Monday, June 18, 2018

Outdoors news and notes: FWC seeks more angler input, paddleboard expo for kids

Making news

State creates Online venue for Angler concerns

Do you believe there are too many closed seasons? Do you wish state officials would loosen up on the slot limit for trout? Do you believe snook should be made the official state fish? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would like to hear from you.

The FWC has set up a new online Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel, and anyone with a valid saltwater license or exempt residents age 65 and older can sign on and join the discussion, which will begin this summer.

People who register for the panel will be asked to complete one web-based survey per month for a one-year period. Each survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.

The surveys will focus primarily on recent fishing activity, but panel members also might be asked for their opinions on current or proposed regulations, licenses, conservation of fish stocks and other management issues.

The data gathered will be used to help determine the economic impact of saltwater fishing in Florida, better estimate fishing effort and catch rates, as well as gauge angler behavior. For their efforts, panelists will receive a coupon from West Marine for each monthly survey completed. To learn more, go to www.fwc


Kids can join the paddleboard craze

Stand-up paddleboards, the portable, lightweight, user-friendly watercraft, are selling faster than sea kayaks.

Originally an adult phenomenon, stand-up paddleboarding, or "SUP'n" as it is called, has attracted legions of youngsters. If you have a child age 6-16 who wants to learn about the sport, head to this weekend's SUP'n Kids Ocean Crest Experience in St. Petersburg.

The three-day event (today through Sunday), hosted by the Magnuson Hotel and Resort (6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane S) will feature paddleboard demonstrations, a beach cleanup and a kid's elite race. Cost is $25. For information, call (727) 324-7614 or go to

Send your outdoors news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected]


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

Captainís Corner: Pompano popping up at passes, along beach

Over the past few weeks, pompano have started to appear around the passes and along the beach. These tasty members of the jack family are one of the most difficult fish to find and keep track of. Just when you think youíve figured out a reliable time...
Published: 06/10/18
Updated: 06/11/18

Captainís Corner: Many fish now in their deep summer areas

Many fish have moved into their deep summer areas. This has been the pattern the past week. Snook are in their spawning areas waiting for the tide and moon to align. Iíve been leaving them alone and opting for the more steady action trout have been p...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/10/18

Captainís Corner: Pompano in the spotlight

Pompano are arriving at the locations where they will be found for the next six months. The most underutilized species in Tampa Bay, pompano are not only among the best to have for dinner, they fight great. Targeting pompano is pretty easy. You have ...
Published: 06/05/18
Updated: 06/07/18

Captainís Corner: Donít give up on tarpon just because of wind

Onshore winds have made it difficult to do much, if any, beach tarpon fishing, let alone any other fishing outside of the pass. But tarpon are still a possibility on the west winds, especially as we get further away from last weekís full moon; you ju...
Published: 06/05/18
Updated: 06/06/18

Captainís Corner: Spearfishing tales as gag grouper season opens

Gag grouper season opened Friday. For more than a month, all the spearfishermen I spoke with echoed the same stories: "Gags are everywhere. I know where to find them when the season opens up." The truth is only about half of those divers speared thei...
Published: 06/05/18