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  1. Captain's Corner: Strong tides increase fish action

    Outdoors

    Strong tides this week have turned on the fish in north Pinellas. Incoming water flooding area passes has influenced snook to stage in troughs, cuts and sandy dropoffs. Usually facing into the tide, snook often wait for food to be forced in their direction. Always cast uptide and allow your offering to drift naturally. When fishing in swift current, try opening the bail on your reel to allow line to be pulled off by the tidal flow. This method can make your bait look more natural than a tight line. Once a fish grabs the bait, the line will pay out quickly. Flip the bait over and reel to get a positive hook set. Tarpon are slowly making their way up the coast. Single tarpon are being sight-fished by fly fishermen over the shallow bars from Caladesi Island to Anclote Island. A few pods have been spotted yards off the beaches. Casting baits floated 4-6 feet under a cork in front of migrating fish is an effective way to hook a tarpon. Once spotted, use a trolling motor or quietly drift into the zone. Long casts with the wind at your back will give you the best chance to get a bite. Trout are jumping on greenbacks freelined over shallow grass flats. Target flats with clear water and thick turtle grasses. Large sandy holes in the middle of these areas can be 2-3 feet deeper and will often hold the larger trout ambushing baits exposed in the sand. Place a small split shot a couple of feet above the hook and cast around the edges of the sand holes. Wait for the line to get tight and reel. …

  2. Rising economic tide lifts MarineMax, boating industry

    Business

    After a perfect economic storm nearly swamped Clearwater's MarineMax, the nation's largest boat retailer is on the rebound — good news for a struggling recreational boat industry and a big thumbs-up for Florida's improving business climate. …

    Executives and guests of Clearwater-based MarineMax Inc. (NYSE:HZO) visited the New York Stock Exchange to highlight the 2015 New York Boat Show, which took place Jan. 21-25, at the Javits Center. To mark the occasion William McGill, chairman, president and CEO, rings the Opening Bell. After several years of rough sailing, MarineMax is doing well again.
  3. Captain's Corner: Upcoming full moon means tarpon on move

    Outdoors

    A full moon next week means tarpon are moving down the beaches, making their way out of the bay and moving to the bridges and the passes to feed before some leave to spawn on the moon. In the early morning hours along the beaches, look for rolling tarpon and use your trolling motor to get your boat set up. Cast your favorite bait 10 feet upcurrent of the school so it drifts down to them. On the afternoon hill tides that happen two times a month on the full and new moons in May, June and July, the fish tend to eat on the outgoing tides as the bait starts to flush out of the bay. Look for blue and pass crabs flushing out in the tide lines. If you drift those tide lines with your engine off except to adjust the boat, you should get hooked up. Once you're hooked on a tarpon, get on your fish so you don't break off and mess up others fishing. Using the proper equipment is important, from the rod to the hook. I like a 7-8 foot rod with a light tip and a lot of backbone so you can cast a small bait. Look for a reel in the 5000 to 6500 size, loaded with plenty of 50-pound braid. I like a 40- to 60-pound fluorocarbon leader to a 3/0 to a 6/0 circle hook. …

  4. Tide silences skeptics in rout

    Sports

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama looked every bit the part of a national title contender, with a point-a-minute attack and a defense that planted a goose egg on one of the nation's most prolific offenses.  …

    Running back Derrick Henry, front left, celebrates one of his two touchdowns during Alabama’s dominating first half.
  5. Captain's Corner: Warm water, high tides aid trout fishing

    Outdoors

    Trout fishing has been excellent, and rising water temperatures and full moon tides are the reason. Spoil Islands in the northern part of the county are holding good concentrations of trout; target peak tidal movement for best action. Soft-plastic jigs in natural shrimp colors work well, as do free-lined select shrimp. For an alternative, try setting out a pinfish trap over shell bottom. Baited with frozen sardines, your trap should load up with small pinfish and grunts, both of which work great for trout. The full moon period has also been good for redfish. Early low tides have pushed them to the edge of the flats, where they can often be seen tailing as they root for crabs. Look for them to be mixed in with mullet schools. When redfish tails are spotted, a long cast with a tail-hooked select shrimp will do the job. No-motor zone flats are the obvious locales, but many of the spoil islands and the grass flats along the east side of the ICW in North Pinellas are holding good numbers. Light-tackle bottom fishing remains a good option. Depths of 25 to 35 feet are producing nice hogfish, good-sized grunts and the occasional keeper red grouper. …

    Tyson Wallerstein
  6. Keeping up with the Tide

    Gator Report

    As the Gators prepare to play No. 3 Alabama on Saturday afternoon, here are some links from writers who cover Alabama to give you more insight on the Tide. Tidesports.com Senior Writer Aaron Suttles writes about the expanded role for freshman CB Tony Brown in the Gators' game. …

  7. Captain's Corner: Extreme tides

    Sports

    What's hot: Thanks to the super moon last week we saw extreme low and high tides. The low tides made it hard to get on the flats and the high tides pushed the fish tight up into the mangrove tree line. The normal pattern should return this week. The summer of the bull redfish continues. Big schools continue to dominate Pinellas and Tampa Bay. Most of the fish have been over slot but make for great fun on light tackle. The flats are covered with scaled sardines so they have plenty to eat. The trick is to throw something different at them like cutbait. Cast in front of the school and not in the middle, which spooks them. …

  8. Miami Beach vs. King Tide

    State

    Reuters' Zachary Fagenson and David Adams: Construction crews are wading into chest high pools of muck in a race against time to install pumps Miami Beach officials hope will help control an annual super-high tide threatening to flood south Florida's popular seaside city next week. …

  9. Captain's Corner: Be careful of red tide

    Outdoors

    Do your homework: Before heading offshore, find out where the red tide is. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (myfwc.com) gives regular updates. Lately, red tide has moved to about 2 miles west of northern Clearwater Beach. We traveled home from 38 miles northwest of the Clearwater bell buoy, finding floating fish by the thousands from outside of the Veterans Reef to 1 mile north of the Clearwater bell buoy. Most were small: pinfish, grunts, hogfish, cowfish, puffers and eels.  …

    Dave Mistretta
  10. Anglers wary about Red Tide

    Outdoors

    ST. PETERSBURG Nothing creates more confusion and anguish among anglers than the words "Red Tide." …

    Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Mote Marine Laboratory of Sarasota and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sample for red tide during a recent research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. High levels of the harmful algae have been found off the Pinellas Coast. [Brandon Basino | FWC]
  11. Captain's Corner: Tarpon bite ridiculous

    Outdoors

    Welcome to summer. The heat and humidity make it feel like August already. There doesn't seem to be any relief this weekend. We're coming up on the new moon, so expect the afternoon tarpon bite to be crazy. The tarpon bite is ridiculous. It usually isn't this good until early June. They've been here by the thousands for at least two weeks. The best bite has been at Bean Pointe on the incoming tide. First thing in the morning, you want to drift crabs. Unfortunately as the tide starts ripping in, people anchor in the channel and use cut bait. This makes it impossible to set up a drift. You either have to join them or move. Using cut bait while chumming is productive but not for everyone. On the inshore scene, there are big schools of redfish all over the spoil islands. They're eating cut bait the best. Snook are on the beach first thing in the morning. Make sure to take care of them as they are there to spawn. …

    Mike Gore
  12. Captain's Corner: Low tides, cold fronts can benefit fishing

    Outdoors

    Low tides combined with passing cold fronts can lead to rewarding fishing. Northeast winds blowing 20 mph and an astronomical low tide around the new moon result in a low tide that empties the bay and exposes every nook and cranny that reds and trout hang out. Take your boat along the edge of the sandbar and look for cuts that lead into the flat, which are dry from the cold front. Strong outgoing tides form channels through the sandbar that reds and trout use to move on and off of the flat. Anchor far enough from the channel so as not to block the path of the moving fish. With colder air temperatures, bring neoprene waders, gloves, boots and a belt. Use a 7-foot rod rigged with 10-pound braid and 25-pound leader. Soft plastic baits on red quarter-ounce jighead are my favorite. Any eel-type or grub plastic tail works. Throw the jig in the sandy areas and let it hit bottom every time, creating a poof of sand to imitate a crab or shrimp. …

  13. Talking points on Florida Gators at Alabama Crimson Tide

    College

    Talking Points …

  14. Tide goal: Diversify on offense vs. Gators

    Colleges

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama has experienced receivers, a deep and talented backfield and a preseason All-SEC tight end. …

  15. Red Tide especially troublesome for asthma, allergy patients

    Health

    Most Floridians know Red Tide is here when the smell of dead fish fills the air.  …

  16. Tide finally turns for Keswick Christian's football program

    Footballpreps

    The ball was placed at the 1-yard line. The clock had just over four minutes remaining. Keswick Christian led Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 22-20, but the Crusaders had to find a way to get out of their own end zone or Friday night's season opener could end the way of the school's 15 previous games. …

    “There’s a different vibe now,’’ said Keswick Christian senior wide receiver T.J. Muscarella.
  17. Captain's Corner: Tides picking up, helping bite

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Strong incoming tides the past few days have resulted in a great morning bite. With abundant medium-sized pilchards in the area, live chumming for redfish, trout, amberjack, mackerel and ladyfish on the lower stages of the tide has been a consistent pattern. Target flats that have a quick dropoff on the outer edge — typically channel edges and spoil island flats. The current moves well along these deeper troughs and can carry your chummers way down the edge, attracting fish into casting range. …

  18. U.S. Supreme Court quietly turns tide on gay marriage

    Nation

    WASHINGTON When Gregory Enke heard the news Monday morning, he woke Ariel Ulloa, his partner of eight years, and they rushed to the second floor of a drab government building in to get married in Salt Lake City. …

    The Rev. Robin Gorsline marries Nicole Pries, left, and Lindsey Oliver outside a court building Monday in Richmond, Va. Virginia was one of the five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriage in an appeal rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  19. Captain's Corner: Avoid red tide; go to north Pinellas

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Despite the threat of red tide, fishing in northern Pinellas remains very good. Bait of all sizes can be found all along the beach and almost any grass flat inside of the passes. …

  20. Kurds claim to have turned tide against Islamic State in Syrian border town

    World

    SANLIURFA, Turkey — Kurdish fighters have turned the tide against Islamic State militants in the battle for control of the Syrian border town of Kobani after two days of relentless bombardment by U.S. warplanes, Kurdish officials and activists said Wednesday. …

    Syrian Kurdish refugee children who had fled fighting in Kobani, Syria, with their families wait for lunch on the grounds of a mosque where they had found refuge at the Turkey-Syria border.

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