Minor Major Minor Major
7/27 12:55 7:00 1:10 7:30
7/28 1:45 7:50 2:00 8:20
7/29 2:35 8:55 3:05 9:15
7/30 3:30 9:45 3:55 10:10
7/31 4:25 10:40 4:50 11:10
8/1 5:20 11:30 5:40 0
8/2 6:15 12:00 6:50 12:40
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.