Sunday, June 24, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Exercise caution on the water this holiday weekend

Making news

Exercise caution on the water

If you head out on your boat this Memorial Day weekend, watch for other boats, personal watercraft, kayaks and paddleboarders. The state's waterways will be congested, and marine law enforcement agencies will be out in force.

So far this year, 10 people have died in boating-related accidents. It is easy to get distracted in congested areas such as the Intracoastal Waterway, so post a lookout.

Law enforcement officers will be checking for boaters operating under the influence as well as making routine safety inspections. Make sure you have enough personal flotation devices on board and that they fit properly. More than 64 percent of the state's 66 boating-related deaths last year were due to drowning, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Forecasts call for good weather this weekend, but it never hurts to check the radar before heading out. File a float plan with a responsible person detailing the time and location of your departure, where you are going and what time you plan to return.

Make sure the VHF radio is in working order, and carry a cellphone as a backup if you'll be close to land.

Don't overload the boat with people or equipment (check the capacity plate), and have the proper safety equipment: flares, fire extinguisher, horn, signal mirror.

And if all this sounds strange, take a safe boating class. Since 1996, Florida law requires that anyone 21 years of age or younger who plans to operate a vessel with a motor of 10 horsepower or more take a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators-approved boating education course and carry their boating education and photo identification cards.

To get a boater education card, contact the FWC at MyFWC.com. Florida law also requires education for those who have had a criminal violation of state boating laws, a noncriminal violation of state boating laws if it involved a boating accident or two noncriminal boating safety infractions occurring within a 12-month period.

Send your news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected]

Solunar table

AM PM

minor major minor major

5/25 9:40 3:30 10:10 3:55

5/26 10:30 4:20 11:00 4:45

5/27 11:25 5:15 11:55 5:40

5/28 0 6:05 12:15 6:30

5/29 12:45 6:50 1:00 7:15

5/30 1:30 7:35 1:45 8:00

5/31 2:15 8:20 2:30 8:45

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