Sunday, January 21, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Gag grouper season nears end, youth sailors excel, anchoring guide for boaters

Making news

Gag Grouper season winds down in GUlf

Gulf anglers have less than a week to catch gag grouper. The season closes Nov. 1 in most state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The state waters off Monroe County, which are included in Atlantic gag seasons and rules, remain open through Dec. 31. Most gag grouper are caught in federal waters, which begin 9 miles offshore on Florida's west coast, except during the winter months, when they move inshore. Gag is one of the most common of the shallow-water grouper and the species most likely to be caught by recreational anglers, who sometimes mistakenly call gag grouper black grouper. For details, visit myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational.

Local sailors excel in Sunfish event

Addison Hackstaff, 16, of St. Petersburg won the Sunfish Youth World Championships at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Oct. 13. The event pitted local talent against the top youth sailors from as far away as Venezuela and Peru. Other top finishers included St. Petersburg sailors Nic Baird, 14, in second place and Liam McCarthy, 15, in third. After nine races over three days, Hackstaff was tied at 19 points with Baird. Hackstaff and Baird both had three firsts, but Hackstaff had one more second, giving him the title. The SPYC Junior sailors normally race Lasers and were introduced to the Sunfish the week of the event.

Anchor guide adds mooring field info

If you're a cruiser, powerboater or just a casual mariner, here's a great resource. The Boat Owners Association of the United States, one of the nation's leading boating advocacy groups, just released an updated Florida anchoring information sheet that explains the new pilot mooring field projects, including one here in St. Petersburg. A law passed in 2009 gave relief to boaters who utilized public anchoring areas. The other pilot project areas include St. Augustine, Monroe County (Key West, Marathon) and Sarasota. Martin County and Stuart are currently drafting an ordinance likely to come on line in 2013. These areas will be used to test policies that promote public access, enhance navigational safety, protect maritime infrastructure and deter improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels. To get a copy, go to boatus.com/gov/fl anchoringsheet.

Send news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected]

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

10/26 3:20 9:25 3:35 9:45

10/27 4:00 10:05 4:15 10:30

10/28 4:45 10:45 4:55 11:05

10/29 5:20 11:25 5:35 11:50

10/30 6:05 0 6:25 12:15

10/31 6:55 12:40 7:15 1:05

11/1 7:45 1:35 8:10 1:55

Comments

Captainís Corner: Bundle up and head out to the bay for bass, sheepshead

The water is cold, but that doesnít mean that fishing is over for the winter. There are still target species available that are fun to catch and will provide a fresh meal. Friday, we left the docks a little later than normal to give the sun a chance ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Live baits outperforming artificials

Amberjack have been the hot topic in the area since their season opened Jan. 1. Anglers have been targeting wrecks and other large structures in depths of 80-120 feet for these tackle-testing monsters. Although amberjack are caught on a wide variety ...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Captainís Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

Extreme cold has brought backcountry water temperatures down. As in years past, extreme dips have shocked many fish, especially snook, which take the biggest hit and become extremely lethargic and often near death. Luckily the cold wonít be long, and...
Published: 01/19/18

Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

Over the past two weeks divers and anglers have been in search of amberjack. The season opened Jan. 1 and ends Jan. 27. The short season for gulf amberjack has pushed many divers and anglers to venture offshore, even in questionable weather. Donít fo...
Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

This past week has seen a variety of different fishing styles prove effective. Fishing for trout in deeper depressions with live shrimp has provided steady action. Rig as follows: Use a ?-ounce jighead, grab a shrimp from the well and pinch the tail ...
Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

Cold water has fishing in sort of slow motion. Middle bay temperatures (Gandy area) are holding in the 54-56 degree range. During this time of year the stalking of large snook and redfish take a back seat to finesse fishing and trying to figure out w...
Published: 01/10/18