Sunday, April 22, 2018
Outdoors

Take It Outside Planner: Shark Bite Challenge, Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers and spiders (eek!)

Paddle Up: Shark Bite Challenge

If you paddle anything that floats, head to Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin for the Shark Bite Challenge & Paddlefest from Friday to Sunday. Canoes, kayaks, surf skis and paddleboards will compete on courses that range from 4 to 8 miles.

A crowd favorite are the Hawaiian outrigger canoes — 50 feet long and weighing 400 pounds — which race Sunday. New additions to this year's challenge are Friday's performance paddling clinics featuring world-renowned coaches and paddlers. Legendary elite South African paddler Jasper Mocke will host a surf ski (performance kayak) talk, and outrigger canoe coach Johnny Puakea will share his secret to success in a "Train Smarter, Not Harder Clinic." Paddlers can participate in a 1-, 4- or 8-mile distance race in their single crafts, including one or two-man outriggers and surf skis.

The race fees, $50-$180, include a dry-fit T-shirt and a ticket to the awards party. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Island Parks. On-site registration starts at 8 a.m. both days; races start at 10. Call Karen Mirlenbrink at (727) 510-3493 or go to sharkbitechallenge.com.

Show your appreciation: Coastal Conservation Association

Florida anglers owe a debt of gratitude to the Coastal Conservation Association, which back in the 1980s fought to have the state's premier inshore species, red drum, protected from commercial exploitation. Over the years, the CCA has helped protect fishing rights and prevent habitat destruction. Want to show your support and meet like-minded anglers? Check out the Tampa Chapter of the CCA's annual Fundraising Banquet at 6 p.m. April 14 at the Pepin Hospitality Centre. The event features drinks, dinner, a raffle, and live and silent auctions offering adventure travel from Tampa Bay to Argentina. Celebrity anglers Mike Anderson and C.A. Richardson will be there to share their secret spots. Call (850) 345-6227 or register online at ccaflorida.org.

Beginners welcome: Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers

If you are looking to start sea kayaking and don't know where to begin, there's a club just for you. The Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers, which meets monthly at Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park, organizes monthly paddles and beginners are always welcome. There is no better way to learn the sport than hang out with some veterans. Check out this month's meeting when Lisa Smith, zookeeper in the animal care department at Lowry Park Zoo, will share her adventures at 7 p.m. Monday. Smith has assisted with the recovery of more than 80 West Indian manatees, Florida's state marine mammal. If you miss this meeting, remember that the TBSK regularly offers free skills training. Go to tbsk.club and get out on the water.

Creature feature: golden orb spider

If you hit the trail on foot or by bike early in the morning, you are bound to run into one of my favorite critters, the golden orb spider. Sometimes called the banana spider, the golden orb loves to string its webs between trees, about face level. Terry's tip: Don't be the trail blazer. Let your buddy have that honor or you are bound to get a face full of yellow spider's web. And be forewarned — these spiders do bite and will leave a nasty welt.

   
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Captainís Corner: Time nears for snook, tarpon out at the beaches

With summerlike air temperatures coming in the next couple of weeks, snook will be moving out to the beaches and tarpon will start cruising there. Itís my favorite time of year to fish. With snook on the beaches and passes, you would think their biol...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Variables are all that is constant when it comes to art of fishing

The unique variables and ever-changing conditions of fishing are what set it apart from most other sports. Basketball goals donít move, baseball diamonds are basically the same and tennis courts never change. Fishing, on the other hand, is constantly...
Published: 04/21/18

Captainís Corner: King mackerel the hot topic as gulf waters warm

King mackerel is always the hot topic this time of year, with tournaments every weekend for two months. Some believe that massive schools in the gulf migrate from their fall haunts in south Florida and the Keys to the north, with the larger females (...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

Captainís Corner: Trout moving toward the beaches

After significant winds from a front last week, things are calming down and fish are turning on again. Bait has gotten predictable and easier to chum on the flats after moving to deeper water during the front. Iíve been targeting trout at first light...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/19/18

Captainís Corner: Rush of warmer water in gulf heats up fishing on offshore reefs, wrecks

The rush of warmer water on our offshore reefs and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico has brought with it a cadre of pelagic fish. Divers and anglers have enjoyed the influx of cobia, kingfish and more. The benthic (bottom) fish are splurging on the balls ...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Captainís Corner: Spring bite is solid despite wacky weather

Bipolar weather continues to confuse both fish and anglers. Fortunately the water temperature has gotten high enough that the effects donít last long and the spring bite continues to be solid. Snook are still the hot bite in many areas around the bay...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Captainís Corner: Kingfish, sharks provide aerial displays

Fishing was good this past Saturday, ahead of the cold front. We fished close to shore about 2 miles. Our approach was simple. We anchored the boat, fished with live baits and chummed heavily. Kingfish action was nonstop for the entire morning. We ca...
Published: 04/16/18

Captainís Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

Are you looking for line-screaming action? Head offshore. The kingfish bite has been good, though high winds may require a wait for the water to clear. The best numbers have been about 5 miles out on the hard bottom. Trolling for kingfish works well;...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/15/18

Captainís Corner: Spring run is the most wonderful time of the year

The full spring run of all species in our area is in full swing. Whatever species you would like to target, inshore or offshore, is as good as it gets this time of year. Redfish schools have shown up in the flats around Pinellas Point, but they are i...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel, kingfish showing up in big numbers

They are here! Spanish mackerel and kingfish have shown up in the numbers expected of them at this time of year. All we have to hope for is weather that will allow us to get offshore. In most years the hot spots have been the artificial reefs, shipwr...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18