Sunday, December 17, 2017

Outdoors news and notes: Haunted nights at Honeymoon Island, volunteer opportunities, fisherman's ball

Making news

Honeymoon island turns spooky again

Honeymoon Island State Park and the Friends of the Island Parks will host a safe alternative to trick or treating at Halloween in the Park XV, Oct. 26 and 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. A donation of $10 per carload will include 10 game tickets. Annual passes are not valid for this event, which includes a haunted house and scary trail. Wear your costume, good walking shoes and bring insect repellent and a small flashlight. Call (727) 469-5942 for information or go to

Sports figures on hand for ball

The Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny Lecavalier will present the Ted Williams Award to the Tampa Bay Rays' Wade Davis for the pitcher's contributions to the community and the outdoors at tonight's Fishermen's Ball dinner during this weekend's Yerrid Foundation Grand Slam Celebrity Fishing Tournament, which benefits the Pediatric Cancer Center. The dinner is at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg. For information go to

Tales from outside at reading festival

Tampa Bay Times Outdoors/Fitness Editor Terry Tomalin will talk about his book Everyday Adventures: A Florida Outdoors Guide at the Festival of Reading at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Go to for a complete schedule.


Aquatic preserve planting on tap

Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve is one of the most pristine ecosystems in Tampa Bay. But Tampa Bay Watch plans to make it a little better by adding more than 10,000 salt marsh plants along its shoreline Saturday. The plants help stabilize low-lying coastal lands and provide protection and food for a variety of marine organisms. Salt marshes have declined more than 80 percent during the past 100 years, mostly as the result of dredging, construction and waste water discharges. The restoration project, held in conjunction with Hillsborough County Parks and Southwest Florida Water Management District, will have the support volunteers in Tampa for this weekend's Restore America's Estuaries Conference. But more helping hands are needed. Contact Rachel Arndt at [email protected] or go to tampabay

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

Solunar chart


Minor Major Minor Major

10/19 9:40 3:30 10:10 3:55

10/20 10:45 4:35 11:15 5:00

10/21 11:45 5:35 0 6:00

10/22 12:10 6:40 12:50 7:05

10/23 1:20 7:20 1:30 7:45

10/24 2:00 8:05 2:15 8:30

10/25 2:45 8:45 2:55 9:05


Captainís Corner: Bottom fishing is good with dropping gulf water temperatures

The past few weeks have delivered lots of cold air, dropping water temperatures in the gulf. Thermometers are reading in the low 60s. This is going to change a few things closer to shore. Anglers will find an absence of kingfish on many of the spots ...
Published: 12/16/17

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Published: 12/15/17

Captainís Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means itís sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Published: 12/14/17

Captainís Corner: Good time for shallow-water flats fishing

Shallow-water flats fishing can be very exciting this time of year. Trout and redfish are available in good numbers, and the opportunities to catch some gator trout have made recent trips very rewarding. Some of the largest trout have been in very sk...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

The great weather, calm seas and exceptional fishing we experienced at the end of November and beginning of December came to a screeching halt with the cold front that came through. Surface water temperatures plummeted from an unseasonable 71 degrees...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

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...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

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