Friday, March 23, 2018

Outdoors news: Red snapper season nears close

Making news

Final days to nab Red Snapper in state waters

Red snapper season closes in state waters Monday. That means Sunday is the final day to catch these prized sport fish, unless federal officials open the waters back up because a recent stock assessment revealed the fish are doing better than previously thought. This year's state season was 44 days long. The season in federal waters, which begin 9 miles offshore in the gulf, was 28 days and ran June 1 through June 28. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering a supplemental recreational season for later this year in federal waters. If approved, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will consider a supplemental season for gulf state waters. For information, go to

Reality stars part of Big Buck Expo

Outdoors celebrities will be at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa today through Sunday as the Big Buck Expo showcases the latest in hunting gear. Meet "Mountain Man" from Duck Dynasty, today from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Troy Landry from Swamp People will greet fans from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and co-stars R.J. and Jay Paul Molinere will be there 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For information, go to or call (334) 699-2825.

Lakewood High sailor stays busy

Addison Hackstaff, a 17-year-old rising senior at Lakewood High, is headed to Limassol, Cypress, to sail the Laser in the ISAF Youth World Championship, which begins Saturday. Hackstaff, a member of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Junior sailing team, also recently qualified to defend his US Sailing Smythe Singlehanded championship in August.

Solunar chart


Minor Major Minor Major

7/12 9:15 3:05 9:45 3:30

7/13 10:05 3:55 10:30 4:15

7/14 10:50 4:40 11:20 5:05

7/15 11:40 5:30 0 5:55

7/16 12:10 6:25 12:35 6:50

7/17 1:05 7:10 1:20 7:40

7/18 1:55 8:00 2:10 8:30


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
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