Saturday, December 16, 2017

Outdoors notes: Regulations help, WaterTribe race update

Making news

Workshop Offers anglers Clarity on Rules

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and Florida Sea Grant will hold a series of public workshops along Florida's gulf coast to discuss offshore recreational and commercial regulations. These will not be hearings to discuss proposed regulations, but informative sessions designed to clarify existing rules, such as license and permit requirements, seasons, equipment, length and bag limits. The local workshop will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Madeira Beach City Hall.

Meanwhile, NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a new rule that would establish a season for gag grouper to open July 1 and close when the annual catch target is met, which most analysts believe would happen in November or December. The new rule would maintain the Feb. 1 through March 31 shallow-water grouper closure outside of the 20-fathom line. To learn how to submit your comments go to

WaterTribe update

St. Louis' Shane Perrin, trying to become the first standup paddleboarder to complete the WaterTribe 300-mile Everglades Challenge from Fort De Soto to Key Largo, was working his way along Everglades National Park toward the third checkpoint at Flamingo late Thursday afternoon. Paul and Alan Stewart, competing in the small sailboat monohull class, were the first to complete the race, in 2 days, 2 minutes.

Solunar chart


Minor Major Minor Major

3/8 2:20 8:30 2:40 8:55

3/9 3:10 9:15 3:25 9:40

3/10 4:55 11:00 5:10 11:30

3/11 5:45 11:45 5:55 0

3/12 6:25 12:10 6:50 12:40

3/13 7:20 1:05 7:45 1:30

3/14 8:05 1:55 8:35 2:20


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