Friday, May 25, 2018

2015 outdoorsman's holiday gift guide

The next best thing to buying a new boat is shopping for all the gear and gadgets you'll use on the water. I can spend hours in a boating supply super store such as West Marine making lists of things I've just got to have. But I'll save you a little time and trouble and share a few things that caught my eye this Christmas season.

ACR AQUALINK VIEW PLB 2884: A must have for every boater, kayaker, paddleboarder and angler. Capable of transmitting a distress signal for up to 35 hours, this lifesaver will fix a position within 100 meters. The digital display is crisp. List price: $419.99, but if you buy it before the end of the year, you can take advantage of a $100 rebate.

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GARMIN 78SC GPS: This handheld GPS comes complete with U.S. and Bahamian coastal charts showing low tide depths, a must for boaters. You can also get your compass bearings and share wirelessly with compatible device users. Land maps available at extra charge. List price: $249.99

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PENN BATTLE II SALTWATER COMBOS: These light action rod & reel combos are great starter packages for inshore fishermen. Prices start at $109.99

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BLACKTIP FIVE-PIECE KNIFE SET WITH SHARPENER & CARRYING CASE: After you catch 'em you have to got clean 'em. With these Titanium bond knives you can cut bait, bone your catch and filet your meal all in one set. List price: $49.99

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YETI RAMBLER TUMBLER COLLECTION: Can't go wrong with anything from Yeti. For everything from coffee to cocktails, it will keep temperatures twice as long as other tumblers. Kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel. Starting at $24.99

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BOOMBOTTLE WEATHERPROOF WIRELESS SPEAKER: A day on the water is always more fun with tunes. This 3 watt 40 mm speaker and passive subwoofer wirelessly sends music in all directions. Works with all Bluetooth streaming audio devices and others using a 3.5 mm aux cable. Price: $49.99

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WEST MARINE SPOTLIGHT WATERPROOF 550 LUMEN: A good light on the water goes a long way. This rechargeable beam will travel 1,870 feet. The Lithium battery (included) lasts up to 7 hours on low, 5 hours on high. Price: $69.99.

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WEST MARINE INSHORE AUTOMATIC/MANUAL INFLATABLE LIFE VEST: With this comfortable vest, there is no excuse not to wear a personal floatation device. Fits chest size 30 inches to 52 inches. But be forewarned — it must be worn to count as PFD inventory on a boat. Price: $109.99

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WEST MARINE TRADITIONAL ANCHOR & ROAD PACKAGES: If you haven't lost an anchor, you just aren't boating enough. Even if you have an anchor, you can always use another. Includes anchor, chain, line, thimble & shackles. Prices start at $109.99

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Terry Tomalin can be reached at (727) 893-8808 or email [email protected]

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

The outgoing tides of last weekendís new moon washed thousands of small swimmer crabs, known locally as "pass crabs," out of the estuaries and into the gulf. This suddenly abundant food source offshore works as a natural chum line and draws big permi...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Speckled trout are our most prevalent species around the bay area. They spawn year-round, so their numbers are sustained. They are a flourishing species. For sport, trout are easier to catch than almost everything else we have in the Gulf of Mexico. ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Captainís Corner: With full moon, tarpon are on the move

With the full moon this next week tarpon are moving down the beaches and making their way out of the bay and moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to go out and spawn on the full moon. Early in the morning along t...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Captainís Corner: Cloudier water improves the bite

Windy conditions this week have actually slightly improved fishing. The waters of Saint Joseph sound had become so clear that it made finding fish easy, but getting bites very difficult. Snook have been gathering in great numbers all along the beache...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18