Monday, June 18, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Gulf gag grouper rules near approval, compass class, lake cleanup

Making news

Approval of GAG Grouper rules near

Gulf anglers will get the final word on the 2013 gag grouper season next month when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets in Orlando. If approved, gag grouper season would open July 1 in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico except Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties. The state season will close when the federal season closes, but that date will not be determined until this spring. The federal season closes when the annual catch target is met, which will likely be mid November or early December. The proposed final rule would also set the season for gag grouper in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties, including Indian Pass, Apalachicola Bay, and the Steinhatchee River, from April 1 through June 30.

Hiking

Read a compass

Remember, hikers, smartphones and GPS units can fail in the field, but a compass will always tell you which direction is north. Learn the basics of map and compass land navigation at a seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure (9501 U.S. 19) in Pinellas Park. The cost is $25. Call (727) 576-4169 to reserve a spot in the class.

Conservation

Put shine on lake

The 9th annual Mirror Lake Cleanup needs volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The city of St. Petersburg will provide trash bags, pickers, trucks, a boat and gloves. The Mirror Lake Lyceum (737 3rd Ave. N) will provide drinks and hot dogs on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies run out. No registration required.

Looking ahead

RV show to arrive

The 28th annual Florida RV SuperShow will run from Wednesday to Jan. 20 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Admission is $10 for adults; children under 16 are free. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Jan. 19 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20. For information, call (813) 741-0488 or visit frvta.org.

Send outdoors news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

1/18 10:55 4:45 11:25 5:10

1/19 11:40 5:30 0 5:50

1/20 12:05 6:10 12:20 6:35

1/21 12:50 6:55 1:05 7:20

1/22 1:35 7:40 1:50 8:05

1/23 2:20 8:25 2:35 8:50

1/24 3:05 9:10 3:20 9:35

Comments

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...
Updated: 8 hours ago

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