Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Outdoors news: Brandon swimmer wins bay marathon; grouper opens in Keys

Making news

Local wins Rugged swim

Brandon's Chelsea Nauta, 24, won last weekend's Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, covering the 24 miles between the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa in 10 hours, 7 minutes in what organizers said was one of the roughest races on record. Four minutes behind was Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett, 32. Six from the field of 18 completed the race. The men's champ was St. Petersburg's Chris Burke, 51, finishing in 12:16 and ahead of Clearwater's Mark Smitherman, 55 (12:33).

Grouper season to open in Keys

For those heading south to fish in the Florida Keys, remember grouper season reopens Wednesday in the Atlantic and waters off Monroe County. The species covered include gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin and tiger grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby. The season runs to Jan. 1, 2014. Anglers may keep three a day, and within this three-fish limit anglers may possess only one gag or black grouper, not both.


Off for Mexico

The Regatta del Sol al Sol, an annual yacht race from Tampa Bay to Mexico, starts at 10 a.m. today. Spectators can see the start of this 456-mile journey to Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun, from the Pier in downtown St. Petersburg. It will take the boats from two to four days to finish.

Solunar chart


Minor Major Minor Major

4/26 6:20 12:05 6:50 12:40

4/27 7:30 1:15 8:00 1:45

4/28 8:35 2:25 9:05 2:50

4/29 9:30 3:20 10:10 3:55

4/30 10:40 4:30 11:15 5:00

5/1 11:40 5:30 0 6:00

5/2 12:15 6:30 12:45 6:55


Captainís Corner: Grouper moving in as water temperatures rise

Red grouper have made their move inshore this past week as waters closer to shore have warmed up a bit. Concentrate your efforts on hard bottom areas in depths of 100-120 feet for the rest of the month, and remember that all shallow water grouper are...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/20/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is fast approaching

Spring is trying to move in, with just a few cold fronts mixed in. The up-and-down air temperatures will slightly affect the water temperature and also affect the fishing. Fishing has been mostly incredible in North Pinellas. All of the species we ex...
Published: 03/18/18
Updated: 03/19/18

Captainís Corner: Cold causes spiny lobsters to go into hiding

The cold front that ended Wednesday drove the offshore bottom temperatures back down into the low 60s. On dives Friday, my dive computer read 62 degrees at the bottom in 54 feet of water. On the next dive it read 60 in 62 feet. We were looking for ho...
Published: 03/18/18

Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/17/18

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18