Friday, November 17, 2017
Outdoors

Take It Outside Planner: Redfish tournament, Hillsborough River clean-up, photography hikes

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ONE FISH, TWO FISH: REDFISH TOURNAMENT

The feisty big redfish that prowl the marshes off Crystal River are about to have some company. This weekend brings the second annual Plantation Redfish Classic, a tournament for redfish, grouper and trout at the Plantation on Crystal River golf resort about 80 miles north of Tampa. One of Florida's most popular sport fish, redfish are also called red drum after the "drumming" sound they make during spawning and when taken out of the water. Redfish in Florida live a long time (the oldest recorded is 40 years) and can reach 3 to 4 feet in length and weigh up to 51 pounds. They are also delicious. In fact, they were turning up in such great numbers on dinner plates in the 1980s that the state banned commercial harvests, saving the species from being wiped out. Redfish spawn from August to November, and September is usually the peak month for angling. The $75 tournament entry includes a goodie bucket, T-shirt, captains dinner on Friday night and an awards banquet. Prizes range from $100 to $3,000. Proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Anglers. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 9301 W Fort Island Trail, Crystal River. Toll free 1-800-632-6262. plantationoncrystalriver.com.

DO GOOD: MOTHER NATURE HELPERS NEEDED

Get outdoors and give back at the same time this weekend by answering the call to clean up preserves and estuaries. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful needs volunteers for the Hillsborough River and Coastal Clean-Up on Saturday. From 8:30-11:30 a.m., Mother Nature helpers will be sent to clean up 70 locations along the Hillsborough River, Alafia River, Little Manatee River, Lake Thonotosassa and tributaries connecting to Tampa Bay. Volunteers will also become a "Scientist for a Day" and engage in research activities involving litter removal. keeptampabaybeautiful.org.

The Brooker Creek Preserve has put out a call for Return the Preserve Day to help rid the Tarpon Springs preserve of exotic, invasive vegetation and nuisance plants. Bring work gloves and yard tools, and be ready for strenuous garden work. Best for strong volunteers 12 and older. Water and snacks provided 8-11 a.m. Saturday at 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800. brookercreekpreserve.org.

PICTURE THIS: PHOTOGRAPHY HIKES

In this Instagram era, part of the fun in discovery of outdoor beauty is snapping a picture and sharing it. But as any good photographer can tell you, natural light is tricky. You can get some tips at a Photography Hike this Saturday at the Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg. Bring your camera and capture the natural beauty as center volunteers highlight seasonal features to make great photos. Free. 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Registration required. (727) 453-6500. weedonislandpreserve.org.

Other photography hikes coming up include Brooker Creek Preserve's Seasons of Florida Photography Hike on Sept. 24 and Oct. 29, when photographers join nature lovers Karl and Kathleen Nichter to explore and photograph the Tarpon Springs nature trails. Photography tips and techniques will be discussed. In the event of rain, there will be a classroom session. Free. 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. Registration required. (727) 453-6800. brookercreekpreserve.eventbrite.com.

A highlight of this year's ButterflyFest at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville is the Picture Perfect Photography Workshop from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1-2. It allows participants to photograph inside the museum's "Butterfly Rainforest" before it opens to the public with equipment not generally permitted inside the exhibit. Museum employees will be available to help stage photos with newly emerged butterflies. The cost, which includes exhibit admission, is $25 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers at least 18 years old. Registration is required. (352) 273-2064. flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest.

 
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...
Updated: 3 hours ago

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