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  1. Tide LB faces gun charge

    Colleges

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama linebacker Tim Williams has been charged with carrying a pistol without a permit. Campus police arrested Williams on the misdemeanor charge at about 1 a.m. Thursday in his vehicle in a grocery store parking lot two days before the game with Kentucky.  …

    Tim Williams, who has moved into the starting lineup this season, might face internal discipline.
  2. Tide unsure if backup QB is still with team

    Sports

    Alabama coach Nick Saban said he doesn't know if backup quarterback Blake Barnett is still with the team after the redshirt freshman saw him before Wednesday's practice "with some concerns about his future." Saban said he hasn't received a final decision on Barnett's plans.  …

  3. Florida's latest environmental headache: Red Tide hits Pinellas County

    Water

    Red Tide, the toxic algae that has plagued Florida's coasts since the days of the Spanish conquistadors, is making a big mess on Pinellas County's beaches this week. The sewage that was dumped into Tampa Bay could make it even worse. …

    Thousands of dead fish and other small marine life lined the beaches of Treasure Island on Tuesday.  [Les Neuhaus]
  4. Down 21, Tide rises to top Ole Miss

    Sports

    OXFORD, Miss. — Alabama coach Nick Saban watched his top-ranked team fall behind by three touchdowns, then come roaring back Saturday. And when his Crimson Tide looked to be in control and leading No. 19 Mississippi by 18 points in the fourth quarter, it nearly blew it.  …

    Running back Bo Scarbrough dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of Alabama’s 48-42 win.
  5. News at Noon: Red Tide hits Pinellas; hotel a concern for MacDill's future; final farewell for Fernandez; Tropical Storm Matthew forms

    News

    Red Tide, the toxic algae that has plagued Florida's coasts since the days of the Spanish conquistadors, is making a big mess on Pinellas County's beaches this week. The sewage being dumped into Tampa Bay may make it worse.  …

    Thousands of dead fish and other small marine life lined the beaches of Treasure Island on Tuesday.  [Les Neuhaus]
  6. USF study: Water from deep in gulf may keep away red tide

    Water

    TAMPA — Beaches in the bay area may seem a little more pleasant next summer with fewer dead fish and more tourists lying on the shore. …

    Dead fish, the result of a toxic Red Tide bloom, washed up just north of Johns Pass in Madeira Beach in April.
  7. Captain's Corner: Fish the best-moving tide

    Outdoors

    At 10 a.m. the air is thick, hot and slippery and, recently, the morning tide sluggish. The general rule is fish the best-moving tide, if possible. The past week in the Gandy area the preferred tide has been incoming, and the time of day has proven to be a nonissue. The sluggish tide provided a sluggish bite on the morning trips. The afternoon trip I had on Thursday was set for a 1:30 start. As we arrived to the first spot, the tide was slowly trickling and the seabreeze produced showers around the bay and gave us a nice refreshing breeze. The tide began moving faster after about five minutes. Over the next hour or so we caught and released snook from 22 inches all the way up to 41 inches. Three fish were over 35 and two were at 30 inches, not a bad start. Don't be afraid of the bait fry, the big stuff is out there if you're looking for snook. If not, snapper are grinding hard on the fry baits. They can be found on just about any dock piling, rock pile or bridge piling around the bay. Mackerel have also been engulfing the fry and turning up their nose at the larger sardines. The terminal tackle for snook is a 40 series reel spooled with 15-pound braid attached to a 20-pound leader and a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook. If the bait is smaller, I use a Nos. 1 or 2. Snapper same rig as above and add split shot. If the bite slows, try dropping to a 15-pound leader. For mackerel I prefer the same rig but add a 40-pound leader with a No. 1 long shank silver hook. If the toothy critters cut you off, go to 60 pound. …

  8. Captain's Corner: Redfish back in usual hot spots

    Outdoors

    Redfish have shown up in the usual hot spots. Several large schools are hanging around Pinellas Point and can be found up to upper Tampa Bay. With cooler water, reds are feeding aggressively and eating nearly anything. The past two weeks have been the best redfishing of the year. I have spots on a low tide and spots on a high tide. Low tide spots can be the most difficult to find. When the water gets too low for the fish on the flats, figure out where they will move. Redfish like to have a certain amount of water in which to swim. I watch the schools' movement and pay attention to which direction they fall off the flat. The past two times I have hit my low tide spots, they've yielded big numbers of fish. This is the best time of year for any type of bait. I throw my 12-foot cast net upcurrent of a bridge, let it sink to the bottom and trap the bait. One or two throws usually fills the livewell with scaled sardines and threadfin herring. …

  9. Captain's Corner: Mackerel hot on moving tide

    Outdoors

    Mackerel are chewing well on any moving tide, as long as it's moving. Some of these fierce, toothy fish are weighing between 4-6 pounds, and with every moon phase, bigger fish are funneling into the bay. Cobia are making an appearance on the markers south down near the bridge. I'm still seeing packs of three to five on the flats. They eat anything this time of year. Snook have been crushing greenbacks and threadfins on the beaches and the deep mangrove shorelines at the top of the tide an hour before and an hour after the switch of the tide. Clients have caught and released several slot and overslot snook. Snook seem to be doing well. There are lots of small fish in the 22- to 26-inch range. Redfish are feeding on the high outgoing tides and staging up around the creek mouths ambushing baits. Live greenbacks and pinfish have been excellent baits. Tarpon time is here, and there are plenty. Live and dead bait have been effective. The technique to fighting tarpon is to keep the pressure on and bow down to it the instant it jumps. The reason is the tarpon shakes its head so violently that you're trying to keep it from breaking the line. Long pumps up, then reeling down gives the fish a little breather. Long stokes should be avoided if at all possible. …

  10. Across Tampa Bay, cities and counties enjoy rising tide of taxable property values

    Realestate

    After a debilitating illness and a prolonged recovery, Tampa Bay property values are finally healthy. Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties are projected to enjoy their fourth consecutive years of rising taxable property values in 2016. Hernando County expects a third straight year of growth. …

    New homes rise in the Shetland Ridge neighborhood in Valrico off Lithia Pinecrest Road in Hillsborough County. Property Appraisers' Offices across the Tampa Bay region report that taxable property values have returned to healthy levels after the boom-turned-bust of the past decade. [SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times]
  11. CentCom commander's videoconference reveals how new drones help turn tide in Afghanistan

    Macdill

    KABUL, Afghanistan — News last week that the United States will keep more troops in Afghanistan longer than planned reiterates the challenge of stabilizing the war-torn country 15 years after America's first involvement here. …

    Air Force Maj. Erin Tedesco, a former Tampa schoolteacher, has worked as lead adviser to the Scan Eagle program, credited with helping turn back insurgents in Helmand province.
  12. Several roads closed in Tarpon Springs due to high tide flooding

    Weather

    TARPON SPRINGS — Several roads throughout the city have been closed following high tide Monday afternoon, according to city police. …

    Mail carrier Tracy Halesworth, of Tarpon Springs, navigates flooding on Dodecanese Boulevard in Tarpon Springs as squalls of wind and rain from Tropical Storm Colin move into the Tampa Bay area on Monday. The storm prompted warnings from emergency officials about street flooding and impassable roads. Officials also warned that higher-than-normal tides could lead to coastal flooding. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
  13. Title games, worst to first: No. 14 — Alabama 21, LSU 0

    College

    No. 14: Alabama 21, LSU 0 Where/when: Superdome, New Orleans; Jan. 9, 2012 It's ranked here because … …

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with the trophy after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) 132706010
  14. Captain's Corner: Factors in recent fish kill are unclear

    Outdoors

    Nearshore conditions have taken a turn for the worse after a recent raw sewage dumping. The raw sewage might have contributed to the fish kill near John's Pass, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach. Though Red Tide algae is unconfirmed, the bacteria from sewage might help feed the algae if present. An abundance of nitrogen can make algae grow. Red Tide depletes oxygen levels in the water and can kill fish. Nevertheless, there is a massive amount of dead or dying fish on the beach. Anglers have found a surplus of large red snapper offshore in shallow depths. In as shallow as 25-30 feet of water, red snapper are taking baited hooks offered for other species. Red snapper are considered by NOAA/National Marine Fisheries to be in a shortage and are closed to anglers. You can't convince anglers of any shortage by having to shake snapper off by the hundreds. Red snapper are generally found in depths of greater than 80 to 150 feet. Perhaps due to the passing of Hurricane Hermine, conditions offshore may have pushed them closer to the beach. Hopefully, they'll find a permanent residence in shallower water. …

  15. Tide keeps Aggies slumping

    Sports

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Avery Johnson has already brought big wins to Alabama's program even during an up-and-down season.  …

    Alabama’s Retin Obasohan scores two of his 16 in a 63-62 victory over No. 15 Texas A&M, which has lost three straight.
  16. Title town bound? Predicting the CFP teams, Week 5

    College

    Each week Times staff writers Matt Baker and Joey Knight will handicap what the field might look like for the national championship game on Jan. 9. Don't like their picks? Give us yours. Matt Baker …

  17. Bangladeshi surfer girls go against the cultural tide

    World

    COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh — The girls ply this endless stretch of beach every morning, weaving through flocks of tourists to sell snacks, the ocean breeze whipping the gossamer scarves of their traditional shalwar kameez. …

    Friends Aisha, 11, Sumi, 13, and Shoma Akthar, 14, are some of the girls surfing together in Cox's Bazar. [Los Angeles Times/TNS]
  18. 'Prince of Tides' author Pat Conroy dies at 70

    Obituaries

    Pat Conroy, whose tortured family life and the scenic marshlands of coastal South Carolina served as unending sources of inspiration for his fiction, notably the novels The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline and The Prince of Tides, died on Friday. He was 70. …

    Author Pat Conroy receives an honorary doctor of letters degree during a ceremony Oct. 20, 2000, on the parade grounds of  the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. Presenting the honorary degree is Leonard Fulghum, chairman of the college's governing board, left.  [Associated Press]
  19. Red Tide found in water samples along Pinellas County beaches

    Publicsafety

    Times staff A bloom of Florida Red Tide remained Sunday along Pinellas County, killing fish and causing respiratory irritation, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. …

    Dead fish dot the sand Sunday north of John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. A Red Tide bloom can result in fish kills and cause respiratory irritation among beachgoers.   
  20. Captain's Corner: Redfish fishing hot throughout Intracoastal

    Outdoors

    Redfish fishing throughout the Intracoastal Waterway has been excellent this past month. Schools of 18- to 24-inch redfish can be found balled up along the outer edges of the shallows at low tide and working the oyster bar edges at the higher tidal stages. Spoil islands and flats that run adjacent to the channel or areas of deeper water are places to find the schools now. As the tide recedes, the bait becomes condensed along these edges, attracting not only redfish but trout, jacks and ladyfish. Cast-netting live pilchards has been easy this week. Light east winds allow you to stalk schools of pilchards along the swash channel up and down the beach. Finding larger-sized bait might require a little help from the daylight in order to pick out bigger baits. Setting up in natural funneling points such as a small cut in the outer bar or a slightly deeper bend allows you to chum the fish to you as they exit the flat. Baitfish mimicking artificial lures work great. …

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