Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trailmix: Outdoors-related bits and bites

Get off the paved paths

Now is a great time to head out into the woods. And that's why the Southwest Florida Water Management District, also known as Swiftmud, is encouraging adventurous souls to explore more than 850 miles of hiking trails on district lands during February, which has been declared Florida Hiking Trails Month. If you don't know how or where to get started, Swiftmud is hosting guided hikes through its Green Swamp West Tract near Dade City on Feb. 12 and through the Oak Ridge Equestrian Area near Thonotosassa on Feb. 19. Hikers are encouraged to preregister with the district by calling toll-free 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4756. Any spaces still open on the day of the hike will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The district's 152-page recreation guide highlights more than 50 parks and preserves in a 16-county region. To learn more, go to WaterMatters.org/recreation.

On the fly

Are you tired of fishing with live bait or artificial lures? Why not try fly-fishing? The Florida Fly Fishing Club meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park. At this month's meeting you can learn to tie your own flies with Chris Dakin and Jeff Janecek, who will then use their creations on a three-day club outing down the St. Johns River fishing for shad. For information, call (727) 576-4169.

For the birds

If you are walking on the beach or paddling the barrier islands today and notice an army of pith-helmeted bird watchers, do not be alarmed.

This isn't a sequel to director Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller The Birds. It is just local Audubon staff and volunteers out looking for piping plovers and other shorebirds wintering in critical habitats.

Biologists estimate that there are only about 8,000 of these rare plovers left. But thanks to recent conservation efforts, these residents of the Great Lakes that winter in Florida are making a comeback.

You can see these tiny, sandy-colored birds, with yellow legs at Anclote Key State Preserve, Three Rooker Island State Preserve, Honeymoon Island State Park, Caladesi Island State Park, Shell Key County Preserve, Fort De Soto County Park and Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge/State Park.

But do not to disturb these winter visitors.

A few tips from Audubon of Florida:

Walk around the birds: Like people, shorebirds need to feed and rest in peace. Every time birds are caused to fly from beach walkers and their dogs, they expend energy essential for winter survival and their migration back to their northern nesting grounds.

Keep dogs away: Birds see dogs as efficient predators and will be flushed by dogs from a farther distance than by people.

Avoid flying kites or kite surfing: Birds view kites as gigantic aerial predators.

For more information, visit Audubon.org or Audubon ofFlorida.org.

Lure of the month

MirrOlure's 17MR is the perfect plug to use in February. This suspending twitchbait runs about a foot below the surface and emits a sonic "fishing-calling" noise that trout, redfish and snook cannot resist. Check it out at your local bait and tackle shop. Average cost: $7.99.



Local sailors shine

Clearwater's sister and brother sailing team of Paige and Zach Railey have been named the Olympic SportsWoman and SportsMan of the Year by U.S. Sailing. Paige, who sails the Laser Radial, and Zach, 2008 silver medalist in the Finn, both hope to represent the United States in England in 2012. Paige, at left, started 2010 with a gold medal in the Olympic singlehanded Laser Radial at the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the world. Zach won the 2010 U.S. Finn National Championship and finished fourth among 87 boats at the Finn Gold Cup, that class' world championship held in San Francisco. He is ranked No. 4 in the world.

That other Super Bowl

Three Florida anglers will be representing their home state later this month when the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society holds its Bassmaster Classic out of New Orleans on the Louisiana delta. Gainesville's Shaw Grigsby, Lakeland's Bobby Lane and San Mateo's Terry Scroggins qualified for the Feb. 18-20 event, known as the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing. This is Grigsby's 13th trip to the Classic, where his best finishes are second (1993) and third (2000). The eight-time BASS event winner has career earnings totaling more than $1.7 million, as he has finished in the money in 153 of 268 career entries. Lane, the 2008 Bassmaster rookie of the year, will be making his fourth trip to the Classic (top finish of fourth in 2008). He has won more than $470,000 and received payouts in 34 of 45 career events. This will be Scroggins' eighth Classic (finished fourth in 2006). He is a five-time BASS event winner with career earnings of more than $1.2 million.

Trailmix: Outdoors-related bits and bites 02/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh

    Soccer

    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101