Friday, February 23, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors: Longtime tarpon event begins, new park service app

Making news

Tarpon event to start 79th edition Saturday

The Suncoast Tarpon Roundup, now in its 79th year and one of the oldest fishing tournaments in the United States, kicks off at 6 a.m. Saturday. If you missed the captains' meeting, go by Mastry's Bait and Tackle (1700 4th St. S, St. Petersburg) to register. Download the registration form at suncoasttarpon roundup.org. Anglers can fish until 6 p.m. July 26. The Junior Fish-off is July 27 and the Regular Division Fish-off is Aug. 3. Follow the daily standings and get tournament information online or call (727) 346-4353. Results are usually posted by 8 p.m.

State park service unveils handy app

The Florida Park Service has a new, free smartphone app that gives users on-the-go access to 171 state parks, trails and historic sites. The app has information on campgrounds, amenities, facility maps and directions. The app also allows visitors to search for a park by GPS location or by activity, such as hiking, camping, boating, birding, etc. Once at a site, advanced GPS and GIS mapping technology allows visitors to track and record trails, mark waypoints and locate friends within the park. There is even an option to cache GPS maps in advance so navigation remains possible in the event of lost mobile reception. The Pocket Ranger app is available on iTunes and Android Market by searching "Official Florida State Parks" and is identified under ParksByNature Network. It is also available on PocketRanger.com and is formatted as a mobile website: fl.pocketranger.com.

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

5/17 0 5:50 12:00 6:15

5/18 12:30 6:40 12:50 7:05

5/19 1:20 7:20 1:30 7:45

5/20 2:00 8:05 2:15 8:30

5/21 2:45 8:45 2:55 9:15

5/22 3:30 9:35 3:45 10:00

5/23 4:15 10:30 4:40 10:55

Comments

Captainís Corner: Rising temperatures fire up the bite

With no cold fronts rolling into the bay area soon, it also means water temperatures are on the rise to the mid 70s. That has the bite fired up inshore and nearshore. Snook fishing is on fire with these warmer temperatures at night. Weíve been findin...
Published: 02/22/18

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

Scuba and freediving spearfishermen and women have enjoyed great underwater visibility over the past week. Some boaters going offshore can make out the bottom structure from the gunnel of the boat. Best depths for visibility have been in 30 to 40 fee...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling...
Published: 02/18/18

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

Bait has made its way into the bay and is on nearly every marker. The problem: Bait is moving and showing up at different times daily. The time spent to get bait will pay off. Fish have been blasting pilchards. Snook and large trout have been communi...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

The first half of February has been hit or miss for inshore fishing. The consistent cold fronts and warmups seem to have the fish confused. The week ahead should be pretty good. The best bite has been midmorning into the afternoon. With temperatures ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Captainís Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish ...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/11/18

Captainís Corner: Sardines make a great bait

Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/10/18