Wednesday, April 25, 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: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

Captainís Corner: Warming weather brings permit to wrecks, ledges

As water temperatures continue to climb, more and more permit are showing up on wrecks and ledges off the Suncoast area. These highly prized members of the jack family appear every spring and gather into large aggregations for spawning. Most of this ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Captainís Corner: Time nears for snook, tarpon out at the beaches

With summerlike air temperatures coming in the next couple of weeks, snook will be moving out to the beaches and tarpon will start cruising there. Itís my favorite time of year to fish. With snook on the beaches and passes, you would think their biol...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18

Captainís Corner: Variables are all that is constant when it comes to art of fishing

The unique variables and ever-changing conditions of fishing are what set it apart from most other sports. Basketball goals donít move, baseball diamonds are basically the same and tennis courts never change. Fishing, on the other hand, is constantly...
Published: 04/21/18

Captainís Corner: King mackerel the hot topic as gulf waters warm

King mackerel is always the hot topic this time of year, with tournaments every weekend for two months. Some believe that massive schools in the gulf migrate from their fall haunts in south Florida and the Keys to the north, with the larger females (...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

After significant winds from a front last week, things are calming down and fish are turning on again. Bait has gotten predictable and easier to chum on the flats after moving to deeper water during the front. Iíve been targeting trout at first light...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/19/18

Captainís Corner: Rush of warmer water in gulf heats up fishing on offshore reefs, wrecks

The rush of warmer water on our offshore reefs and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico has brought with it a cadre of pelagic fish. Divers and anglers have enjoyed the influx of cobia, kingfish and more. The benthic (bottom) fish are splurging on the balls ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Captainís Corner: Spring bite is solid despite wacky weather

Bipolar weather continues to confuse both fish and anglers. Fortunately the water temperature has gotten high enough that the effects donít last long and the spring bite continues to be solid. Snook are still the hot bite in many areas around the bay...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Captainís Corner: Kingfish, sharks provide aerial displays

Fishing was good this past Saturday, ahead of the cold front. We fished close to shore about 2 miles. Our approach was simple. We anchored the boat, fished with live baits and chummed heavily. Kingfish action was nonstop for the entire morning. We ca...
Published: 04/16/18

Captainís Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

Are you looking for line-screaming action? Head offshore. The kingfish bite has been good, though high winds may require a wait for the water to clear. The best numbers have been about 5 miles out on the hard bottom. Trolling for kingfish works well;...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/15/18

Captainís Corner: Spring run is the most wonderful time of the year

The full spring run of all species in our area is in full swing. Whatever species you would like to target, inshore or offshore, is as good as it gets this time of year. Redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but they are i...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18