Friday, May 25, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes: Stone crab season, marine cleanups

Making news

Stone crab season set to Open Monday

The folks north of us may have their fall foliage this time of year, but here in Florida we have stone crab season, which opens Monday. The stone crab has the distinction of being the only commercially harvested marine animal in the nation that doesn't have to die to provide food for humans.

When a scuba diver or recreational stone crab hunter grabs the tasty claw, the animal simply lets it go. Most people scuba dive for stone crabs around bridges and causeways. But one of the most popular ways to catch these crustaceans is to wade a rocky shoreline. Crabs hide in holes under rocks and other debris. They especially like rocky outcroppings near sea grass beds. Wait for low tide, then wade until you find a burrow; the entrance is often marked by discarded shells. Use the flat end of a crowbar to coax the crab out. Bring a dip net and a bucket or bag to carry claws.

The season runs through May 15. The bag limit is 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less. The claw must measure 2 3/4 inches. For more stone crab regulations, visit myfwc.com.

Volunteers

Water cleanups set for Oct. 20

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful needs help with two of its biggest events, the annual Hillsborough River Cleanup and the Coastal Cleanup, which have been combined into one day of community service on Oct. 20. Volunteers will remove litter and debris, and the data will be collected to help the Ocean Conservancy in an ongoing project. To preregister, go to keeptampabaybeautiful.org.

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

10/12 3:10 9:20 3:30 9:40

10/13 3:55 10:05 4:15 10:30

10/14 4:45 10:50 5:00 11:15

10/15 5:30 11:40 5:50 0

10/16 6:25 12:10 6:50 12:40

10/17 7:30 1:15 8:00 1:45

10/18 8:30 2:20 9:05 2:50

Comments
Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

The outgoing tides of last weekendís new moon washed thousands of small swimmer crabs, known locally as "pass crabs," out of the estuaries and into the gulf. This suddenly abundant food source offshore works as a natural chum line and draws big permi...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Captainís Corner: With full moon, tarpon are on the move

With the full moon this next week tarpon are moving down the beaches and making their way out of the bay and moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to go out and spawn on the full moon. Early in the morning along t...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Captainís Corner: Cloudier water improves the bite

Windy conditions this week have actually slightly improved fishing. The waters of Saint Joseph sound had become so clear that it made finding fish easy, but getting bites very difficult. Snook have been gathering in great numbers all along the beache...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

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