LEE COUNTY, Fla - Labor Day weekend is well underway and Sunday boaters and anglers shoved-off shore to enjoy the water. Boaters were out in force, taking advantage of the beautiful weather, the holiday weekend and a free day of fishing.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission created the statewide "saltwater license-free fishing day" to encourage first-time anglers.
"I think it's a good idea, some people that wouldn't fish have a chance to get out there, take their kids out, have a good time," said angler Jeff Finn.
Cape Harbor in Cape Coral was filled with boaters all trying to bring home the big one!
"More people come out, more families, are out especially today being a free fishing day, there are more people out fishing and busier on the waterways," said Deputy Todd Olmer with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The added traffic was monitored closely by several law enforcenement agencies who say they will continue their heightened patrols well into Labor Day.
"We're out, keeping an eye talking to the public, making sure they have all the safety gear on board, law enforcement, search and rescue making sure people have a great day. We're generally looking for the intoxicated boater, or people operating in a careless or reckless manner," said Deputy Olmer.
"Actually got stopped by the Coast Guard for a safety check, passed with flying colors. They are out there, doing their job, trying to protect us, so I don't have any problem with it," said Finn.
Sunday also marked the start of "Snook season." The harvest of Snook in Gulf of Mexico has been closed since early 2010, when a cold snap brought down their population.