Friday the 13th proved unlucky for four South Carolina anglers
when a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
officer seized their entire catch of 1,268 freshwater fish. The
case is believed to be the largest of its kind ever filed in Polk
County by the FWC.
Veteran FWC officer Jim Adams received an anonymous tip that led
him to seize 1,264 shellcrackers, one warmouth, one spotted sunfish
and two undersize largemouth bass from the group of out-of-state
anglers fishing on Lake Kissimmee. Each angler is allowed 50
panfish per day, with a maximum of two days’ bag limit in
possession. Possession limit violations are a second-degree
misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 60 days in
Sam C. Shumpert, (DOB 01/01/42), of 1508 McNeil Drive, West
Columbia, SC, was charged with possession of 294 fish over the
legal possession limit.
Daniel Shumpert, (DOB 04/24/43) of 17 Dunbar Rd., West Columbia,
SC, was charged with 294 fish over his legal possession limit.
Richard L. Richenbaker, (DOB 12/08/62), and his wife, Maura R.
Richenbaker, (DOB 11/28/62), 54 Rick Road, St. Matthews, SC, were
each charged with 340 fish over the legal possession limit.
The four anglers had been fishing out of Grape Hammock Fish Camp
on Lake Kissimmee for three days. They told Adams they had been
coming to Florida to fish every spring for a number of years and
that fishing in South Carolina was never as good as it was
“The FWC depends upon partnerships forged with
conservation-minded sportsmen to ensure the future of our
freshwater fisheries,” Adams said. “Reports to the Wildlife Alert
Hotline of potential violations are a key component of that
partnership,” Adams said.
The FWC donated all of the fish to Natural Encounters in Lakes
Wales. The fish will provide a six-month supply of food for the
birds that Natural Encounters trains for Disney Productions.
Call 888-808-3922 to report fisheries or wildlife law
violations. Those reporting violations can remain anonymous and
may be eligible for a reward.
If you would like more information about freshwater fishing in
Florida, visit MyFWC.com/Recreation/FW_index.htm.