Sunday, December 17, 2017
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: Bottom fishing is good with dropping gulf water temperatures

The past few weeks have delivered lots of cold air, dropping water temperatures in the gulf. Thermometers are reading in the low 60s. This is going to change a few things closer to shore. Anglers will find an absence of kingfish on many of the spots ...
Published: 12/16/17

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Published: 12/15/17

Captainís Corner: Drop in gulf water temperature means itís sea trout time

The gulf temperature has dropped significantly since our first real cold front last week. One day the water was in the mid 70s, then after the front, it fell to the low 60s. That caused speckled sea trout to become a reliable target. Redfish have bee...
Published: 12/14/17

Captainís Corner: Good time for shallow-water flats fishing

Shallow-water flats fishing can be very exciting this time of year. Trout and redfish are available in good numbers, and the opportunities to catch some gator trout have made recent trips very rewarding. Some of the largest trout have been in very sk...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Captainís Corner: Seek clear water for bottom fishing as temperatures plummet

The great weather, calm seas and exceptional fishing we experienced at the end of November and beginning of December came to a screeching halt with the cold front that came through. Surface water temperatures plummeted from an unseasonable 71 degrees...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Captainís Corner: Sheepshead action lively in cooler weather

Conditions after the cold front are cool and are going to be for a while. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít fish. Many anglers get stuck on snook, reds and trout and forget how fun it is to catch sheepshead. Many reefs are already holding good...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17

Captainís Corner: Fishing will return to normal, but when?

The severity of this cold front will determine the fishing forecast for the next several days. Bait that had been abundant inshore will scatter. Nearshore gulf waters will muddy, and water temperatures. at least temporarily. will plummet. How cold, h...
Published: 12/08/17
Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

Captainís Corner: Planning around fronts can lead to productive days

I canít believe we are in the last month of the year. And while this is one of my favorite months to fish, it will be controlled by weather. As cold fronts become more frequent and harsh, planning your trips around them will make the biggest differen...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Captainís Corner: Strong results for redfish, speckled trout

This is a great time for variety. Combined trips for speckled trout and redfish are achieving excellent results. With the correct approach, great catches of both species are a reality now. The best anglers use the lightest tackle. Light rods and reel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Captainís Corner: Take advantage of abundant gag grouper before season ends

Gag grouper fishing and spearing is hot. The season for these grouper in the Gulf of Mexico is winding down, with a slated closure at the end of this month. The cooler water has the gags moving closer, and they are happy when the bottom temperatures ...
Published: 12/05/17