Monday, August 20, 2018
Outdoors

No age limits on kayaking: Meet some women who 'ditch the pills, grab a paddle'

One Mother's Day, Mary Meyers' kids rushed upstairs, yelling, "Mom! Mom! There's something in your pool!" What she found was a yellow kayak — a surprise gift from her kids. "I jumped in it and I haven't been out since," said Meyers, a Treasure Island resident.

That was 12 years ago, when Meyers was 71. Today at age 83, she goes to the YMCA twice a week, enjoys beer and baseball games and doesn't take any medication — not one single pill.

In November, she and a half-dozen girlfriends — with an average age of about 79; one is 88 — got together to kayak four central Florida rivers in four days. Based at a cabin in Dunnellon, they paddled some of Florida's prettiest rivers, including the Weeki Wachee, Santa Fe, Withlacoochee and Rainbow.

Meyers met two of the paddlers on Elderhostel trips that took them paddling from the straits of San Juan de Fuca to the Bay of Fundy. "We inspire each other," she said. "There's so much talent among this group."

There is also loss. They've lost husbands. A child. A grandchild. And they've found each other. "We've all had our tragedies in our lives," said Meyers, who lost her husband in 2003. "We find solace in the river."

She met Tampa Bay Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin a few times. He told her he wanted to do a story on Mary's group. But he passed away last spring. "He was an inspiration to us," said Meyers. "Hopefully we'll continue to do what he wanted us to do to preserve the outdoors."

Her advice to seniors who are hesitant to get outdoors and try the same adventure? "Get rid of your pills, get rid of your pillows, and get yourself a paddle!"

     
                         
Comments

Captainís Corner: New moon has better grouper fishing farther offshore

Grouper fishing inside 160 feet continues to be a challenge due to the proximity of the new moon. This moon phase has the currents offshore moving at a pace that would rival a small river. Look for the bite to improve as we move away from this phase....
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Snook numbers dwindling as spawn season nears its end

Luckily, we havenít had any signs of Red Tide in North Pinellas, so fishing last week was full of action, as long as we were in an area with moving water. Snook are still staging along the points near the passes, however, the numbers are dwindling as...
Published: 08/18/18
Updated: 08/19/18

Captainís Corner: With Red Tide, a big decline in fish

This past mid-week we were scouting for the St. Pete Open spearing tournament, which was held Saturday (more at stpeteopen.com/). We ran directly west of Venice to see if the Red Tide had made its way from the shoreline to 50 miles or more from shore...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Captainís Corner: Variety of baits gives you options

Tossing a quarter-inch mesh net will fill your well with bait ranging from snapper bait all the way up to slab-sized redfish baits. Having a variety of bait opens up options. Snapper have been just about anywhere there is some kind of structure. Taki...
Published: 08/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing is still hot even as Red Tide looms

As of now, Pinellas and all of Tampa Bay are still being spared of Red Tide. It has been sitting in Manatee County for a while and has yet to push further north. I am on the water almost every day. Bait has been easy to get, and fishing continues to ...
Published: 08/15/18

Captainís Corner: Mangrove snapper on fly

Mangrove (gray) snapper are often encountered while drifting the flats this time of year as they school in preparation for spawning later. When using a typical 8 or 9 weight fly rod with size 1 or 1/0 baitfish type flies while targeting redfish and t...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cast net skills come in handy

Threadfin herring and scaled sardines can be found up and down our Suncoast with ease. Most bait is on the smaller side, so have a quarter-inch mess cast net to prevent the smaller baits from getting stuck in the net. Spanish mackerel, kingfish, cobi...
Published: 08/11/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Captainís Corner: Head offshore to target mangrove snapper

Inshore fishing can slow in the late summer as afternoon water temperatures climb near 90. Many shallow-water fish are lethargic and reluctant to bite, so we run all of our trips offshore. Clean, blue water and a wider variety of fishing options are ...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/11/18
Captainís Corner: Summertime is running out, but tarpon are still strong

Captainís Corner: Summertime is running out, but tarpon are still strong

As we wind down into the last part of summer, most of us get focused on getting the kids back to school. While it can be a bit overwhelming as life just seems to be too busy, keep in mind that downtime on the water is important, and fishing this mont...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time for snook and trout

Snook and trout have been at the top of the list this past week. Early starts have been the key for fooling the better snook, while the trout seem willing to bite for a few hours after sun-up. The pre-dawn snook bite has been solid lately. Target are...
Published: 08/06/18