Thursday, February 22, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Center for Fishing hosts photo contest

Making news

Center for Fishing seeks great photos

The Florida Gulf Coast Center for Fishing and Interactive Museum is hosting a contest that will award prizes for "Best Historic Fishing Photo" and "Best Current Fishing Photo."

The Largo-based museum is housed in a 30,000-square-foot educational complex complete with an auditorium, classrooms, historical and marine art galleries, and an interactive fishing simulator area.

Contest submissions can be high-resolution digital or photo-paper copies. Participants should include their name, address, telephone number and a description (who, when, where, etc.). Photos can be sent via email to [email protected] or by mail or hand delivery to FGCCFF Photo Contest, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, FL 33778. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Sept. 11. All submissions will be retained by FGCCFF. Selected submissions may be viewed during the grand opening events Sept. 14-16.

Awards will include a lifetime membership to the Center for Fishing for the best photo in each category. The top 10 finalists will receive an annual membership. For more information, contact Jim Simons at [email protected]

FWC magazine free and online

Florida Wildlife, an official publication of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and one of the oldest and most prestigious outdoors magazines, is now free and online. The magazine, which has been published for more than 70 years, covers freshwater and saltwater fishing on both coasts. Check it out at floridawildlifemagazine.com.

Free fishing day

State officials have scheduled a free saltwater fishing day for Sept. 1. Anglers fishing bodies of saltwater won't need a license that day.

Tournaments

Conservation group hosts event

The Tampa chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, one of the oldest and most active fishing organizations in Florida, will host the 28th annual All-Photo Catch and Release Challenge on Sept. 28-29. Entrants receive tackle, a tournament shirt and an annual CCA membership for the $100 entry fee. This year's event will target trout, redfish and snook. Tournament headquarters will be located at Tampa Bay Watch (3000 Pinellas Bay Way South) in Tierra Verde. Registration forms are available at TA Mahoney Co. Inc. (4990 East Adamo Drive, Tampa) or at ccaflorida.org on the Tampa chapter page.

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Solunar chart

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8/24 0 5:55 12:05 6:25

8/25 12:45 6:50 1:00 7:20

8/26 1:35 7:45 1:55 8:15

8/27 2:30 8:40 2:50 9:05

8/28 3:20 9:30 3:40 9:55

8/29 4:10 10:20 4:30 10:45

8/30 5:00 11:05 5:15 11:30

Comments

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

Captainís Corner: Fishing conditions have started to improve

The waters are still a bit cooler than the kind a bunch of fish like to aggressively chew in. Fishing conditions, however, have slowly but surely begun to improve. On a recon mission Tuesday, I visited both Sunshine Skyway bridge fishing piers and th...
Published: 02/08/18