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  1. Captain's Corner: Trout fishing picking up

    Outdoors

    Trout fishing has picked up over the past week. Fish are beginning to stack on edges all over north Pinellas County. Grass flats that fall off into waters of 4 to 8 feet combined with moving tides have held all sizes of trout. Free lining sardines has worked best in the deeper parts. On the flats' shallow edge, use a float with enough leader to keep the bait out of the grass. Chumming some baits usually exposes the hungry trout popping the baits on the surface. Quickly cast in the boils' direction and wait for a hookup. Spanish mackerel and ladyfish have also inhabited these areas. Even small tarpon are roaming these edges, testing light-tackle anglers. Red fishing has been best on higher tides. We are still finding small groups of fish concentrated in mangroves with depth under the limbs. Cut pinfish skipped into the spaces has worked well. Snook are also moving out to the beaches. Troughs and swashes along the shoreline are the best areas to target. Sardines and grunts have been getting hammered. …

  2. St. Petersburg budget sessions start familiar balancing act

    Localgovernment

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's budget season in a booming city. That means politicians and city budget officials have stepped up on the fiscal balance beam. …

  3. Captain's Corner: Fish arriving ahead of schedule

    Outdoors

    Everything continues to happen a month ahead of schedule. Tarpon have shown up everywhere the past two weeks. They are at Egmont, the Sunshine Skyway and throughout Tampa Bay. Big pods of threadfins have moved in, and the tarpon are following. Cut bait and live bait have been successful. The cold front is a welcomed surprise. The water has been too hot too soon. I have seen water temperatures as high as 86. The cold front should bring them back down to where they should be this time of year, below 80. Snook have started their transition out of the backcountry onto the flats and beaches. They're holding tight to the shoreline on high water and move out to the flats as the tide falls. The best and most consistent redfish bite has been on low tide. Look for them to run the sandbars with the mullet. Fish them with live bait under a cork. …

    Mike Gore
  4. Captain's Corner: Cold front stirs things up

    Outdoors

    This month starts off cool and dry. After a week of humid warm temperatures, a cold front has passed through the area, bringing anglers a refreshing new outlook on things. This will eventually be good for the fishing. Waters have been stirred up tremendously from the wind and rain. This often shuffles the deck for many spring migrations. Anglers fishing this weekend could be in for pleasant surprises at different locations. Fish that were caught in one spot last week, might be 100 miles away. Until water clears up a bit, many species will be scattered for days. Some of our best cobia action occurs immediately after this type of weather change. Expect a visit at any time from these pelagic fish. They are quite curious and will be tempted to investigate any large object in the gulf, especially a boat, during these dirty water times. Sharks are normally aggressive during this time, since the muddy water provides camouflage for them. The location of kingfish will be affected after this front. They often scatter for a few days after such an intense weather change. Tampa Bay will reward some anglers with smokers this weekend. Certain tidal flows will often clean parts of the bay more quickly than the gulf. Normally an outgoing tide cleans it more quickly, since the bay waters have land protecting it from the strong northerly winds. The deeper gulf waters will be cleaner. Out to the 30-mile depths could also be slightly discolored. The kings will be hunting for a food source, so watch for bait schools. That should be the key to hunting large mackerel in the gulf. Monitor your sonar as you troll since most bait will hover along the bottom. …

  5. Bob Buckhorn names Eric Ward Tampa's next police chief (w/video)

    Publicsafety

    TAMPA — At a time when police relationships with the black community are driving a national conversation, Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Thursday made Eric Ward, an African-American and east Tampa native, the city's next police chief. …

    Assistant Chief Eric Ward visits a first grade class at Henry Grady Elementary for a Great American Teach-In event. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times(2014)]
  6. Guy Daines, Pinellas County's 'godfather of emergency management' for hurricanes, dies

    Obituaries

    TARPON SPRINGS — In the nearly 30 years since Hurricane Elena traumatized Pinellas County over a Labor Day weekend, no storm has hit this area harder. …

    Guy Daines completed a 20-year career in the Army.
  7. 2015 NFL draft position analysis: Defensive backs

    Bucs

    Who the Bucs have Alterraun Verner (right), CB (5-10, 187): Led Bucs DBs with 76 tackles last year, looking to get back to high-INT totals in second year in Tampa Bay this fall. …

    Alterraun Verner led Bucs DBs with 76 tackles last year. [BRENDAN FITTERER | Times]
  8. Trigaux: Amid falling demand and disease, Florida orange crop hunts for fix

    Agriculture

    Neither new ad campaigns nor the muscular redesign of cartoon superhero Captain Citrus have yet to turn the tide on dipping retail sales of U.S. orange juice. Blame rising drink competition, changing public tastes and stiffer OJ prices. …

    Numbers released Monday show retail orange juice sales, in the four weeks ended April 11, fell 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago. U.S. consumers bought 38.7 million gallons of juice in those four weeks, compared with 41 million gallons in the year-earlier period, say Nielsen data published by the Florida Department of Citrus. [iStockphoto.com]
  9. Captain's Corner: West winds a factor with tarpon rolling in

    Outdoors

    Just as thoughts begin to turn to the silver king (tarpon) migration, west winds become a factor yet again. Plagued by this pattern the past couple of seasons, we can only hope that we'll be back to an offshore wind-flow soon. Just before the wind change there were a few pods of tarpon moving south along the beach. However, you will be limited to fishing the bridges the next few days if you're looking to jump a tarpon. Overall, that's not a bad plan as the Sunshine Skyway bridge is holding plenty of fish as well as a few fish holding at the smaller pass bridges. Free-line ladyfish along the shadow line at night or work crabs and threadfins in current seams during the day. Inshore fishing has been a struggle this past week as patterns are changing. Snook have continued their migration from backwaters to the beach. Many fish are now staged up at pass bridges, jetties and Barrier Island shoals. Grass grunts, ladyfish and pinfish will be the hot baits for these big prespawn fish. Sea trout are by far the hottest inshore fish now. Typical deep-grass spots with clean moving water are loaded with trout ranging in sizes from 13-17 inches. Target outer edge dropoffs at the lower tidal stages for the larger trout. Free-lining live pilchards with a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader, in case a big snook comes by, has been working well as long as the tide is moving. Collecting pilchards has been fairly consistent by chumming the grass flats just inside of the passes in the predawn hour. A combination of tropical fish food, which can be purchased at a feed store, and a can of jack mackerel mixed with water works great for chum. …

  10. Triathlete conquers fear of water to 'complete,' not compete in St. Anthony's race (w/video)

    Humaninterest

    ST. PETE BEACH As soon as she hits the water at the St. Anthony's Triathlon Sprint on Sunday, Davenia Navaroli will pray. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. …

    Davenia Navaroli walks into the Gulf of Mexico from Pass-a-Grille during her open water swim training with the St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The 63-year-old Seminole resident was fearful of swimming her whole life. She learned to swim five years ago, fell in love with it, and has since done several triathlons. She finished a full St. Anthony?s in 2013, followed by the shorter sprint last year. Before that, she started with the basic Meek and Mighty races.
  11. When Bucs blew it by drafting Bo Jackson

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs were on the clock, picking No. 1 overall after a disappointing 2-14 season and looking hard at the confident, talented Heisman winner from Bessemer, Ala., who was also a gifted baseball prospect. …

    New York, April 29---Number One Choice--Tampa Bay Buccaneers scout Pat Kirwin holds up card indication his team's choice for the first player taken in the 1986 NFL draft of college players is Auburn running back Bo Jackson during the draft Tuesday in New York. 1986

Kirwin Pat - T.B. Bucs - 1986, APR 30 1986
  12. Comcast said to end $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable

    Corporate

    Comcast is planning to abandon its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable after the deal encountered intense regulatory scrutiny over whether it was anti-competitive and in the public interest, people briefed on the matter said Thursday. …

    According to reports on Thursday, Comcast is ending its $45 billion dollar bid to takeover Time Warner Cable.
  13. A structured approach to catching snook

    Outdoors

    TAMPA  …

    Left to Right:  Times Outdoor Editor Terry Tomalin and fishing guide Capt. Tim Whitfield, Wesley Chapel, fish in the waters of Tampa Bay near structure and docks, 4/14/2015, looking to catch redfish, snook and trout. SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES

  14. Clintons' wealth, charity linked, analysis finds

    News

    Nation Clintons' wealth, charity linked, analysis finds …

    Associated Press
  15. Captain's Corner: If it's May, it's tarpon time

    Outdoors

    With water temperatures in the low 80s, May will bring in great inshore fishing. Tarpon binging tops the list for May and June. Tarpon are a migratory fish that move into the area this time of year. They typically run along our beaches, passes and bridges. It's not uncommon to see them a few feet to 500 yards off the beach. At day's first light, you can see them rolling on the surface and gulping oxygen as they move down the beach. Site-casting on the beaches is my favorite type of tarpon fishing. I like to cast live, hand-sized threadfins unless I'm fishing the hill tides when the crabs are flowing. In that case, I like to cast a live crab. Tarpon is a fish of a lifetime to catch. If you've never hung into a cobia, it's great to catch and good table fair. Cobia can act dumb, but starting in May we find them doing circles around markers, buoys, poles, around the shipping channel and bridges. They hang around big rays and manatees, which kick stuff off the bottom, flushing baits to waiting cobia. A big pinfish and a small crab are great bait. Many say our area is the shark capital of the world this time of year. Whether you're fighting a small black tip shark or a big bull, you're in for the fight of your life. …

  16. Lightning players lose their way on the road

    Lightning

    DETROIT Joe Louis Arena was dark save for the lights on all the cellphone screens. Opening faceoff of Game 3 of these Stanley Cup playoffs between the Lightning and Red Wings was still a few minutes away when the chant began. "Let's Go Red Wings … Let's Go Red Wings … LET'S GO RED WINGS." …

    Center Riley Sheahan (15) is mobbed by Red Wings after scoring a power-play goal in the third period to put his team up 2-0.
  17. Captain's Corner: Greenbacks entice snook

    Outdoors

    Success lately has depended on having the right bait for the fish you are targeting. Snook have been starting to show inside the passes and along some of the spoil islands in St. Joseph Sound. Frisky greenbacks have been getting looked at by snook more than any other offering. Netting bait in the early dawn hours is best. Once the well is filled, look for areas with current and a cut or trough to find snook and even large trout staging in the tide, waiting to ambush baits flowing downstream. Casting uptide and allowing the bait to drift naturally is the key to getting a strike. Snook are especially leery of baits locked in the current and not moving in a natural manner. The middle part of incoming tides has seen the most action with snook. Redfish have been eating well on high tides. Pinfish seem to be their bait of choice. Look for mangrove overhangs choked with mullet. Redfish are usually close by, ambushing baits pushed around by the mullet schools. At the highest part of the tide, skipping a pinfish a few feet under the branches will give you the best chance of a redfish slamming your bait. To prevent breakoffs, keep the rod tip low until the fighting fish has cleared the mangroves. …

  18. Lightning rolls over Wings, evens series at 1 (with video)

    Lightning

    TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos wouldn't go as far as to call Saturday a "must-win" game. But you could tell from the start of Tampa Bay's 5-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 2 how much the Lightning felt it needed this one, tying the best-of-seven first-round playoff series at 1. …

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) goes flyer while colliding with Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65) along the boards during first period action in game two of the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday afternoon (04/18/15).
  19. Captain's Corner: It's a great time to target snook

    Outdoors

    Snook are still center stage around the middle part of the bay. The prime fishing occurs during the periods of maximum tidal flow. That is usually the middle part of the tide. I have been planning my snook fishing around these peak movements and have caught snook to 35 inches. Redfish are roaming the briny molted bottom flats with gin clear water. They hide in the dark grass and ambush a live pinfish under a float. Mullet are key to catching the redfish. They hang out with the happy mullet and eat the spooked offerings of their tail swoosh when they jump. To round out the slam with the trout look on the deep edges of grass flats. They are holding on the edge laying in wait for a scaled sardine. Spanish mackerel are pushing up into the middle part of the bay. …

    Tim Whitfield
  20. Even at home, Jameis Winston creates friction

    Bucs

    HUEYTOWN, Ala.  …

    Jameis Winston's senior portrait at Hueytown High. Matt Baker, Times staff

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