Sunday, December 10, 2017
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: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

Conditions after the cold front are cool and are going to be for a while. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít fish. Many anglers get stuck on snook, reds and trout and forget how fun it is to catch sheepshead. Many reefs are already holding good...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

The severity of this cold front will determine the fishing forecast for the next several days. Bait that had been abundant inshore will scatter. Nearshore gulf waters will muddy, and water temperatures. at least temporarily. will plummet. How cold, h...
Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

I canít believe we are in the last month of the year. And while this is one of my favorite months to fish, it will be controlled by weather. As cold fronts become more frequent and harsh, planning your trips around them will make the biggest differen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

This is a great time for variety. Combined trips for speckled trout and redfish are achieving excellent results. With the correct approach, great catches of both species are a reality now. The best anglers use the lightest tackle. Light rods and reel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Captainís Corner: Take advantage of abundant gag grouper before season ends

Gag grouper fishing and spearing is hot. The season for these grouper in the Gulf of Mexico is winding down, with a slated closure at the end of this month. The cooler water has the gags moving closer, and they are happy when the bottom temperatures ...
Published: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: Bait schools near shore drawing kings, mackerel, bonito

Nearshore fishing is still going strong in north Pinellas. Bait schools are roaming just a couple of miles offshore, attracting kingfish, Spanish mackerel and bonito. The beaches are still holding sardines for cast netting at sunrise. I like to have ...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Captainís Corner: This is the month to target gag grouper

With our current regulations in the Gulf, this is the best month to target gag grouper. Although the gag grouper season opens in June they are hard to come by for most months unless anglers travel to depths of 240 feet or more. With each passing cold...
Published: 12/03/17
Updated: 12/04/17

Captainís Corner: Speckled sea trout can be easily caught on artificial lures

Speckled sea trout are one of the most reliable targets this time of year. Grass flats are usually empty because of extreme low tides. That causes higher concentrations of fish on the edges and in the deeper grass flats. No live bait is needed. A red...
Published: 12/01/17

Captainís Corner: Cooler weather lures decent gag grouper

Mild temperatures have allowed anglers to get out and explore many areas. Cooler weather has lured decent gag grouper. We expected them to arrive in the past month, and they havenít disappointed. Numerous rocks in 20- to 120-foot depths seem to be ho...
Published: 11/30/17

Captainís Corner: Donít have to go far offshore for grouper

When most anglers think of bottom fishing for grouper, they usually think that means taking a long run offshore. During late November and early December, grouper migrate close to shore, so a long run might not be necessary. There are times we target ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 11/29/17