Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Outdoors

Outdoors notes: Tarpon, bonefish rules on the table

Making news

Bonefish, Tarpon Rules could change

Tarpon and bonefish may soon become catch-and-release fisheries if state officials adopt the proposed rules governing these prized recreational fish. The Florida Fish and Conservation Commission is considering eliminating the tarpon bag limit. Instead, it will allow anglers to harvest or possess a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag only for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association record. Officials are also considering tightening gear rules for tarpon and eliminating the existing bonefish tournament exemption permit. The proposal also includes an allowance for temporary possession of both tarpon and bonefish for the purposes of photography, measurement, weighing or collecting scientific samples. But first state officials are seeking public input. A hearing is set for 6 p.m. April 1 at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's Steidinger Auditorium (100 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg).

Area guide tops in gulf tarpon DNA

Local fishing guide Robert McCue was recently honored as the Gulf Coast champion for his contribution to the ongoing Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study. McCue, of Ellenton, collected 216 DNA samples from fish that his customers caught and released in 2012. The study uses DNA fingerprinting techniques to track individual tarpon so fishery managers can better understand this prized species' migration patterns. Since 2005 when the study began, volunteer anglers have submitted more than 16,500 of the nearly 18,000 samples inventoried in the study's database. In 2012, anglers took 4,726 samples, exceeding the project's annual goal of 4,000.

Check it out

Dinner and smoke

Got a hankering for gator or wild hog? Register now for the Clearwater Ducks Unlimited chapter's Cigar Smoker and Wild Game Dinner, scheduled for Thursday at Pappas Ranch Steakhouse (2630 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.). The entry fee of $35 includes food, draft beers and a hand-rolled stogie. For tickets, contact Joe Gavigan at (727) 422-5272 or e-mail [email protected]

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

Solunar chart

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3/23 3:05 9:10 3:20 9:30

3/24 3:45 9:50 4:00 10:15

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3/26 5:15 11:20 5:30 11:45

3/27 6:00 0 6:15 12:05

3/28 6:45 12:30 7:10 1:00

Comments

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing will be strong for awhile

June and July offer some of the yearís best offshore fishing. Targets such as red snapper, blackfin tuna, mahi≠mahi, wahoo and sailfish make their way through our area and make appearances on many trips to depths of 120 feet or more. Red snapper are ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Captainís Corner: Itís a good time to focus on snook

Snook have been a main focus on my most recent trips. This time of year, snook inhabit the beaches, gathering in the ditches and swashes along shore. Jetties or rock structures are also a favorite habitat for snook to lurk, looking to ambush bait fis...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on targeting American Red Snapper

American Red Snapper (ARS) season opened a few days ago and some types of bottom are holding bigger schools of ARS then other bottom types. The hard bottom areas that most fishermen prefer are holding large schools of ARS, but the fish have yet to m...
Published: 06/18/18

Captainís Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best Iíve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flatsí deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing this month is all about diversity

This is the month of diverse opportunity. The choice of species is unlimited, as long as you have the bait. You can target snook and tarpon in the morning, then fish for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, snapper, sharks and cobia in the afternoon. The tarp...
Published: 06/15/18

Captainís Corner: When itís tarpon time, itís also shark time

Tarpon get most of the attention when talking about exciting fly action for large fish in our area. Baitfish are more prolific, and large tarpon follow their forage and populate most of our local waters. Following them are fish that consider tarpon t...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Captainís Corner: This is your best time for tarpon fishing

Now is the best time to target tarpon. Silver kings are cruising the beaches on their yearly migration up and down the stateís west coast. This weekís strong new moon tides and the strong full moon tides in two weeks provide some of the best action f...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Captainís Corner: Turn attention to gag grouper and red snapper

Attention has turned to gag grouper and red snapper for many offshore fishermen. Red snapper can be best targeted in waters 105 feet and deeper, with some available in water as shallow as 60 feet. Although the snapper will be found on high profile st...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Captainís Corner: Pompano popping up at passes, along beach

Over the past few weeks, pompano have started to appear around the passes and along the beach. These tasty members of the jack family are one of the most difficult fish to find and keep track of. Just when you think youíve figured out a reliable time...
Published: 06/10/18
Updated: 06/11/18

Captainís Corner: Many fish now in their deep summer areas

Many fish have moved into their deep summer areas. This has been the pattern the past week. Snook are in their spawning areas waiting for the tide and moon to align. Iíve been leaving them alone and opting for the more steady action trout have been p...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/10/18