Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Protecting turtles, free fishing

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Making news

Beach visitors must be wary of sea turtles

If you head to a beach this spring, look out for nesting sea turtles, which lay their eggs through April.

These creatures have been around for more than 100 million years, and they are making a comeback thanks to conservation laws. But their survival remains threatened by human interference and development.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission asks visitors to keep their distance from turtles such as the leatherback, which has been seen in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties. A sea turtle digs a nest in the soft sand, depo­sits up to 100 eggs about the size of a pingpong ball, covers them with sand and heads back to the sea.

Eggs typically incubate for 45-60 days, and hatchlings emerge on beaches through the fall. People can help increase the hatchlings' odds for survival by turning off or shielding outdoor lights that face the water. Hatchlings can become disoriented by them and head away from the water, where they can fall prey to raccoons.

Loggerhead, green turtle and leatherback nest regularly along the state's shoreline. But two other species, the hawksbill and Kemp's ridley, occasionally visit. All five species are federally protected.

If you see a nest being tampered with, a sea turtle being harassed or an injured or dead turtle, call the FWC toll-free at 1-888-404-3922 or *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone. You also can text [email protected]

For more information on sea turtles, go to myfwc.com/seaturtle.

Free fishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently announced four fishing days — all Saturdays — during which licenses won't be required: April 7 (freshwater), June 2 (saltwater), June 9 (freshwater) and Sept. 1 (saltwater).

Instead of providing one weekend for freshwater fishing and one for saltwater fishing like years past, the FWC spread out the days.

For more information, go to myfwc.com/license.

Solunar Chart

AM PM

minor major minor major

3/30 12:00 6:10 12:20 6:35

3/31 12:50 7:00 1:10 7:25

4/1 1:40 7:45 1:55 8:10

4/2 2:25 8:30 2:40 8:55

4/3 3:10 9:15 3:25 9:40

4/4 3:55 10:00 4:10 10:30

4/5 4:45 10:50 5:00 11:15

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

Comments

Captainís Corner: Get ready for gag grouper migration

With falling water temperatures and bait fish making their way into the near shore waters off of the coast, we can expect the fall migration of gag grouper to be in full swing with the next two or three cold fronts that make their way into the centra...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17