Saturday, November 18, 2017
Outdoors

Take It Outside planner: Fort Zachary Taylor, Myakka airboating and fishing tourney

RECOMMENDED READING


DESTINATION: FORT ZACHARY TAYLOR

Looking for the best sunset in Florida? Fort Zachary Taylor, Florida's southernmost state park, is as good as it gets. Built in the mid 1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. You can sign up for one of the daily guided tours or just chill out on Key West's favorite beach, at the southern end of the park. There's good fishing and snorkeling too, a pleasant break from the bars and T-shirt shops of Duval Street. Interesting fact: Fort Taylor was originally built 1,200 feet offshore, but in the mid 1960s a U.S. Navy dredging project landlocked the fortress. floridastateparks.org.

Everglades stamp

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing some "forever stamps" which pay tribute to the nation's most scenic places. A setting sun photograph of pinelands and grasses in the country's largest subtropical wilderness — Everglades National Park — is the sixth of 16 stamps in the series. The stamp image is a photograph by Paul Marcellini of Miami. The national park, which stretches from Miami to Naples and south to the Florida Keys, covers more than 1.5 million acres of sawgrass prairies, tropical hardwood hammocks and mangrove forests. Bring your binoculars and you'll see alligators, crocodiles, manatees and maybe a Florida panther. nps.gov/ever.

BREEZY: Myakka airboating

It's getting hot out there but that doesn't mean you have to stay off the water. Myakka River State Park, about an hour south of downtown St. Petersburg, has big reptiles and the world's largest airboats, the Myakka Maiden and the Gator Gal, both of which offer scenic cruises on Upper Myakka Lake. Like human-powered canoes, the slow-moving, air-powered watercraft can travel into shallow areas for optimum wildlife viewing. The tour schedule varies during the winter and summer months. You can also enjoy the park from the comfort of your own air-conditioned car when you take a tour on the 7-mile scenic drive that winds along the wetlands of the upper lake. floridastateparks.org.

GREAT GEAR: Danco Pliers

Whether you're fishing for king mackerel offshore or snook in the backcountry, every angler needs a good pair of pliers. With Mother's Day and Father's Day just around the corner, get your favorite folk something they can use but probably wouldn't buy for themselves: Danco Pliers. These aluminum pliers cost $39.99 and will last forever. Find them at Dogfish Tackle, 8750 Park Blvd. N, Seminole.

HAIL THE KING: KINGFISH TOURNAMENT

Check out the Old Salt Spring King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament & Seafood Festival Thursday through Saturday in Madeira Beach. The top teams from Texas to Virginia will be competing for the $50,000 first place prize. The three days of music, food and events are for everybody, not just hard-core kingfish anglers. Registration is $235-$245. oldsaltfishing.org.

     
Comments

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

Captainís Corner: Kingfish domination

With calm seas and water temperature just the way they like it, kingfish will dominate much of the nearshore and offshore activity. Light wind and strong tides from the weekendís full moon have allowed nearshore waters to cleanse, so baits are being ...
Published: 11/08/17
Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

Captainís Corner: November means strong snook fishing

November is the month that moves most inshore fish from the flats to the backcountry creeks, docks and rivers. Itís a month when you can enjoy great weather and great fishing without waking up at the crack of dawn. The South Shore in particular has s...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/09/17