Sunday, February 18, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Hammerhead sharks are among those protected in state waters; sailing expos for beginners

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Making news

Hammerhead sharks Among those protected

Summer is when many gulf anglers like to catch big sharks. These toothy predators can be great sport, but conservation-minded fishermen should remember that several species are categorized as threatened and, as a result, are protected.

As of Jan. 1, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has prohibited the possession, sale and exchange of tiger sharks and great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks taken in state waters. These sharks can still be caught and released.

If you plan to target these sharks during peak season, use tackle heavy enough to land the fish quickly and improve its chance of survival upon release. If possible, keep the fish in the water and use a dehooking device. Use nonstainless steel hooks because if you can't get a clean release, the hook will dissolve quickly in the salt water. Non-offset circle hooks help prevent gut-hooking the shark.

Anglers can keep one shark per person or two sharks per vessel. There are roughly two dozen overfished, vulnerable or rare shark species that are catch-and-release only in Florida waters. To learn more, go to MyFWC.com.

Things to Do

Raise a sail

If you want to learn about wind-powered watercraft, the Tampa Sailing Squadron in Apollo Beach (1250 Apollo Beach Blvd.), is hosting sailing expos on Saturday and Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both events will feature seminars on cruising, racing and sailing for kids and adults. Boat ownership is not required, as skippers are looking for crew members. The Tampa Sailing Squadron has club-owned boats available for members. To learn more, go to sail-tss.org, or call Julie Stocksdale at (727) 418-5119.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

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Updated: 5 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

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Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

The first half of February has been hit or miss for inshore fishing. The consistent cold fronts and warmups seem to have the fish confused. The week ahead should be pretty good. The best bite has been midmorning into the afternoon. With temperatures ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Captainís Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish ...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/11/18

Captainís Corner: Sardines make a great bait

Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/10/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing conditions have started to improve

The waters are still a bit cooler than the kind a bunch of fish like to aggressively chew in. Fishing conditions, however, have slowly but surely begun to improve. On a recon mission Tuesday, I visited both Sunshine Skyway bridge fishing piers and th...
Published: 02/08/18
Captainís Corner: Snook among species starting to flourish as water warms

Captainís Corner: Snook among species starting to flourish as water warms

This has been a cold year thus far as fronts have blasted the Tampa Bay area. Now things are beginning to warm up, and the transition from winter to spring begins. Every warm day takes us one step closer to some awesome fishing. As water temperatures...
Published: 02/06/18
Updated: 02/09/18