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Trail mix: King of the Beach winners, fly of the month, summer camps for kids

What's new?

Fishing shirts are hot. Just ask Guy Harvey, who has made millions painting pictures of marlin, wahoo, dolphin and other Florida sport fish. The next great design may just come from some locals. Stop by a boat show or your favorite tackle shop and check out the new Baitrun line. The company's motto "Fish Blood and Scales" fits right in with Tampa Bay's hard-fishing image.

You can find the shirts locally at Dogfish Tackle, T.A. Mahoney Company, Gulf to Bay Bait and Tackle, Reno Beach Surf Shop, Tampa Fishing Outfitters, Snell Isle Marina, Skyway Bait and Tackle, Hubbard's Marina, O'Neills Marina and 4th Street Tackle. To learn more go to,


{outdoors-related bits and bites}

Racers enjoy conditions to Mexico

Twenty-four sailboats left St. Petersburg on April 29 in the 43rd Regata del Sol al Sol race to Isla Mujeres on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The fleet had relatively calm seas and favorable winds up to 20 knots. For the first time in years the conditions allowed all of the boats to make the crossing without firing up their engines. The first boat to arrive early Sunday afternoon with an elapsed time of 51 hours, 26 minutes was the multihull Cool Cat. The rest of the fleet began arriving in the predawn hours Monday. By sunset Monday all but a couple of boats were in, with those boats arriving early Tuesday. First overall (adjusted time) and first in cruising went to Munequita (67:38). Musica (65:49) was first in spinnaker, and Midnight Sun (79:33) was first in non-spinnaker.

Fly of the month

The Tarpon Toad was developed by Gary Merriman but can trace its roots to the Tasty Toad, a pattern tied by Harry Spear for Florida Keys bonefish. This fly is neutrally buoyant, appetizingly bulky, with a great swimming motion in the water. This particular black and purple pattern, tied locally by Mike December was provided by Enver Hysni of Tampa Bay On The Fly. For more information, go to

Summer is on the way, campers

Summer camp sign-ups have begun, and kids have a wide variety of outdoors camps to choose from, including junior lifeguard camps, studying reptiles and amphibians, marine ecosystems, and getting up close to tigers, leopards and lions.

Below is just a small sampling, but check out our database of summer camps at

Brooker Creek and Weedon Island preserves' Herpetology and Wildlife Ecology camps: Explore the world of amphibians and reptiles with George Heinrich, a professional herpetologist. Possible encounters with gopher tortoises, frogs, lizards, and snakes. Information: (727) 865-6255 or george@heinrichecological

Estuary EDventures: Tampa Bay Watch in Tierra Verde provides hands-on opportunities for kids to learn about marine ecology and restoration projects. Information: (727) 867-8166;

Big Cat Rescue: Children 8 to 15 can get up close with lions, tigers, leopards and other felines on the 55-acre campus in Tampa while learning about animal habitats, diets, adaptations and conservation. (813) 323-3265 or kids@bigcat

Aquakids: Explore how animals survive in the sea with Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota. Activities, games, crafts, snorkeling and more. Information: (941) 388-4441, extension 229 or programs

Trail mix: King of the Beach winners, fly of the month, summer camps for kids 05/05/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011 7:18pm]
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