Saturday, March 24, 2018

Outdoors news: Hunting seasons arrive

Making news

Time arrives for Hunters to get out and play

Fall is here, and that means it's time to clean the guns for hunting. The season has already started in Zone A, which encompasses the southern area of the state. But most Tampa Bay area residents tend to hunt in zones B and C. The fall season kicks off with muzzleloading gun as soon as crossbow season closes. Season dates on private lands run Nov. 23-Dec. 6 in Zone B, Oct. 19-Nov. 1 in Zone C and Dec. 7-13 in Zone D. During muzzleloading gun season, hunters can still use bows and crossbows on private lands. But if you are hunting one of the state's wildlife management areas, it's muzzleloaders only. Most hunters target deer and wild hog this time of year. When hunting deer, only bucks (with one antler at least 5 inches long) can be harvested. The bag limit is two. Hogs can be hunted year-round on private land. There is no bag or size limit. Hunters can also take gobblers and bearded turkeys during muzzleloading gun season. The limit is one turkey per day, or two birds per fall season, except if you are hunting in Holmes County, where turkeys are off limits. Take note that bag limits and antler/size restrictions can vary in different management areas. So check the specifics before going. Gray squirrel season is open on private lands statewide and runs through March 2. There's a daily bag limit of 12 gray squirrels. Fox squirrels are off limits. The first phase of the mourning and white-winged dove season began Oct. 5 and ends Monday statewide. The bag limit is 15 birds per day. To learn all the details and dates for specific species and zones, go to

Send news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

Solunar chart


Minor Major Minor Major

10/25 11:15 5:05 11:40 5:25

10/26 0 5:55 12:05 6:15

10/27 12:30 6:35 12:45 6:55

10/28 1:10 7:15 1:25 7:40

10/29 1:55 7:55 2:05 8:25

10/30 2:40 8:40 2:50 9:00

10/31 3:15 9:20 3:30 9:45


Captainís Corner: Erratic weather making offshore fishing unpredictable

Continued heavy winds have kept offshore fisheries from settling in to predictable patterns. When things have calmed, nearshore baitfish have bunched up and kingfish and Spanish mackerel settled in around them. Unfortunately, each cold front has chur...
Published: 03/23/18

Captainís Corner: Snook bite is best now in afternoon

So what happened to our spring weather in February? The weather has the fish moving back and forth between their winter and summer spots, and with April just a few weeks away, the air temperature is warming up and should be in the upper 70s and low 8...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/22/18

Captainís Corner: Windy conditions limit fishing options

The weather and water temperature roller coaster continues. Finding consistent action has been difficult with windy conditions keeping us from fishing many open parts of the bay or out into the gulf. Hiding in secluded backwater areas or on leeward s...
Published: 03/20/18
Updated: 03/21/18

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: 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