Monday, June 25, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Annual scallop hunt nears

Making news

Volunteers needed for Scallop count

Tampa Bay once had a thriving bay scallop fishery. However, years of habitat destruction and unregulated pollution nearly wiped out the scallop population in local waters. But thanks to strict water-quality regulations and the efforts of nonprofit groups such as Tampa Bay Watch, scallops are making a comeback.

Water sports enthusiasts can still help this bivalve by turning out for the annual Great Bay Scallop Search on Aug. 18. Volunteer boaters and snorkelers are needed to scour select areas within Boca Ciega and lower Tampa Bay for scallops.

Since 1993, hundreds of volunteers have helped count scallops every August, and the data gathered may some day lead to the reopening of recreational scalloping in local waters. Tampa Bay Watch hopes to get 45 volunteer boaters and more than 180 snorkelers to participate this year.

Many factors, including red tide, rainfall and tropical storms, play a role in the health of the scallop population. In 2009, volunteers counted a high of 674 scallops. But the number fell to 32 in 2010 and five in 2011.

To participate in the search, register at tampabaywatch.org.

Gun, knife show this weekend

The Hernando Sportsman's Club is sponsoring its annual summer gun and knife show at the Hernando County Fairgrounds (6436 Broad St., Brooksville) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6, though children 16 and under are admitted free with an adult. For information, call (352) 799-3605 or go to hernando sportsmansclub.com.

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Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

8/17 5:45 11:50 6:00 0

8/18 6:30 12:15 6:50 12:40

8/19 7:25 1:10 7:50 1:35

8/20 8:15 2:05 8:45 2:30

8/21 9:10 3:00 9:40 3:25

8/22 10:05 3:55 10:45 4:30

8/23 11:10 5:00 11:40 5:25

Comments

Captainís Corner: Cool off, bring home a tasty dinner with scalloping

Whatís the best way to cool off in July and August? Go scalloping. Itís like going on an underwater Easter egg hunt that results in a bag of tasty scallops to cook up. The most popular places to scallop are in Homosassa and Steinhatchee in 2 feet of ...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Captainís Corner: Size of sea trout a welcome surprise in Pinellas grass beds

A nice surprise has been the quality size of the spotted sea trout on deeper grass beds in southern Pinellas. Typically, summertime trout tend to run smaller than the 16- to 20-inch trout weíve been finding. Fishing the deep grass with scattered sand...
Published: 06/21/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing will be strong for awhile

June and July offer some of the yearís best offshore fishing. Targets such as red snapper, blackfin tuna, mahi≠mahi, wahoo and sailfish make their way through our area and make appearances on many trips to depths of 120 feet or more. Red snapper are ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time to focus on snook

Snook have been a main focus on my most recent trips. This time of year, snook inhabit the beaches, gathering in the ditches and swashes along shore. Jetties or rock structures are also a favorite habitat for snook to lurk, looking to ambush bait fis...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Published: 06/18/18

Captainís Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best Iíve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flatsí deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing this month is all about diversity

This is the month of diverse opportunity. The choice of species is unlimited, as long as you have the bait. You can target snook and tarpon in the morning, then fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, sharks and cobia in the afternoon. The tarp...
Published: 06/15/18

Captainís Corner: When itís tarpon time, itís also shark time

Tarpon get most of the attention when talking about exciting fly action for large fish in our area. Baitfish are more prolific, and large tarpon follow their forage and populate most of our local waters. Following them are fish that consider tarpon t...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Captainís Corner: This is your best time for tarpon fishing

Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the stateís west coast. This weekís strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Captainís Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile st...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18