Sunday, March 18, 2018

Take it Outside Planner: Freestyle Motocross show, Gulf surfing and big in-water boat show


More than 40 of the world's top extreme athletes — skateboarders, BMX riders and freestyle motocross maniacs — will catch big air at the inaugural St. Pete Action Sports event on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg. Top board riders include 27-time X Games medalist Bob Burnquist; 23-time X Games medalist Andy MacDonald; 10-time X Games gold medalist Bucky Lasek and nine-time X Games gold medalist Pierre-Luc Gagnon. Action sports fans will love the Big Air Triples, which features BMX riders doing three consecutive jumps on a 200-foot-long by 32-foot-high ramp. The Freestyle Motocross show will also feature some big names such as Adam Jones, Mike Mason, Taka Higoshino and Javier Villegas. Single-day tickets: general admission $30; child (ages 3-12) $20. Two-day tickets: general admission $50; child (ages 3-12) $40. General admission student tickets (with valid student ID) are $20.

CAtch a wave: GULF SURFING

The west coast of Florida has two surf seasons: summer and winter. Lots of surfers converge on local beaches when a stray tropical storm swings by. But from late October to early April, the Suncoast typically endures a dozen good cold fronts, each one kicking up two or three days of rideable surf. Only die-hard youngsters and veteran board riders, a.k.a. the "gray beards" and "silver backs," venture into surf in 60-degree water temperatures. But with a little insider knowledge and the right attitude you can ride some waves in the coming months without driving across the state to the east coast. Check out the new website, It's sponsoring a photo contest, so bring your digital camera in a dry box when you head out and see if your surf pic makes the cut.

Look and dream: BOAT SHOW

If you are looking for a little more laid-back fun, check out the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, the largest in-water boat show on Florida's Gulf Coast, which runs today through Sunday at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts — Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park. Entering its 37th year, the show offers fun-filled days for families, boaters and marine enthusiasts of all ages and will feature an impressive display of powerboats, sailboats, marine electronics and products. To learn more, go to

GREAT GIFT IDEA: Cool sunglasses

Costa del Mar's new Rooster style won Best Eyewear in the 2015 ICAST (International Convention of Sportfishing Trades) New Product Showcase in Orlando last summer. The new style offers a large-fit design and features built-in side shields to block incoming glare, as well as vents to alleviate lens fogging, a big plus when you are fishing the Florida flats. These sunglasses make an ideal gift for your favorite angler or water sport enthusiast. List price: $249.


Captainís Corner: Snook are the hot bite

Surface water temperatures have dipped into the low 60s, but the fish donít seem to mind. The longer days get the temperature up and helps keep it from getting into the danger zone at night. Snook have been the hot bite this past week and, believe it...
Updated: 12 hours ago

It has been a crazy month regarding all the drastic weather changes. We experienced a record-breaking warming trend in February, followed by an endless amount of cold weather this month. The arrival times for many spring migrations of fish has been i...
Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

February seemed like March with record-breaking heat, but now March seems like February with below-average temperatures. This is a good thing. Spring fishing has started way too early in the past few years. The cold-water temperature we have now will...
Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

Having a fantastic river trip one day where we caught a lot of snook in shallow water on a fly and going back to the same location three days later and not finding any cooperative fish can be very puzzling. What happened? Recent warm weather was repl...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

Water temperatures have finally started to climb into the low 70s on the flats. The temperatures have been fluctuating with the past few cold fronts moving through. Large schools of reds should start showing up on the flats in the Pinellas Point area...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

We traditionally look at two holidays to signal the start of trolling season for kingfish and Spanish mackerel along with their attendant migratory companions, blackfin tuna, cobia and barracuda. These are St. Patrickís Day (March 17) and Columbus Da...
Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

When the weather settles down in the bay area, spring fishing should shift quickly into high gear. Just before the recent heavy winds arrived and churned the nearshore gulf into a muddy mess, seasonal migratory fish were showing up all over town. For...
Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

Cool air has filtered down, giving us hopefully the last cold blow for awhile. Recent fronts have shaken things up. But fishing has been good considering the weather. Trout have pushed into their early spring areas, basically where they were five wee...
Published: 03/10/18
Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

March is here, and the weather is great. This month is when we make that change toward spring fishing. Snook really ramps up, and trophy trout mixed with good redfish are not far behind. Snook has to be the most targeted fish for March. Just about ev...
Published: 03/09/18

Captainís Corner: Cold fronts might be a blessing for fishing

So much for getting too hot too fast. It was a concern a couple of weeks ago when water temperatures were flirting with 80 degrees in some areas. We worried that the masses of kingfish might blow right by us as they sought that 70-75 temperatures the...
Published: 03/07/18
Updated: 03/08/18