Sunday, January 21, 2018
Outdoors

Take it Outside Planner: Shark Week, Summer RV Show, water bottles

SHARK WEEK: See the real thing

Discovery Channel's most popular slate of programming — Shark Week — returns for its 28th year in a series of specials Sunday through July 3. Scientists love to hate Shark Week, or maybe it's that they hate themselves when they love it. It's great that Discovery Channel spends so much time talking about sharks, one of the most threatened species on the planet thanks to overfishing. But it's hard to get people to care about protecting them when they are portrayed as terrifying. Critics are a must-read during Shark Week, like shark biologist David Shiffman's Twitter account @WhySharksMatter when he calls out the nonsense. ("Sharks bend hooks all the time. It doesn't make them mythical Hitler sharks.")

If you want to see the real thing, the Florida Aquarium will be highlighting its sharks 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and throwing in a themed scavenger hunt, interactive shark games, learning activities and shark trivia. Included with regular admission: $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000.

Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory, founded by late "Shark Lady" Eugenie Clark, who dispelled many myths about sharks, holds its own Shark Days at Mote: Real Sharks, Real Science from Aug. 15-20. In the meantime, you can witness feeding time at Mote's Shark Zone at 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and take Eco Tours and Mote Research Charters, where you can help measure, weigh and tag species as scientists gather data. Book at mote.org.

GET HITCHED: Tampa Bay Summer RV Show

With summer vacation season upon us, this weekend the Tampa Bay Summer RV Show brings a huge lineup of campers and motor homes for every kind of outdoor lover, from bare-bones pop-up campers to luxury liners that cost more than many houses. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Sunday, You'll find new and used travel trailers, motor homes, tent campers and conversion vans and lots of booths featuring parts and accessories, insurance, RV repair and financing. Admission is $4, free for 15 and younger at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa.

GEAR: A better water bottle

We live in Florida. It's hot. You need to keep hydrated, preferably in style. Right now the $29.99 Yeti is all the craze, but there's a video going viral that found Walmart's knock-off Ozark tumbler ($7.74) was still full of ice after seven hours, just like the Yeti. But if money is no problem, uncommongoods.com sells the Adventure Filter water bottle for $35-$75. Originally created for humanitarian workers, the bottle's versatility in filtering pollutants from river or lake water has hikers and campers snapping it up. If coolness is a factor, check out the Vapur Flexible Anti-Bottle. It's a nifty water pouch that stands upright when full, but it rolls up for easy storage when you're done drinking. It's freezable, dishwasher safe and BPA free. Find it for about $10 at vapur.us, amazon.com or other online retailers.

 
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Captainís Corner: Live baits outperforming artificials

Amberjack have been the hot topic in the area since their season opened Jan. 1. Anglers have been targeting wrecks and other large structures in depths of 80-120 feet for these tackle-testing monsters. Although amberjack are caught on a wide variety ...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18

Captainís Corner: What to expect from fish coming out of the cold spell

Extreme cold has brought backcountry water temperatures down. As in years past, extreme dips have shocked many fish, especially snook, which take the biggest hit and become extremely lethargic and often near death. Luckily the cold wonít be long, and...
Published: 01/19/18

Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

Over the past two weeks divers and anglers have been in search of amberjack. The season opened Jan. 1 and ends Jan. 27. The short season for gulf amberjack has pushed many divers and anglers to venture offshore, even in questionable weather. Donít fo...
Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

This past week has seen a variety of different fishing styles prove effective. Fishing for trout in deeper depressions with live shrimp has provided steady action. Rig as follows: Use a ?-ounce jighead, grab a shrimp from the well and pinch the tail ...
Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

Back-to-back winter cold fronts not only confuse inshore fish but the fly fishers who pursue them. The most perfectly tied fly is not effective unless it is in front of a fish that is anxious to eat it. The best daytime tides, very low early and inco...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

Trout have been my most productive target during the start of this new year. Winter cold fronts and cold water are making conditions difficult to target snook and reds. Strong winds from passing fronts make it hard to work the shallow-water flats. Th...
Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

Mother Nature gives and she takes away. Nature gave us warm water and great king fishing until Dec. 31. She ushered in the new year with a severe cold front with high winds and rough seas that kept us in port every day. The cold air and overcast skie...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

Cold water has fishing in sort of slow motion. Middle bay temperatures (Gandy area) are holding in the 54-56 degree range. During this time of year the stalking of large snook and redfish take a back seat to finesse fishing and trying to figure out w...
Published: 01/10/18
Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

With colder weather the first big change is what bait to use. Before the cold fronts in the first week we were using greenbacks and catching a bunch of snook. With the cold weather that has hit us we are now shifting gears and using shrimp and throwi...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18