Friday, November 17, 2017
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: St. Petersburg sailor Ed Baird reaches semifinals of greatest U.S. sailor contest

RECOMMENDED READING


Making news

St. Petersburg Sailor Falls Final Four vote

Who is the greatest American sailor? St. Petersburg's Ed Baird, a past winner of the America's Cup as a helmsman and as a coach, recently made it to the final four of an online contest sponsored by U.S. Sailing to determine the United States' best sailor. Baird, who got his start at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, lost to Dennis Conner in the semifinals. Not too shabby, considering Conner has four Cup wins, an Olympic medal and three yachtsman of the year awards.

The contest, which ends Monday at 11:59 p.m., started with 64 sailors, a format similar to the old NCAA basketball tournament. There were four divisions, and sailors were seeded 1 through 16 in each. In addition to Baird and Conner, the list of living legends included Clearwater's Paige and Zach Railey, St. Petersburg's Mark Mendelblatt, USF women's sailing coach Allison Jolly, Buddy Melges, and Anna Tunnicliffe.

Sailing fans can cast a vote and receive a chance to win a grand prize that includes the ultimate America's Cup experience next month in San Francisco. In the finals, Conner will face Melges, who won the 1972 Olympic gold medal in Soling. Vote at ussailingentry.com.

Public Safety

Season stimulates large reptiles

It's hot and humid, the kind of weather that puts alligators on the move. These cold-blooded reptiles love the summer, when they can fatten up on fish, turtles, ducks and more.

Florida is home to two native crocodilian species: the American alligator, which is found in every county in the state, and the American crocodile, which is confined to the coastal areas of southeast and southwest Florida. Both reptiles can be dangerous, so anglers and boaters should give them a wide berth.

Alligators typically grab prey in the water, or within a yard or two of the water's edge. In two-thirds of the attacks on humans, the victim never sees the gator coming. In most cases, the gator strikes from beneath. Most attacks occur in residential areas — canals, lakes, golf course ponds — where the reptiles have grown accustomed to seeing humans. The best advice to avoid becoming a statistic is to stay out of freshwater at dawn, dusk and at night, when gators are most active.

If you encounter an alligator that poses a threat to you, your pets or property, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's nuisance alligator hotline toll-free at 1-866-392-4286. To learn more, go to MyFWC.com/alligator.

Send outdoors news to [email protected]

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

7/13 1:45 7:50 2:00 8:10

7/14 2:25 8:30 2:40 8:55

7/15 3:10 9:15 3:25 9:40

7/16 3:55 10:00 4:10 10:25

7/17 4:35 10:45 4:55 11:10

7/18 5:25 11:35 5:45 0

7/19 6:15 12:00 6:30 12:20



Comments

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

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17
Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

November is the month that moves most inshore fish from the flats to the backcountry creeks, docks and rivers. Itís a month when you can enjoy great weather and great fishing without waking up at the crack of dawn. The South Shore in particular has s...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17

Captainís Corner: Better late than never as flounder invade area waters

It took all year, but it has finally happened. Flounder have invaded Tampa Bay waters. They usually arrive in late spring or early summer. This year, they just hadnít come in. They are now here. The big trick is finding the larger fish. Baby flounder...
Published: 11/07/17