Sunday, July 15, 2018
Outdoors

Take it Outside Planner: Tampa Bay Boat Show, how to prep for kayaking trips

Boats, Boats, Boats: Tampa Bay Boat Show

If you are looking to buy a boat this spring, you'll find plenty to choose from this weekend at Tropicana Field. The Tampa Bay Boat Show will have hundreds of watercraft on display, but it is easy to get overwhelmed. So before you go, come up with a game plan. Are you a shopper who just wants to look around and dream of owning a boat? Or are you a buyer who wants to slap down cash and hit the water before kingfish season? If do really want to buy, set a budget. How much do you want to spend? Do you plan to pay for the boat in one lump sum or through monthly payments? Answer those questions before you settle on a specific model. Once you decide on what you want, check the used boat ads for resale value. If you buy the boat now, what will it sell for in two or three years? The show runs Friday through Sunday. Gates open at 10 a.m. Free admission; $5 parking. tampabayboatshows.com.

Prepare: Camping on the water

Most of Florida's best backcountry campsites are accessible only by water. The Everglades, the Ten Thousand Islands and Biscayne National Park are popular with canoeists and kayakers. In most places, outfitters rent watercraft and provide paddles and personal flotation devices, but you will have to bring camping gear. Pack for a water trip as you would for backpacking: Bring only what is necessary. But whenever you're dealing with open-water conditions, hypothermia can be a concern. Be sure to dress in layers and wear a waterproof outer layer in inclement weather. Before you try to paddle to this chickee on the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway that runs from Everglades City to Flamingo, try a few short day trips in your canoe or kayak. Pack as if you were going on a weeklong expedition, even it means just carrying 10 gallons of water. It will give you a sense of what to look forward to.

Animal of the week: Coral Snakes

Florida has 44 species of snakes, with six considered dangerous to humans: the pygmy rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the diamondback rattlesnake, the timber rattlesnake and the coral snake, the country's most venomous reptile. Measuring less than 2 feet but packing a punch more powerful than an 8-foot rattlesnake, the coral snake is closely related to the cobra and has a neurotoxin venom that attacks the nervous system. Because of its bright yellow, red and black bands, the coral snake is often confused with the scarlet kingsnake with similar markings. Forget the rhyme "red touch yellow, kills a fellow; red touch black, good for Jack." If you are bitten by a coral snake, chances are, you'll be too preoccupied with the pain to remember the rhyme. It's much easier to look at the face: The coral snake's is black; the kingsnake's is red. Nine out of 10 coral snake bites occur after the victim has tried to pick up, harass or kill the coral snake. So a good rule to follow is don't play with snakes. If you suffer a bite wound, stay calm. Then get to the hospital immediately. The doctor will need to know what species bit you. A coral snake's bite is treated with a different antivenin than a rattlesnake's bite.

 
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Captainís Corner: Fishing docks and bridges at night is good way to beat summertime heat

The summertime heat and humidity are in full swing. Get out early to avoid the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. Water temperatures are anywhere from 88 to 93 degrees. With water temperatures that high, youíll be able to spend only the first few ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Donít forget about the ponds for fishing

Saltwater gets all of our attention, but when driving to and from work or visiting a friend, keep an eye out for a pond that looks fishy. There are many productive ponds that have bass and panfish, some even have snook and baby tarpon, both of which ...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Captainís Corner: Welcome to summertime kingfish season

We now have a summertime kingfish season. In the past weíve basically given up on kingfish at the end of May because the feeling was they had migrated to the northern gulf to spawn, not returning until mid-October. Weíve targeted kingfish this year i...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel push back into bay

Large Spanish mackerel have pushed into the bay as of the most recent full moon. Many of these pelagics are in the 6-pound range, and recent catches of 8-pound mackerel have not been uncommon. A medium action rod with a 4000 series reel spooled with ...
Published: 07/11/18

Captainís Corner: Pinellas south beaches strong for snook

Snook fishing along the south beaches of Pinellas County has been amazing. Large schools are hanging in the swash channels formed by wave motion right off the beach. The water clarity changes daily, depending on the wind direction. If the wind is out...
Published: 07/08/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Captainís Corner: Good tarpon action should last through August

For those who have not had their fill of tarpon fishing, thereís still plenty of it. A good flow of silverkings continues along our gulf beaches and in the bays and backwaters. Weíll be tugging on íem through next month. We battled tarpon last week j...
Published: 07/07/18
Updated: 07/08/18
Captainís Corner: Summer weather brings great bay fishing

Captainís Corner: Summer weather brings great bay fishing

We are right in the middle of the summer, which makes for some hot weather and rainy afternoons. With summer weather patterns come some great bay fishing. Sharks, cobia, snapper and grouper are plentiful inside Tampa Bay. Shark fishing is also a grea...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Captainís Corner: Nowís the time for beach tarpon fishing

Beach tarpon fishing has been good. Tarpon have been showing up early in the morning and during the tide change occurring midmorning to early afternoon. Live pinfish fished 4-5 feet under a float has been the ticket. Most of the fish are heading nort...
Published: 07/06/18

Captainís Corner: For July fishing success, avoid the sun

This is the dead stretch of summer. Success in fishing has everything to do with the "when." A month ago it was at sunrise. With water temperatures at 90, you should think about being out on the water several hours before sunrise. Of late, the fishin...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/07/18

Captainís Corner: Get you American red snapper now since season nears its end

American red snapper and gag grouper remain the most searched fish for offshore and spearfishermen. The ARS season closes at midnight July 19, so if you want to get these tasty fish, plan your trip soon. When the season opened a few weeks ago, ARS we...
Published: 07/05/18