Sunday, May 20, 2018
Outdoors

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

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.

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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: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18

Captainís Corner: Here come the tarpon

Itís hot, the water temperatureís right and itís May. That means itís Tarpon Time! Aprilís full moon seemed to have opened the flood gates for tarpon arriving in our area. Weíve observed some at the Sunshine Skyway bridge for a couple weeks. On a few...
Published: 05/07/18

Captainís Corner: Swash channel is full of life

Offshore winds the past week cleaned beach waters to that pretty shade of blue we often have this time of year. The swash channel is full of life as schools of finger mullet, whiting and threadfin herring go in and out with the tide, and schools of p...
Published: 05/05/18
Updated: 05/06/18
Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Captainís Corner: Fish return to normal migration pattern in North Pinellas

Warm weather has stabilized water temperatures, sending many fish into their normal pattern of migration in North Pinellas. Every year, large female snook start to trickle out to the west along the beaches, a few yards from unsuspecting sunbathers. S...
Updated one month ago

Captainís Corner: Bait moving onto the flats

Hopefully the strong east winds we had most of the week will settle down for the weekend. The water temperature is starting to climb, and bait is starting to move onto the flats. This makes fish more active and aggressive. When youíre planning your n...
Updated one month ago