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Trailmix: Tick talk and other outdoors news and notes

All of those great outdoorsy things we like to do in the woods and grass — camping, hiking, cycling, etc. — take you into tick habitat. Through their bites, ticks can transmit diseases, among them Lyme disease. So here are some tick tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

• Ticks await passersby by clinging to vegetation such as leaves or shrubs, then latching on as something brushes past. So always walk in the center of a trail.

• Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Make the clothing light-colored so it's easier to spot crawling ticks. Tuck the pants into the socks so ticks can't crawl up the inside of the pants.

• Use a repellent with DEET (on skin or clothing) or permethrin (on clothing). Products with permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear. Parents should apply such products to children, staying clear of the hands, eyes and mouth.

Tick check: Even if you've only been in your own yard, check your body for ticks. Check all body parts, using a mirror as necessary, but focus on these areas: under the arms, around and inside ears, belly button, back of knees, hair on head, between legs, around waist. Don't forget to check pets as well.

Removal: Avoid using bare hands. Using tweezers, grab the tick as close to the skin as possible; try to grasp its mouth, not the body. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick, which may cause the mouthparts to snap off. Squeezing the body could inject toxins. After removal, disinfect the bite area and wash hands. Save the tick in a sealable plastic bag for later identification if you become ill.

Watch for: Signs of illness such as rash or fever, and see a doctor if these develop.

Need a ride?

The Tampa Bay Boat Show, featuring the Gulf & Bay Fishing School, is June 25-27 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Boat dealers and manufacturers, as well as lenders, will be on hand for this huge annual showcase. Local fishing captains will share some of their vast knowledge of catching bay area and gulf species of game fish at the fishing school seminars. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 25 and 26, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 27. Visit for more information.

Outdoors poll

Last month: What is your favorite distance for a day hike?

3-8 miles 53 percent

1-3 miles 41 percent

More than 8 miles 6 percent

Total votes: 34

New question: A 13-year-old boy recently reached the summit of Mount Everest, and a 16-year-old girl sailed solo around the world, both becoming the youngest to accomplish those feats. Are they inspirational examples or dangerous examples?

Vote at outdoors.

The all-tackle record for …

tarpon, as recognized by the International Game Fish Association, is a 286-pound, 9-ounce fish caught March 20, 2003, by Max Domecq near Rubane, Guinea-Bissau, which is off the coast of west Africa. The Florida record is 243 pounds, caught by Gus Bell in Key West in 1975 on just 20-pound test line.

People | Larry Holder

Age: 69. Lives: Largo

What I do: Overnight (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) shift at city-owned Pier 60 bait shop on Clearwater Beach, for last three years. From April 1 to Sept. 20 the pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Born: Indianapolis

Previous jobs: Sergeant in Army (saw building of Berlin Wall); death, personal injury and property damage investigator for legal department of New York Central Railroad in Indianapolis for 10 years; owner of auto dealership in Fort Lauderdale for 30 years; public affairs supervisor with Florida Department of Agriculture; inspector with U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Who's on the pier at those hours? "Mostly the regulars (there were more than a dozen anglers at 2 a.m. on a late-May Saturday). People who are hard-core fishermen. And, of course, the tourists. When things start to shut down in town we get some walking out here."

Pros of job: "Definitely the people. You meet people from all over the world, all languages and cultures. It's a real melting pot here. Generally, because they're on vacation and in a good mood, they're very pleasant."

Cons: Emptying the garbage cans, which attract rodents and insects. And drunks. "We get our share of rowdies." Holder has only had to call authorities a few times. Once when a man was unresponsive after passing out near the shop. A more memorable one was when three young ladies were diving — naked — from the pier as the tide was going out. "I was fearful for them getting hurt or swept out."

How's the fishing action? Spotted seatrout were biting in late May, and sometimes overnight anglers will even jump a tarpon. The snook had not moved out to the end of the pier as of late May but they are known to cruise there in warmer months.

What about your catches? Holder doesn't fish now. He used to troll for mahi-mahi when he lived in Fort Lauderdale, his biggest catch was pushing 40 pounds. "I don't have the time or desire right now."

Other involvement: Active member of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks disaster relief team

Future: Has plans to open a hydroponic farm in the Lake City area, growing leaf lettuce and herbs. He hopes to secure grant money, start with 10 acres and as a not-for-profit raise money to fight AIDS in Malawi in South Africa. "I'm looking for ways to see what I can do for other people."

Compiled by Rich Kenda, Times staff writer


{outdoors-related bits and bites}

Trailmix: Tick talk and other outdoors news and notes 06/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 2, 2010 7:00pm]
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