Saturday, December 16, 2017
Outdoors

Outdoors news: Scallop season nears close

Making news

Last chance for scallopers to get their fill

Old-timers will tell you it's best to wait until late in the season to hunt for scallops. But time is running out. The final day for harvesting is Tuesday, because the recreational season closes Wednesday. While scallop season kicks off with much fanfare in July, there are advantages to waiting until later in the season. The scallops are bigger, which means more meat for the table. And most people believe the grass beds have been picked clean, so on a weekday in September, you pretty much have the place to yourself. It is legal to land up to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or 1 pint of scallop meat each day during the open season. Recreational scallopers, who must possess a saltwater fishing license, are not allowed to possess more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half gallon of meat aboard any boat. The law requires a vessel to display a diver-down flag (red with a white diagonal stripe) whenever divers or snorkelers are in the water. The flag must be at least 20 by 24 inches if displayed on a boat; at least 12 by 12 inches if towed on a float by the diver or snorkeler. In open waters, vessels must make an effort to stay 300 feet from a diver-down flag. In a river, channel or inlet, the distance is 100 feet. Vessels may operate within those distances, but only at idle speed. As a reminder, bay scallops may only be harvested in state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line near Aripeka to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County. Harvest is permitted by hand or landing or dip net.

Compiled by Terry Tomalin. Send your news and notes to [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

Solunar chart

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

9/20 6:30 12:15 6:55 12:45

9/21 7:25 1:10 7:50 1:35

9/22 8:15 2:05 8:45 2:30

9/23 9:10 3:00 9:35 3:20

9/24 10:00 3:50 10:30 4:15

9/25 10:55 4:45 11:25 5:10

9/26 11:45 5:35 0 6:00

Comments

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Published: 12/15/17

Captainís Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means itís sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Published: 12/14/17

Captainís Corner: Good time for shallow-water flats fishing

Shallow-water flats fishing can be very exciting this time of year. Trout and redfish are available in good numbers, and the opportunities to catch some gator trout have made recent trips very rewarding. Some of the largest trout have been in very sk...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

The great weather, calm seas and exceptional fishing we experienced at the end of November and beginning of December came to a screeching halt with the cold front that came through. Surface water temperatures plummeted from an unseasonable 71 degrees...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

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