pretty poor,” Collins said.

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