Thursday, March 22, 2018

Outdoors news and notes: Network seeks America's top fishing town; horseshoe crabs mating season; fundraising for shooting sports

Making news

Network seeks America's top fishing town

Florida has plenty of great places to fish. That's why the Sunshine State calls itself the "Fishing Capital of the World." Destin, Pensacola, Palm Beach, Key West and St. Petersburg … any one could be called the "Ultimate Fishing Town."

The World Fishing Network will donate $25,000 and feature the lucky community on television if and when it receives the most votes to become America's No. 1 fishing city.

All you have to do is nominate your town and then promote it through social media channels to generate more comments, photos, videos, etc. You can preregister until April 1. Nominations will be accepted until April 30. Voting begins May 1 and closes May 31. To learn more, go to worldfishing You can also follow the action at visit

Marine LIfe

Seeking horseshoe crab 'hangouts'

Do your part for science on your next trip to the beach. Every spring, horseshoe crabs gather on beaches throughout the state to mate. Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission need the public's help to pinpoint places where horseshoe crabs spawn.

Beachgoers are likely to have the most luck seeing mating horseshoe crabs at high tide, just before, during or after a full or new moon. The conditions around the full moon on April 6 will create an ideal opportunity to view the spawning behavior. Males cling to the shells of the larger females as the females head up onto the beach to lay eggs.

If you see mating horseshoe crabs, go to and click on the "Submit a Horseshoe Crab Survey" link, then "Florida Horseshoe Crab Spawning Beach Survey."

You can also email findings to [email protected] or call the FWC toll-free at 1-866-252-9326. Observers should note the number of horseshoe crabs seen and whether those horseshoe crabs were mating.


Ballplayers back shooting event

The U.S. Clay Target Association and Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will host a Shoot with the Legends fundraiser March 31 at the Skyway Trap and Skeet Club in St. Petersburg to raise money for future shooting sports Olympians. Special guests include Wade Boggs, Anthony Telford, Andy McGaffigan, Toby Hall, Travis Phelps, Scott Williamson, Brian Tolbert, Mark Whiten and Michael Pittman. To learn more, call (731) 616-0536.

Solunar Chart


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3/24 7:20 1:05 7:45 1:30

3/25 8:05 1:55 8:30 2:15

3/26 8:55 2:45 9:20 3:05

3/27 9:45 3:35 10:15 4:00

3/28 10:35 4:25 11:05 4:50

3/29 11:30 5:20 0 5:45

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


Captainís Corner: Windy conditions limit fishing options

The weather and water temperature roller coaster continues. Finding consistent action has been difficult with windy conditions keeping us from fishing many open parts of the bay or out into the gulf. Hiding in secluded backwater areas or on leeward s...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

Red grouper have made their move inshore this past week as waters closer to shore have warmed up a bit. Concentrate your efforts on hard bottom areas in depths of 100-120 feet for the rest of the month, and remember that all shallow water grouper are...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18