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  1. Red tide likely cause of massive fish kill on Sanibel Island


    SANIBEL ISLAND — A massive fish kill on Sanibel Island could keep beachgoers out of the water and off of the sand. The News-Press reports that beachcombers this week are finding thousands of dead fish strewn across the normally picture-perfect beach. It's likely the result of red tide. …

  2. Crimson Tide D brings the pain in romp over Bulldogs


    STARKVILLE, Miss. — It wasn't until the postgame news conference that Alabama's Nick Saban could explain why he was roaming the sideline with a prominent cut and bruise on his left cheek. Even the Crimson Tide's longtime coach couldn't avoid his team's tremendous pass rush.  …

  3. Tide returns 3 INTs for TDs to rout Aggies


    COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Alabama kept scoring on passes — all thrown by Texas A&M. Crimson Tide quarterback Jake Coker was fine with that. "Three touchdowns defensively is hard to beat," he said. "I will take that any day."  …

    Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson takes off on a 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first half.
  4. Tide rolls all over Dawgs again


    ATHENS, Ga. — With its season in the balance, Alabama had quite a response Saturday. The Crimson Tide is still a force in the national race.  …

    Alabama’s Derrick Henry, who finishes with 148 yards rushing, takes off for a 30-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter against Georgia.
  5. Willie Taggart's USF Bulls need to turn tide


    TAMPA — October has barely dawned, yet the downward spirals seem to be outnumbering the downfield ones for USF. …

    “I could’ve done some things better for them to help them in that game,” USF coach Willie Taggart said of Friday’s defeat.
  6. Captain's Corner: Predawn low tides bring success


    Predawn low tides are the focus this week due partly to the cooler water temperature first thing in the morning. Also playing a big role is the massive amount of baitfish in the area. Juvenile threadfin herring and Spanish sardines are thick throughout the Intracoastal. During low tide, these baits are pressed along the outer edges of the grass flats where redfish, snook, trout, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and jacks are able to cash in on the buffet. Fan cast top-water plugs until the fish stop responding, then switch to small subsurface twitch baits or spoons to prolong the action. Live baiters will find it easy to fill live wells with these small baits along bridge shadow lines before sunrise. Be careful to avoid overcrowding the well with these fickle baits. A 12-volt recirculating pump that infuses oxygen helps keep threadfins alive; it costs about $40 and can be found at most tackle shops. Fish are in a better feeding mood when the water is 85 degrees than when the tide comes in and the shallows begin to virtually boil. End an inshore fishing trip when there's more than 2 feet of water on the flats and it's later than 11 a.m. The fish are in no mood to eat at that time. …

  7. Alabama Racing turns tide at Derby Lane


    ST. PETERSBURG — Just when Alabama Racing kennel gets on a bit of a roll, the telephone rings. Kennel owner Patty Byers is aware of who might be calling — someone requesting to move one of her successful greyhounds from Derby Lane to another track that offers higher purses. "Money talks," she said. …

  8. Captain's Corner: Fishing when it gets windy


    Blustery conditions are typical this time of year. The past next few days have been windy, allowing anglers to start shopping for the holiday season without missing out on great fishing. It has been a bit tough on hard-core fishermen or anyone seeking a deviation from turkey and/or planning a sea creature as an alternative for a traditional holiday meal. Strong cold fronts are a game-changer and an inevitable fact of early winter. Baitfish and other species are difficult to find after drastic weather changes in the winter. Reds are still on the flats. With stout winds, especially from the north, the bay can change dramatically. Check the tide chart before heading to an area with shallow water, even on summer tides. On extreme low tides, redfish have been bunching together in the "skinny" water. Finding potholes or depressions on the flats can be a potential scaly copper delight. It's difficult navigating the extreme shallows with conventional bay-style boats, therefore using kayaks or canoe-type crafts can be beneficial. A stealth approach can lead to numerous catches. The smaller crafts are ideal for feeder creeks and residential canals. Canals and tributaries to the bay can be fished even on gnarly, windy days. …

  9. College football playoff rankings: Florida Gators fall four spots, FSU up one

    Gator Report

    Florida's overtime win over Florida Atlantic cost the Gators in the college football playoff committee's eyes. UF dropped four spots to No. 12 in the latest committee rankings, which were released Tuesday night. …

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


    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. …

  11. Captain's Corner: As winds die down, fishing picks up


    The wind has been keeping people off the water the past few days. With any luck we'll see wind speeds relax a bit by the weekend, allowing for what's typically pretty reliable fishing around the Thanksgiving holiday. Water temperatures have been plummeting thanks to a couple of 50-degree nights earlier this week. Sub-70 degrees water temperatures won't send the baitfish to deeper waters yet, but it might take only one more substantial cold front for that to happen. Live shrimp will become the mainstay in the weeks to come for most inshore anglers. Mix in a few live pinfish and/or some freshly caught ladyfish and it will begin to feel a lot like winter fishing is here. Redfish numbers have been good this fall throughout the Intracoastal and Tampa Bay waters. Look for areas of prespawn mullet to be an attractant for the redfish. Spoil islands and no-motor zone flats are places to check, but don't leave out the docks. Finding an active canal can yield redfish, sheepshead and black drum. Trout fishing has been good recently and should only get better as temperatures drop. Targeting the negative tides has been best. Working the dropoffs with live bait or artificials gives you a chance at all predators, including big trout roaming the shallows. And now is the time to start checking spoil island holding spots on the middle part of the incoming tide — the islands have been producing trout, pompano and mackerel recently. …

  12. Captain's Corner: Redfish still plentiful inshore


    Redfish continue to be the top inshore species. Low tides in the fall have redfish holding on the edges of flats, waiting for the tide to flood. I have located three to four schools in the Pinellas Point area that I can target on a daily basis. I have been starting a little later in the morning, so I can locate the school before spooking them. The angle of the morning sun is so low that it makes it difficult to locate the school so take extreme caution in approaching the area. Low tides with clear water have redfish very wary. Once they're spooked, they're hard to get to take any bait. If I don't see any fish, or I end up spooking them, I move on to the next area where I think the next school may be. When the tide level floods enough to fill the flats, I move into the usual areas on the flats to find schools. Deep grass flats in the ranges of 4-5 feet also have been holding big numbers of redfish. Locate fish by constantly working the area. The south county area receives a heavy amount of pressure on redfish schools, which have these schools resorting to deeper water. The unseasonably warm weather this fall has allowed me to catch scaled sardines with ease. I start before sunrise and throw my quarter-inch cast net underneath the brightest streetlights on a bridge. The small mesh net prevents smaller baits from getting caught. If I don't get enough bait, I move to the next light. …

  13. Captain's Corner: November's end is not end to hot fishing


    November's end is near and the so-called winter­time fishing in the bay area is in full swing and on fire. But you can still catch plenty of redfish, trout, jacks, ladyfish and a lot of snook at the end November. How crazy is that? Winter offers great fishing action for kids and adults. It's one of my favorite times because you have so many options. Trout are all over every grass flat in 2-6 feet of water. It's better to fish high tide on the grass flats and low tide inside the creeks and channels. The best baits: whitebait, live shrimp free-lined or under a cork, or artificials such as paddle or curly tails in a natural color on a jighead from a 1/32-ounce to a quarter-ounce, depending on the depth. A slow retrieval with an occasional twitch produces the most hits. Redfish schools are still around the flats in 1-2 feet. When the water drops out, reds will move into the deeper potholes. I like to target redfish along the grass edges, potholes or oyster bars using shrimp, artificials or a fly. Even with the warmer weather, snook are in their winter haunts such as creeks and rivers. But the bite is still strong. It doesn't matter if you're fishing Little Manatee River or Weedon Island, the bite is on, though later in the day, after the water has warmed. …

  14. Captain's Corner: Start of great flounder fishing


    The end of November marks the start of great flounder fishing. Large flounder move out to the artificial reefs about 5 miles from shore. The best bait to use is small whitebait. Rig the weight 3 inches from the hook. Cast over the sand that's closest to the hard bottom. Drag it slowly along the bottom while lifting the rod tip every few cranks of the reel. Fan cast the area until you catch a flounder. Recasting in the area increases your chances of multiple hookups. Most flounder will be in the 15- to 22-inch range. As we move into December, anglers and divers will weed out the larger fish. You might want to target the flounder now to get a shot at the larger ones. Redfish have been moving into the deeper holes during low tide. You won't see the reds, so chum the hole with live whitebait. The reds will strike the chum and give away their location. When you don't get any surface strikes, it's time to move to the next hole. The most productive holes will be on the dropoff next to the flats. Bait has been thick in the lower parts of Tampa Bay. Bird activity around the piers and bridges will give away the location of the bait schools. When your net is so full of bait it's hard to lift into the boat, dump half the bait out before putting it into the well. Lifting a full net of bait into the well will crush most of the baits and make them poor to use for fishing. …

  15. Tide silences skeptics in rout


    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.
  16. Captain's Corner: Take advantage of stellar fishing weather


    Success this time of year is dependent on adapting to the weather. We're great fishing inshore and nearshore. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel have been outstanding the past few weeks. East winds have allowed us to fish 2-6 miles out. Look for birds attacking bait pods forced to the surface by marauding fish. Trolling live sardines or hardware will result in several hookups on Spanish and king mackerel. Setting on anchor and chumming over rock piles of artificial reefs will draw mackerel and mangrove snapper. Inshore species such as snook and redfish have been responding in areas usually targeted in warmer months. Snook have remained around the passes and yet in transition also, staging along the creek mouths near the backcountry. Redfish are eating cut bait cast near oyster bars and mangrove shorelines on higher tides. However, as temperatures begin to dip and winds increase behind fronts, offshore fish often get pushed deeper and southward. Inshore species will move to seawalls, canals, bays and other structures that offer protection. …

  17. 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. Senior Writer Aaron Suttles writes about the expanded role for freshman CB Tony Brown in the Gators' game. …

  18. Captain's Corner: Extreme tides


    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. …

  19. Miami Beach vs. King Tide


    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. …

  20. Rising economic tide lifts MarineMax, boating industry


    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. …

    Clearwater’s MarineMax, the nation’s largest boat retailer, has ridden out the Great Recession. Sales are up 45 percent.

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