1,000-pound sharks caught on both coasts
Port Charlotte angler Bucky Dennis caught a 1,060-pound hammerhead shark more than 13 feet long Thursday in Boca Grande Pass. In 2006, Dennis caught an even larger hammerhead — a 1,282-pound world record — in the same area. Biologists with the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota later determined that the record hammerhead was carrying 55 pups. "This shark was most likely also a female," said Brent Winner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. On Wednesday, another angler caught a 1,000-pound hammerhead off Singer Island near West Palm Beach. See video of Dennis' most recent catch at blogs.tampabay.com/outdoors.
Boating deaths dropped in 2008
The state's 54 reported boating fatalities in 2008 is a 30 percent drop from the year before, according to statistics released this week by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Although boating fatalities were down in 2008, so far in 2009, 21 people have lost their lives on the state's waters," said Lt. Ed Cates of the FWC. Cates cautions boaters to slow down, stay alert and purchase an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon to aid rescuers in the event of trouble.
Check it out
• The Suncoast Kingfish Classic, also being called the Larry Hoffman Memorial after the late fishing captain and former Times correspondent, is Saturday at Gators Cafe in Treasure Island. Call (727) 367-2942 for information. • The Billy's Stone Crab restaurant Spanish mackerel tournament is Saturday in Tierra Verde. For information, call (727) 542-3900. • There is a free tarpon seminar at 6 p.m. May 14 at the Family Boating Center in Tampa. For information, call (813) 884-1395.
Terry Tomalin and Rodney Page, Times staff writers