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  1. Captain's Corner: Strong tides fuel night fishing in lighted areas

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Fishing lighted areas at night, especially during this week's strong tides, will be a blast. Hungry predators will shake off the winter by feeding very actively where food is plentiful and easy to catch. Redfish, trout and snook will lazily inhale plankton-feeding baitfish as the tide sweeps them into gaping mouths. …

  2. Captain's Corner: Find gamefish on grassflats

    Outdoors

    What's hot: With spring weather beginning to settle in along our west coast, many gamefish are working the grassflats on flooding tides. The late afternoon high tides will have redfish pushing up onto the flats on high water and feed heavily amongst the mangroves roots. These fish are foraging on the small crustaceans that are getting flushed out by large mullet schools working in and out of the cover. This feeding highway also is shaded by mangroves and at midday will be considerably cooler. The overhanging branches are the main obstacle when trying to catch fish out of the bushes. Openings with a canopy of limbs can make placement of baits easier. …

  3. Loss leaves Lightning full of questions

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA Now what? What does the Lightning do now? Aside from signing Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr and putting them in a time machine, that is. Ankle deep in water to start Friday, the Lightning is now waist deep in rising tides. The 2014 playoff run is about go under, over before it really even got started. …

  4. Captains corner:

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Anglers have been catching a lot of Spanish mackerel the last few weeks. Live, frisky whitebait have been hard for the fish to turn down. Chumming keeps them interested, but don't chum too much or the birds will cause problems. Redfish and snook are waiting just outside of the mouths of creeks and canals. On the falling tides the fish are gorging on baitfish riding the tide. Every cold front pushes them back, then the quick warmup fires them up. Scaled sardines are the top bait, and the same rules for chumming apply. …

  5. Captains corner: Trout, redfish activity on the rise

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Inshore, trout from 15 to 25 inches are eating at the beginning of incoming tides. The bigger fish are chasing large sardines and even threadfin herring. Small to medium pinfish are getting hit also. Redfish are schooling along mangrove shorelines during high tides. Fish the space between mangrove limbs with cut baits or live shrimp. On falling tides, focus on mullet schools moving out with the tide. Redfish have been mixing in to hide from dolphin and sharks feeding on the flats. …

  6. Advocates for motorcycle helmet laws say rising Florida deaths prove need

    Accidents

    Mandatory motorcycle helmet laws are a dead issue in Florida, despite a sharp rise in cycling deaths. Florida repealed its helmet law in 2000, and virtually no one in Tallahassee is talking about bringing it back. …

  7. Review: Shakespeare's 450th birthday marked with books of satire and science

    Books

    Huzzah and happy birthday, William Shakespeare!  …

  8. Perspective: Dear Alex Sink, don't run before 2016

    Perspective

    Dear Alex Sink, …

  9. Captain's Corner: Kingfish available

    Outdoors

    What's hot: This past weekend, kingfish, including a few 40-pounders, were caught in good numbers off St. Pete Beach. If the wind stays out of the east, there's a good chance schools will stay close to the beach. If the water gets dirty, move to 30-foot hard bottoms west of Blind Pass or the artificial reefs. …

  10. At 89, Ybor native crafts book of poetry

    Human Interest

    Mary Elizabeth "Bettie" Perez has writing in her blood. She's the granddaughter of a newspaper founder and the mother of two newspapermen (one who works for the Tampa Bay Times). Now, at age 89, she celebrates her first nationally published book of poetry. Perez spoke with Times staff writer Caitlin Johnston about the importance of listening, the concept of fresh and the changing tides in Ybor City.  …

  11. Captain's Corner: Find redfish, trout, snook in grass flats

    Outdoors

    What's hot: As warmer weather moves in, redfish, trout and snook move into shallow grass flats to hunt sardines. Cast-netting greenbacks at first light has been a chore as water temperatures have stayed on the cooler side. Shrimp are a great alternative while fishing for reds around the oyster bars and feeder creeks on high tides. Many redfish are using mangroves to find small crabs and pinfish. Work deep pockets among the trees in the shady regions. Help prevent break-offs with 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. The deeper sand pockets off the mangroves are holding 22- to 24-inch trout on flood tides. Belly hooked sardines worked slowly back to the boat work well. Suspending soft lures also work for artificial enthusiasts. …

  12. Captain's Corner: Options abound inshore

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Inshore fishing has been excellent in between cold fronts. Speckled trout have been bunched up at times as they enter their peak spawning periods. And redfish are abundant along shallow edges at low tide and oyster bars at high tide. …

  13. Unsolicited advice for Alex Sink

    The Buzz

    Dear Alex Sink, …

  14. Captain's Corner: Kings close in on beach

    Outdoors

    What's hot: Kingfish are among the best bets but it'll likely be a day or two before they are drawn back to the beach. Run-off from the rain and sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph out of the west will muddy the near-shore waters. After a normal easterly wind returns, it usually takes a couple of days to clear up. Ahead of this latest weather system, kingfish had been pushed within a mile or two of the beach, or closer. Anglers from some of our Gulf-front fishing piers have gotten in on the action. Kings have been caught in 20 feet off the Clearwater and Redington hard-bottom areas. Saturday we caught 10 kings off St. Pete Beach within a mile and a half of shore. …

  15. East Bay Fishing Report: snook, redfish, trout

    Outdoors

    Spring fling. Spring fishing has been off the hook off the mangrove shore lines around the Tampa Bay area. April is typically one of our very best months for flats fishing, and so far it has lived up to my expectations. The snook, redfish and trout fishing has been on fire. …

  16. 30 years ago: Rick Springfield's noble effort in 'Hard to Hold'

    Stuck in the '80s

    Thirty-one years ago, Hollywood gave Rick Springfield a choice: Be the big star in a thinly veiled romance flick about a pop star who tries to woo a woman he meets in an accident. Or be part of a larger cast of distinguished actors in a movie about the beginning of America's space program. Springfield choose poorly. The first movie - Hard to Hold, which turns 30 years old this week - was a bust. The second - The Right Stuff - was indeed the right stuff. …

  17. PunditFact: Fact-checking the April 6 news shows

    National

    A pair of politicians on Sunday debated gun policies on military bases in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, while a conservative pundit wanted to talk Obamacare poll numbers. …

  18. Like sea turtles, horseshoe crabs are now in danger

    Environment

    MIAMI — In matters of love, nothing says romance like a moonlit beach. Especially if you're a lusty horseshoe crab and the tide is high. …

  19. East Bay fishing report: mackerel, redfish, snook and trout

    Outdoors

    Mackerel. Over the past week, my anglers have whipped up on the Spanish mackerel. Live shrimp free-lined on a long shank hook with 40-pound leader has been the ticket. Yes, there is bait in the bay, but mackerel are not the most finicky eaters. The trick is to make a long cast and let the bait sink slowly, then create a slow drag by moving the rod tip from parallel to the water to pointing at the sky, let the rod tip fall and the tide pull the slack out, let it sink again and repeat. …

  20. Captain's Corner: Spring smorgasbord

    Outdoors

    What's hot: The full spring run of all species is in full swing. Inshore or offshore, the fishing is as good as it gets this time of year. Large redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but time on the water is the only way to effectively track the day-to-day migration of reds. I start on a low tide spot, then as the water level rises I move and follow the school until the fish are comfortable and want to stay put. …

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