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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. Captain's Corner: Stay cool scalloping or fishing in summer heat

    Outdoors

    One of the best ways to cool off in July and August is to go scalloping. It's like going on a giant underwater Easter egg hunt, with a bag of tasty scallops to cook up at the end of the day. The most popular places to scallop are in Homosassa in 2 feet of water on out to 12 feet, with the average depth being 3-6 feet, which is what most people dive in. I look for a sea grass bed with sand holes. You also should look for the shorter thinner grass that grows in the sand. That is where you will find them. Anyone can do this. All you need is a mask, snorkel, fins and a catch bag to put your scallops in. If you look at the tides and dive the last part of the outgoing tide and the first part of the incoming tide, you can hit those deeper spots. Some of the other ways is fishing the bay area bridges underneath in the shade such as the Gandy for snapper, big sea trout and a variety of other species. The best bait is small whitebait or shrimp rigged on a 20-pound leader with a 1/0 circle hook. Places to look for snook in the area are out on the flats, such as the south shore from Apollo Beach to Joe's Island, and from the Fort De Soto area all the way up to the upper bay. This time off the I look for snook in the pot holes on the lower tide. As the tide moves in, I go up toward the mangroves. …

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pasco officials warn of early morning floods from Anclote River

    Weather

    After massive flooding from rain in Pasco County on Friday, emergency management officials warned residents to expect more high water as the Anclote River was rising overnight and reaching high tide around 7 a.m. Saturday. …

  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: 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
  10. Captain's Corner: Thunderstorms scary but have upside for anglers

    Outdoors

    Perhaps the biggest concern for offshore anglers has been the recent thundershowers. There can be a lot of uneasiness when you find yourself running into the teeth of a dangerous storm. For that reason, many boats have remained tied safely to their moorings. When lightning strikes, you don't want to be on the receiving end. There's benefit from the rain and cloud cover; gulf water temperatures that were in the low 90s have dropped to the mid 80s. That temperature change might help provoke the fish into biting. We could also see an increase in the Spanish mackerel activity, which has been in short supply. Watch for tide lines formed where saltwater and freshwater meet. This might be especially obvious near where backwater passes exit into the gulf. The difference should be unmistakable between the darker dirty rainwater that clashes with cleaner gulf saltwater. Spanish mackerel might cruise along these lines searching for baitfish flushed out from the bays. Trolling a weaving pattern back and forth from dark water to clean water along that line might produce some mackerel. …

  11. 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
  12. Anglers wary about Red Tide

    Outdoors

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

    [Fish and Wildlife Research Institute]
  13. Captain's Corner: A slight break from heat

    Outdoors

    Several days of rain and clouds have helped to cool the warm summer waters. Usually temperatures on the flats can reach the low 90s, but lately the water has been in the mid 80s, perfect for stimulating otherwise sluggish fish to forage for food. Redfish have started to show in better numbers along the northern Pinellas coast, cruising the mangroves and nearby oyster bars for food. The higher incoming tides are cooler, especially in the early morning. Target the areas with larger schools of mullet. Sharks are plentiful this time of year and redfish tend to hide among mullet schools for protection while taking advantage of the crabs and small fish scared out of the grasses by the mullet. Focus on the edge of the mangroves when tides are at their highest, and out front a few yards on lower incoming tides. Cut-baits such as pinfish or ladyfish are easy meals for reds seeking an early meal. Always let the fish take the bait, giving them a second or two before reacting. Many fish are missed before they can get the bait completely in their mouth. Snook are still on the beaches, but the number of large female snook are less. They are near the end of their spawning period, so many will head to nearby coastal bays to lay eggs. However, there are plenty of smaller male fish still jumping on frisky greenbacks along the beaches and passes. …

  14. Captain's Corner: It's a great time for scallop diving

    Outdoors

    With inshore fishing slow due to high temperatures, scallop diving can be a great way to spend a day on (and in) the water. These tasty bivalves are open for harvest from the Pasco-Hernando County line to Bay County and in season until Sept. 24. Most scallops are found in 3 to 7 feet of water with lush grass bottom. They require a specific blend of fresh and salt water so they are usually found within a few miles of river mouths where there salinity is just right. There are well known areas of abundance just north of the Homosassa River, south of Crystal River, and off the Steinhatchee River. There are also many lesser known hot spots along the coast in between. Seasonal abundance varies greatly from year to year due to environmental and biological factors. Reports this year have ranged from great to slow. Based on a few positive reports from friends our family went to Crystal River last weekend. After diving and searching most of the day and talking to other divers we realized that few scallops were actually being caught. Dock reports, including ours, were poor but one boat caught its limit. Dive early on an incoming tide. The water is shallower and visibility better. Outgoing tides pull dark river water across the grounds making for tough snorkeling. Check popular spots but also try places where there are no boats such as deeper or further away. Lots of boats do not necessarily mean lots of scallops. Have a plan for afternoon thunderstorms. There is little shelter near the scallop grounds. …

  15. Talking points on Florida Gators at Alabama Crimson Tide

    College

    Talking Points …

  16. 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. …

  17. FSU is No. 8, Gators and Canes unranked in coaches' poll

    Gator Report

    Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll. The Seminoles, coming off of their run to the inaugural four-team playoff, are the only state team in the top 25, which was released Thursday morning. …

    Defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll.
  18. 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. …

  19. 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.  …

  20. 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.

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