Thursday, June 21, 2018
Outdoors

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

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: 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

Captainís Corner: Pompano popping up at passes, along beach

Over the past few weeks, pompano have started to appear around the passes and along the beach. These tasty members of the jack family are one of the most difficult fish to find and keep track of. Just when you think youíve figured out a reliable time...
Published: 06/10/18
Updated: 06/11/18

Captainís Corner: Many fish now in their deep summer areas

Many fish have moved into their deep summer areas. This has been the pattern the past week. Snook are in their spawning areas waiting for the tide and moon to align. Iíve been leaving them alone and opting for the more steady action trout have been p...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/10/18