Monday, November 20, 2017
Outdoors

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

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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: Get ready for gag grouper migration

With falling water temperatures and bait fish making their way into the near shore waters off of the coast, we can expect the fall migration of gag grouper to be in full swing with the next two or three cold fronts that make their way into the centra...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Captainís Corner: As visibility improves, so does spearfishing

Spearing in the Gulf of Mexico is improving day by day. First, the underwater visibility is getting much better. For more than a month, after Hurricane Irma, the offshore water clarity was so poor that most divers stayed home. The water is now much c...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Captainís Corner: Snook bite remains aggressive

We are in the midst of prefrontal conditions, so there should be good fishing today. Bait seems to have moved on the last full moon and judging by the amount of bait fry that has filtered onto the flats, it spawned also. Load up the wells with the sm...
Published: 11/17/17

Captainís Corner: Calm seas closer to beaches rewards with kingfish

Strong east winds have made it challenging for offshore anglers. The first few miles are quite tolerable since the land buffers the shoreline. After that, sea conditions have been tougher. Anglers searching for kingfish have been rewarded with calm s...
Published: 11/16/17

Captainís Corner: A little wind doesnít stop hot fishing in November

Despite many windy days, November fishing has been amazing. The water is cooling off, and the fish are becoming more aggressive. Itís getting to be the time of year when the cold fronts start to make their way out of the north. When this happens, win...
Published: 11/15/17

Captainís Corner: Fly fishing success possible, even in wind

When your day to fly fish arrives, do you hope for a day without wind? Knowledgeable fly fishers know there are many ways to deal with different wind situations. Avoid open water, and select an area that offers protection. Stay close to shore and use...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Captainís Corner: Low tides and cold fronts make for rewarding fishing

Fall and winter low tides combined with cold fronts passing through can lead to highly rewarding fishing. It takes winds blowing 20-plus miles an hour out of the northeast combined with an astronomical low tide around the new moon and full moon phase...
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Captainís Corner: Reef fish abundant offshore; mackerel, kings better near shore

Before this recent cold front, we were able to travel where we wanted, and the calm seas allowed us to make the mistake of running past the best depths for our type of fishing. The 40- to 50-foot depths produced almost nonstop action from reef fish, ...
Published: 11/12/17
Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

Captainís Corner: Mackerel still going strong in bay area

The fall king mackerel run is still going strong. The fish have seemed to come in waves; one week there are numerous fish more than 30 pounds, and a week or two later no one can find any more than 20. It also seems the fish are not moving south all t...
Published: 11/11/17

Captainís Corner: Cold front should push fish into backcountry waters

The approaching front is forecast to drop temperatures for a couple of days. This should push more fish into the backcountry rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Once the front passes and the weather stabilizes, fishing should return to normal. This ...
Published: 11/10/17