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  1. Red Tide linked to pelican deaths, but St. Petersburg still denies any link to sewage dumps


    ST. PETERSBURG Earlier this spring, a city-funded study concluded that dozens of pelicans found dead in January had been exposed to botulism while feasting on tilapia carcasses. …

    Dozens of pelicans turned up dead last fall in Coffee Pot Bayou and Riviera Bay. [Photo submitted by Leo McFee (October 2016)]
  2. Another defensive score sparks Tide


    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When Alabama couldn't shake Texas A&M in a battle of unbeaten Top 10 teams, it was Jonathan Allen's scoop-and-score defensive touchdown that effectively brushed aside the latest would-be challenger. What else?  …

    Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts gets out of bounds as Texas A&M defensive back Armani Watts gives chase in the second half.
  3. Worst of Red Tide seems over in Pinellas


    It has been a busy time for Treasure Island city workers, who in the past few weeks have cleaned up 40,000 pounds of dead fish on the city's beachfront. But public works director Mike Helfrich thinks — and hopes — the worst is over. …

  4. Tide LB faces gun charge


    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.
  5. Captain's Corner: Tactics for fly-fishing the tides


    A strong outgoing tide before daylight is perfect for fishing lighted docks and bridges. Snook, trout, redfish and baby tarpon feed actively on baitfish attracted to the lights by plankton, their favorite food. Match the baitfish size exactly using white fly patterns. Use a shock tippet of 30-pound fluorocarbon for snook and small tarpon. Low and negative tides are perfect for tailing redfish on very shallow flats. Either wade or pole the boat into casting distance, but remove your previous fly and shock tippet. A long 15-pound tippet with a size 4 crab pattern that matches the bottom will produce. As the tide comes in, trout and snook will join the redfish, so change to your dock light setup with a size 1 chartreuse over white Clouser minnow. It lets you cover more water; the hook pointed up avoids weeds and grass. …

  6. Captain's Corner: Despite winds, don't give up on tarpon


    Strong south winds all week have made it difficult to do much if any beach tarpon fishing let alone any other type of fishing outside of the pass. However, tarpon are still a possibility — find those deep water back bay haunts that might hold a few laid up tarpon in the early morning. Deep residential canals, canals with creeks dumping into them, dredged out marinas and harbors, deep cuts between spoil islands and big basins that attract schools of threadfins or shad are all potential tarpon spots and most of these spots are still fishable when the wind is up. These fish-holding environments have this in common: they offer deeper water than the surrounding areas. Snook fishing has been very good on the morning incoming tide and the afternoon outgoing tide. Jetties and barrier island points are holding schools of snook and the off colored water brought on by last week's strong south wind helped the bite. Live grass grunts nose-hooked and free-lined in the tide are a sure bet. Flounder and trout are along jetties and near-shore rock piles. Live pilchards fished on the bottom will work for flounder and free-lining bait closer to the surface will work for trout. …

  7. Tide unsure if backup QB is still with team


    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.  …

  8. Florida lawmakers in D.C. learn there are no easy fixes for red tide plague


    WASHINGTON — Red tide has become a vexing issue for many residents of Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee counties over the past year, but lawmakers from Florida's 29-member congressional delegation learned Wednesday that the natural phenomenon is hard to stop. …

    Red tide led to fish kills along some Pinellas beaches this past September, coming ashore on Treasure Island. Red tide is caused by algal blooms when naturally occurring red tide phytoplankton form a dense cluster and release toxins, resulting in the death of aquatic animals, as well as a foul odor, along with coughing and watery eyes among some beachgoers. It has persisted long after its normal season from late summer to early fall in the state, dotting the coasts with dead fish.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  9. Down 21, Tide rises to top Ole Miss


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


    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]
  11. Captain's Corner: Bait fry invasion shouldn't keep you off the water


    Bait fry is invading the area flats, but good bait can still be found. Sometimes locating a flat without the fry can help you score usable-sized sardines; other times you get a pile of fry mixed with a few baits that have some size. Either way, the fish will eat all of it. One way to have fun with snook if you only have fry bait is to chum with it and deploy it under a cork using an ultralight setup. The smaller fish will eat the bait, and if a big one grabs it, your angling skills will be tested. Big threadfins on the range markers make for good cut bait. Once secured, put them directly on ice to keep the meat firm. Since the water is heating up, the fish are becoming lazy and would rather ease up to a meal than chase one down. This method works great when fishing the afternoon tides. Tarpon are hanging out at area bridges and chewing well on the outgoing tides at night. Large threadfins drifted into the shadow line can prove to be curtains for the bait. Chumming can bring the fish to you. Large soft plastic baits are great for sight-casting to the ones in the light and for a quick toss at a blowup.  …

  12. Captain's Corner: Prime conditions return for tarpon fishing


    Days surrounding the new and full moons in May, June and July are traditionally the most productive for tarpon fishing. Nature cheated us out of those days during the last of these phases. High winds, rough seas and rain cooled water temperatures and pushed many tarpon offshore and to the south. Even the tarpon that stayed weren't much into chewing. Conditions have changed. Winds have subsided a bit. Rain chances are reduced, and water temperatures are rising. The next few days on the tail end of the new moon could be special. The strong afternoon — and into the dark — outgoing tide will be showcased. Crabs, shrimp and assorted baitfish will be swept from the bay and funneled through the Sunshine Skyway bridge and the passes on either side of Egmont Key. Weather permitting, there may not be a better time to get in on the action. If you're looking for something better to eat, mangrove snapper have continued to cooperate inshore and off. Spend a little extra time, if needed, to gather some 3-inch whitebait; it'll be worth your while. A chum bag will often help gang up the mangos behind your boat. Cut slivers of fresh baitfish and the morsels escaping your bag work even better. …

  13. Captain's Corner: Fish the best-moving tide


    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. …

  14. Captain's Corner: Now is the time for tarpon


    If tarpon fishing is what you wait for all year, now is the time. Good amounts of fish have made their way into our area. They are following the huge pods of threadfins that have come in from offshore. Your best bet is to fish the passes that come into the bay. Nice schools also are running the beach. Tarpon are eating live threadfins and crabs first thing in the morning and cut bait as the tide picks up. Snook are making their way to beaches and passes leading into the gulf. I am seeing good numbers piled up together getting ready for their spawn. Scaled sardines have produced the best bite on a good outgoing tide. …

  15. Captain's Corner: Windy conditions make inshore fishing better option


    Wind and low pressure have brought moisture and made this tarpon season rough, but inshore fishing offers a great alternative for those west-wind days. As of late, we have caught plenty of snook on the outer flats, redfish schools are still hanging around and trout are biting in the 4- to 6-foot range on the flats. Fishing around the stronger tides increases your chances of a good day on the water, but the best time to go fishing is whenever you can. Greenbacks are the bait of choice, but I have had good success using cut threadfin herring, especially on slower tides. Pinfish also make for a great option for both live and cut bait. As we edge toward July, I look for the bay tarpon fishing to pick up, and mangrove snapper will invade the bay and make for some of my favorite fishing of the year. It's a great time of year to catch fish in Tampa Bay, so don't wait to get out on the water to enjoy what the bay has to offer. …

    Jason Prieto
  16. Captain's Corner: Mackerel hot on moving tide


    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. …

  17. Tide keeps Aggies slumping


    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.
  18. News at Noon: Red Tide hits Pinellas; hotel a concern for MacDill's future; final farewell for Fernandez; Tropical Storm Matthew forms


    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]
  19. Remnants of Cindy expected to drench Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia (w/video)


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Forecasters expect remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy to drench parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia Friday afternoon and evening, bringing heavy rainfall, possible flash flooding and higher river and lake levels through the weekend.  …

    Wth a rising tide, strong southerly winds from Tropical Depression Cindy lash the lakefront Thursday, June 22, 2017 in Mandeville, La. [David Grunfeld | The Times-Picayune via AP]
  20. USF study: Water from deep in gulf may keep away red tide


    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.

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