Saturday, February 17, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors news: Red snapper season opens in federal waters in June

Making news

Federal REd Snapper season to Start in June

If you're planning fishing trips for 2014, keep June and July open. Next year's red snapper season in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will open June 1 and close July 11. But anglers should take note: The seasons for state and federal waters, which begin 9 miles offshore in the gulf, don't always coincide. So watch for future developments. Red snapper are one of the most prized and highly regulated fish in the gulf. Most of the fish caught by recreational anglers are 3-5 years old. But as snapper get older and bigger, they produce more and higher quality eggs. That's why fishery managers pay such close attention to the stocks. The snapper fishery is currently about one-third of the way through a 30-year rebuilding plan devised by federal officials.

Top sailors headed for Key West races

Some of the best sailors in the world will be in Key West for what many consider the most competitive sailing event outside of the Olympics and the America's Cup. The Quantum Key West race week, scheduled for Jan. 19-24, is expected to draw teams from a dozen countries. Competitors will race on courses set over an 8-mile stretch of the Atlantic just offshore and inside the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef. To learn more, go to fla-keys.com.

Solunar chart

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Minor Major Minor Major

1/10 12:50 6:55 1:05 7:20

1/11 1:35 7:40 1:50 8:05

1/12 2:20 8:25 2:35 8:50

1/13 3:05 9:10 3:20 9:35

1/14 3:50 9:55 4:05 10:20

1/15 4:35 10:40 4:50 11:00

1/16 5:15 11:20 5:30 11:40

Comments

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

Bait has made its way into the bay and is on nearly every marker. The problem: Bait is moving and showing up at different times daily. The time spent to get bait will pay off. Fish have been blasting pilchards. Snook and large trout have been communi...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

The first half of February has been hit or miss for inshore fishing. The consistent cold fronts and warmups seem to have the fish confused. The week ahead should be pretty good. The best bite has been midmorning into the afternoon. With temperatures ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Captainís Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish ...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/11/18

Captainís Corner: Sardines make a great bait

Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/10/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing conditions have started to improve

The waters are still a bit cooler than the kind a bunch of fish like to aggressively chew in. Fishing conditions, however, have slowly but surely begun to improve. On a recon mission Tuesday, I visited both Sunshine Skyway bridge fishing piers and th...
Published: 02/08/18
Captainís Corner: Snook among species starting to flourish as water warms

Captainís Corner: Snook among species starting to flourish as water warms

This has been a cold year thus far as fronts have blasted the Tampa Bay area. Now things are beginning to warm up, and the transition from winter to spring begins. Every warm day takes us one step closer to some awesome fishing. As water temperatures...
Published: 02/06/18
Updated: 02/09/18

Captainís Corner: Great time to target redfish, trout

Redfish action has increased all over the region, while big wintertime trout is also a great option, if you know where to go. It is a prime time to catch both species on lures. Patterns have been somewhat inconsistent for redfish but exactly what you...
Published: 02/04/18
Updated: 02/07/18