Saturday, June 23, 2018
Outdoors

Take it Outside Planner: Everglades National Park, a seminar for saltwater fishers, the best camp chair

HIT THE GLADES: pARK centenNiAL

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with a trip to Florida's best, Everglades National Park. January and February are great months for bird watching. Visitors can see large colonies of nesting birds from a respectful distance with binoculars and long-range camera lenses. This is the "dry season" in the park and wading birds gather at traditional and new nesting sites. If you time it right you might see hundreds, perhaps even thousands of birds as they prepare to build nests. Get out your notebook — roseate spoonbills are the first to show up, followed by storks, egrets, herons and ibis. If you are looking for a good place to see the rose-colored birds, check out Paurotis Pond, located approximately 24 miles from the main park entrance near Homestead. For more information, visit nps.gov/ever.

LEARN FROM THE BEST: SALT WATER SPORTSMAN

The Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series is the nation's longest-running — 29 years — and most popular educational tour for fishermen. If you are looking for a few tips on how to land the big ones, this show is for you. International angler George Poveromo, host of the World of Saltwater Fishing on NBC Sports and longtime editor at Salt Water Sportsman, will be joined by more than a dozen of Florida's top charter boat captains. Topics include light-tackle fishing for Spanish and king mackerel; kite fishing for cobia and blackfin tuna; how to make stubborn tarpon eat and more. The series runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road, Riverview. (800) 448-7360. nationalseminarseries.com.

SPOT IT: GRAY FOX

If you spend any time in the woods, sooner or later you will come across a gray fox, a notoriously secretive but sometimes curious animal. This creature is sometimes mistaken for its cousin the red fox, a non-native species introduced into the state for hunting purposes, because it can have a lot of red hair. An adult gray fox is small, weighing just 7 to 13 pounds. While found across most of the United States, except the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, here in Florida they tend to be spotted in the northern portion of the state. The gray fox is nocturnal. Old-timers might call it a "tree fox" because unlike most canines, it can scamper up a tree quickly. They eat mostly mice, rats and rabbits, although a gray fox won't pass up meat, including reptiles, amphibians and fish.

TAKE A LOAD OFF: CAMP CHAIR

There's an old adage: You can either be a happy hiker or a happy camper, not both. If you want to feel great on the trail, carry less stuff. If you want to be comfortable in camp, bring a chair. Now, thanks to the Helinox chair, you can have the best of both worlds. This is the ideal chair for the outdoor adventurer. It is super compact when folded, no bigger than the size of a man's shoe. And it is ultra-lightweight at just 890 grams, less than a liter of water. The Helinox chair is perfect for hiking, biking, trekking, bushwalking, fishing, sea kayaking and more. $99. Available locally at Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park.

   
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Captainís Corner: Cool off, bring home a tasty dinner with scalloping

Whatís the best way to cool off in July and August? Go scalloping. Itís like going on an underwater Easter egg hunt that results in a bag of tasty scallops to cook up. The most popular places to scallop are in Homosassa and Steinhatchee in 2 feet of ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Size of sea trout a welcome surprise in Pinellas grass beds

A nice surprise has been the quality size of the spotted sea trout on deeper grass beds in southern Pinellas. Typically, summertime trout tend to run smaller than the 16- to 20-inch trout weíve been finding. Fishing the deep grass with scattered sand...
Published: 06/21/18

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 ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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