Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Outdoors

Outdoors news and notes

Making news

Snook season closed in Gulf

Snook season closed Dec. 1 in state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and won't reopen until March 1. Snook season will close in the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River on Sunday and won't reopen until Jan. 31. Snook are protected during these cooler months because the subtropical species is vulnerable to cold weather. Anglers still might hook snook while targeting redfish or trout, so it pays to know a little about catch-and-release. Use nonstainless steel hooks and pinch down the barb. Tighten the drag and use a line of adequate strength to land the fish quickly. Don't fight a fish until it is exhausted. Leave the fish in the water if possible during unhooking. Do not use a net and handle the fish as little as possible to preserve its protective membrane. If you must handle the fish, use a wet towel. Gently place the fish in the water. If it responds slowly, hold its mouth open and move it back and forth to move water through its gills until it is strong enough to swim off on its own.

Harvey in Oldsmar to help aquarium

Renowned marine wildlife artist, conservationist and scientist Guy Harvey will be at the Bealls department store in Oldsmar (3140 Tampa Road) from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Harvey and his Ocean Foundation will also donate $1 from every Guy Harvey item purchased from Dec. 2 to Sunday to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. The Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University of Fort Lauderdale funds marine conservation research and educational initiatives. For more, go to guyharvey.com.

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Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

12/13 1:55 8:00 2:10 8:25

12/14 2:40 8:45 2:55 9:10

12/15 3:25 9:30 3:40 9:55

12/16 4:10 10:15 4:25 10:40

12/17 4:55 11:00 5:10 11:25

12/18 5:40 11:55 6:05 0

12/19 6:35 12:20 7:00 12:45

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