Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Outdoors: State officials to discuss tarpon fishing proposal again

Making news

Protection for Tarpon on FWC meeting agenda

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet next week on Wednesday and Thursday in Tallahassee to discuss a variety of marine species, including tarpon, which may soon become a catch-and-release fishery. Tarpon are not in "biological jeopardy," according to state biologists, but a recent proposal for more protection for tarpon has strong support from the commission and residents of the Boca Grande area, the state's premiere tarpon fishery. In addition to protecting tarpon, commissioners also plan to review and discuss the fishing tackle that may be used in the pass, something that has long been debated among anglers themselves. To learn more, go to


Group plans home for oyster bars

If you want to see more fish and birds in Tampa Bay then plan to help the nonprofit conservation group Tampa Bay Watch build an oyster bar along the shoreline of the Schultz Nature Preserve in Riverview from 9 a.m. to noon today through Sunday. Oysters are filter feeders that improve water quality, which in turn helps promote the growth of sea grasses, which serve as a habitat for a variety of recreationally and commercially valuable marine species. Oyster bars also help stabilize the shoreline and prevent erosion. The preserve is located on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay south of the mouth of the Alafia River. For more information about the project or to sign up to volunteer, visit the website at


Fundraiser keeps CCA going strong

The Tampa Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, one of the state's longest running angler advocacy groups, will hold its annual fundraising banquet Thursday at the T. Pepin Hospitality Centre in Tampa. Tampa Bay's inshore and offshore fisheries have improved dramatically over the past quarter-century thanks to the work of so many CCA members. Call (850) 345-6227 or (407) 257-7333 for more information, or register online at

Send news or upcoming events information to Outdoors Editor Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

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Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

The outgoing tides of last weekendís new moon washed thousands of small swimmer crabs, known locally as "pass crabs," out of the estuaries and into the gulf. This suddenly abundant food source offshore works as a natural chum line and draws big permi...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Captainís Corner: With full moon, tarpon are on the move

With the full moon this next week tarpon are moving down the beaches and making their way out of the bay and moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to go out and spawn on the full moon. Early in the morning along t...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Captainís Corner: Cloudier water improves the bite

Windy conditions this week have actually slightly improved fishing. The waters of Saint Joseph sound had become so clear that it made finding fish easy, but getting bites very difficult. Snook have been gathering in great numbers all along the beache...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18

Captainís Corner: Change tactics for fly fishing success

Most fly fishers would prefer minimum wind and cloudless skies to increase chances for a banner day. This has been a problem lately. The wind makes casting more difficult, unless very experienced, and clouds interfere with sight casting opportunities...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Captainís Corner: Tips on handling burgeoning baitfish

Schools of baitfish have arrived and taken up residence in all depths. Birds are diving on them close to the beach, all the way out to the midwater artificial reefs. Farther offshore, bait schools might not be visible on the surface but can be detect...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Captainís Corner: Buckle up, the tarpon are here

Tarpon season is here, and the fish are showing up in numbers along the beaches. While there have been tarpon in the bays and backwaters for awhile, there were very few schools cruising the coast until a few days ago. Then, seemingly overnight, big p...
Published: 05/11/18