Tuesday, February 20, 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.

 
Comments

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

Scuba and freediving spearfishermen and women have enjoyed great underwater visibility over the past week. Some boaters going offshore can make out the bottom structure from the gunnel of the boat. Best depths for visibility have been in 30 to 40 fee...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

The flats are really coming to life in north Pinellas County. Our main focus this time of year is spotted sea trout, though redfish are cooperating and schooling a bit. Snook are also responding to the warm weather, occasionally eating on the falling...
Published: 02/18/18

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

Bait has made its way into the bay and is on nearly every marker. The problem: Bait is moving and showing up at different times daily. The time spent to get bait will pay off. Fish have been blasting pilchards. Snook and large trout have been communi...
Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

The first half of February has been hit or miss for inshore fishing. The consistent cold fronts and warmups seem to have the fish confused. The week ahead should be pretty good. The best bite has been midmorning into the afternoon. With temperatures ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18

Captainís Corner: Topwater plugs a great option as warming trend continues

Warm weather for the past week has led to an increase in feeding activity for inshore fish species. Speckled trout have been venturing out of deep holes and channels and back into shallow water to feed. This has presented a great opportunity to fish ...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/11/18

Captainís Corner: Sardines make a great bait

Bait has made its way into the bay and the fish have been eating sardines with violent strikes. Look deep for bait, most of it has been in 20-plus feet of water. A little knowledge of how to read a bottom machine will help you secure the prized sardi...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/10/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing conditions have started to improve

The waters are still a bit cooler than the kind a bunch of fish like to aggressively chew in. Fishing conditions, however, have slowly but surely begun to improve. On a recon mission Tuesday, I visited both Sunshine Skyway bridge fishing piers and th...
Published: 02/08/18