Saturday, February 24, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: King of the Beach results, hunting seasons rolling around, youth licensing

Making news

Narrow gap between top king Mackerels

Jack Vasilaros and his Team Squidders won the $10,000 first-place prize at last weekend's Fall King of the Beach tournament with a 36.98-pound king mackerel. Lynn Zirkle and the Bob Evans/Bull Bay Rods team was second with a 36.54-pound king worth $3,000, followed by Chris Clark's Team Jupiter (35.70). Joel Brandenburg's Team Anna Banana won the Single Engine Division with a 35-pound kingfish. Brittany List of Reel Darlins/Delosa's took the Ladies Division with a 23.34-pounder. Kevin Long won the Junior Division with a 18.82-pounder. For more results, go to oldsaltfishing.org.

Regulations

Check hunt zones for seasons, limits

General gun season started last Saturday and runs through Jan. 20 in Zone C, which includes most of the public hunting lands north of the Tampa Bay area. Hunters hoping to stay closer to home can hit the woods Dec. 1 to Feb. 17 in Zone B.

Hunters can take bucks having at least one antler 5 inches or longer, but anyone hunting deer in Florida must have the $5 deer permit. On private lands, the daily bag limit for deer is two, but during some quota hunts in wildlife management areas, the bag limit is one, and in some cases, there may also be antler restrictions. Consult the WMA brochure for the area you plan to hunt.

On private lands, hunters can take wild hogs year-round with no bag or size limits. On most, but not all, WMAs there's also no bag or size limit on wild hogs. Again, consult the brochure for specific regulations.

For more information on upcoming seasons, go to myfwc.com.

Youth licenses fund conservation

Even though youngsters are not required to have a license to hunt and fish in Florida until they turn 16, you can buy them a special license that will help fund conservation efforts and remain valid until their 17th birthday, no matter how young they are when they buy it. All three types of licenses — freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing and hunting — cost just $17.

Another opportunity for youths is the $100 Gold Sportsman's license, which authorizes the holder to take game and freshwater or saltwater fish and provides the deer, management area, archery season, muzzleloading season, crossbow season, turkey, waterfowl, snook and spiny lobster (crawfish) permit privileges. More information is available at myfwc.com.

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

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

11/16 7:20 1:10 7:55 1:40

11/17 8:25 2:15 9:00 2:45

11/18 9:20 3:15 10:05 3:45

11/19 10:20 4:10 10:55 4:40

11/20 11:25 5:15 11:50 5:35

11/21 0 5:50 12:00 6:15

11/22 12:30 6:35 12:45 6:55

Comments

Captainís Corner: Spring-like conditions lead to improved bite

Spring-like conditions have fired up a bite that a couple of weeks ago was practically nonexistent. Water temperatures in the mid 70s have mangrove snapper, grouper, triggerfish and hogfish aggressively chewing again in the 40- to 50-foot range.With ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Cobia moving into bay ahead of schedule

Rapidly increasing water temperatures have migratory fish moving toward the bay area. Typically, schools of coastal pelagic fish such as cobia and mackerel do not return until late March. This year, they are way ahead of schedule. Cobia are one of th...
Published: 02/23/18

Captainís Corner: Rising temperatures fire up the bite

With no cold fronts rolling into the bay area soon, it also means water temperatures are on the rise to the mid 70s. That has the bite fired up inshore and nearshore. Snook fishing is on fire with these warmer temperatures at night. Weíve been findin...
Published: 02/22/18

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

Scuba and freediving spearfishermen and women have enjoyed great underwater visibility over the past week. Some boaters going offshore can make out the bottom structure from the gunnel of the boat. Best depths for visibility have been in 30 to 40 fee...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling...
Published: 02/18/18

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

Bait has made its way into the bay and is on nearly every marker. The problem: Bait is moving and showing up at different times daily. The time spent to get bait will pay off. Fish have been blasting pilchards. Snook and large trout have been communi...
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