Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Red snapper season dates, grouper open in Florida Keys

Making news

Red Snapper season set to open June 1

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set the 2012 red snapper season for June 1 through July 10, a total of 40 days. The move brings the state into compliance with federal regulations.

But last week in Crystal River, state officials also voted to keep a 40-day season, even if federal fishery managers decide to shut down fishing prematurely. State waters extend 9 miles offshore in the gulf. The bulk of the state's red snapper are caught in federal waters, especially here off Tampa Bay. But in the Panhandle, anglers can catch these tasty sport fish much closer to shore.For more information on red snapper, go to MyFWC.com/fishing.

Fishing for scholarships funds

Catch some big ones and help send a kid to college. That's the mission of Eta Rho Educational Services, the nonprofit arm of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, anglers can board the Gulf Queen, docked at Slip No. 52 at Clearwater Marina (25 Causeway Blvd.) The $60 entry fee gets you a rod and tackle. Bring your own food and drink. All proceeds will benefit the fraternity scholarship program. For information, visit etarhoques.com or call (727) 510-5051.

Grouper fishing opens in Keys

If you're heading to the Florida Keys, grouper are back on the menu as the season opened May 1 in the Atlantic Ocean and Monroe County. The species that are fair game include gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin, tiger, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, and graysby grouper. State waters on Florida's east coast run 3 miles offshore. The season will remain open through Jan. 1, 2013.

Solunar Chart

AM PM

minor major minor major

5/11 11:20 5:10 11:55 5:40

5/12 0 6:05 12:15 6:30

5/13 12:45 6:50 1:00 7:10

5/14 1:25 7:30 1:40 7:55

5/15 2:10 8:10 2:20 8:35

5/16 2:50 8:50 3:00 9:10

5/17 3:25 9:30 3:40 9:50

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...
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

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