Friday, April 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

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

3/22 2:20 8:25 2:35 8:50

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

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

3/25 4:30 10:35 4:45 11:00

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: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

After significant winds from a front last week, things are calming down and fish are turning on again. Bait has gotten predictable and easier to chum on the flats after moving to deeper water during the front. Iíve been targeting trout at first light...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/19/18

Captainís Corner: Rush of warmer water in gulf heats up fishing on offshore reefs, wrecks

The rush of warmer water on our offshore reefs and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico has brought with it a cadre of pelagic fish. Divers and anglers have enjoyed the influx of cobia, kingfish and more. The benthic (bottom) fish are splurging on the balls ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Captainís Corner: Spring bite is solid despite wacky weather

Bipolar weather continues to confuse both fish and anglers. Fortunately the water temperature has gotten high enough that the effects donít last long and the spring bite continues to be solid. Snook are still the hot bite in many areas around the bay...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Captainís Corner: Kingfish, sharks provide aerial displays

Fishing was good this past Saturday, ahead of the cold front. We fished close to shore about 2 miles. Our approach was simple. We anchored the boat, fished with live baits and chummed heavily. Kingfish action was nonstop for the entire morning. We ca...
Published: 04/16/18

Captainís Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

Are you looking for line-screaming action? Head offshore. The kingfish bite has been good, though high winds may require a wait for the water to clear. The best numbers have been about 5 miles out on the hard bottom. Trolling for kingfish works well;...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/15/18

Captainís Corner: Spring run is the most wonderful time of the year

The full spring run of all species in our area is in full swing. Whatever species you would like to target, inshore or offshore, is as good as it gets this time of year. Redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but they are i...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel, kingfish showing up in big numbers

They are here! Spanish mackerel and kingfish have shown up in the numbers expected of them at this time of year. All we have to hope for is weather that will allow us to get offshore. In most years the hot spots have been the artificial reefs, shipwr...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Captainís Corner: Offshore fishing heats up in spring

Spring is here and things are heating up offshore. Kingfish have arrived from Tarpon Springs to Anna Maria. Spanish mackerel are around many of the bridges and piers, and cobia have appeared on the wrecks. Our most interesting discovery last week was...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout, snook gathering around oyster bars

The recent full moon has finally sent the bait to the flats, although if you prefer the markers, theyíre still there, too. It seems we are finally in full-on spring mode. Trout have been sporadic at best, but when a group is located, they are coopera...
Published: 04/10/18

Captainís Corner: High winds making fly fishing a challenge

Wind has been detrimental lately, not only in fly casting but in finding fish, then getting them to take our offering. Ideally, find some clear water and donít worry about it. Areas with lots of sea grass will filter water for exceptional clarity. Un...
Published: 04/09/18
Updated: 04/14/18