Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors: Free fishing tourney, gag season dates, FWC agenda

Making news

free fishing Tournament for dad outing

Give dad a present he will remember this Father's Day. Sign the old man up for the 102.5 The Bone Fishing Slam on June 15. Anglers can sign up for free until Monday but after that the registration goes up to $195 per boat. This family-friendly event features more than a dozen inshore and offshore species, as well as special prizes for biggest pinfish and blue runner. The weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Madeira Beach ball fields (200 Rex Place). The captains' meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, will feature a live broadcast of the Cowhead Show. Go to oldsaltfishing.org.

Gag season set

The recreational season for gag grouper in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (starting 9 miles offshore) will open July 1 and close Dec. 3, according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The dates will apply to most state waters as well, except for four counties in north Florida that are open from April 1 through June 30.

FWC's busy agenda

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet Tuesday-Thursday in Lakeland to discuss giving tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release only status. Commissioners will also discuss new gear rules for Boca Grande Pass, and they will consider whether to reopen the snook fishery in the gulf Sept. 1.

Free fishing day

The FWC has scheduled another free fishing day, this one in freshwater, for Saturday.

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

6/7 5:05 11:10 5:20 11:30

6/8 5:45 11:50 6:00 0

6/9 6:30 12:15 6:55 12:45

6/10 7:25 1:10 7:50 1:35

6/11 8:10 2:00 8:40 2:25

6/12 9:00 2:50 9:30 3:15

6/13 9:50 3:40 10:20 4:05

Comments

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

Cold water has fishing in sort of slow motion. Middle bay temperatures (Gandy area) are holding in the 54-56 degree range. During this time of year the stalking of large snook and redfish take a back seat to finesse fishing and trying to figure out w...
Published: 01/10/18
Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

With colder weather the first big change is what bait to use. Before the cold fronts in the first week we were using greenbacks and catching a bunch of snook. With the cold weather that has hit us we are now shifting gears and using shrimp and throwi...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Captainís Corner: Winter need not interrupt fishing

The inevitable effects of wintertime fishing have finally arrived, but there are plenty of opportunities for the determined angler. Trout, both silver and specs, are cold water tolerant and among the best bets inshore. Now too is when schools of shee...
Published: 01/07/18
Updated: 01/08/18

Captainís Corner: With this cold, itís time for sheepshead

With cold air and water temperatures, nothing is hot when it comes it fishing. An eight-year recovery on snook erased by water temperatures in the 50s. January has not been kind so far. Thereís basically one solid option in times like these: sheepshe...
Published: 01/06/18
Updated: 01/07/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather shouldnít stop you from targeting trout

Dealing with cold water is nothing new for trout anglers. Most often, fish head to deeper water as they seek more stable temperatures; consequently, deep water near your favorite grass flat will often hold schools of trout until the water temperature...
Published: 01/06/18

Captainís Corner: When weather calms, spearfishermen should target amberjack

Amberjack season opened Jan. 1 and as soon as the seas calm, many anglers and spearfishermen will be heading west into the Gulf of Mexico in search of these fish. The 2017 season was dramatically short, only left open by the Marine Fisheries Council ...
Published: 01/04/18
Updated: 01/05/18