As nice as last weekend’s weather was, I don’t think we’ll be so lucky this time as a series of cold fronts looks to be bearing down on us.
Establishing consistent fishing patterns both inshore and offshore can be difficult this time of year. However, if the waters aren’t too dirty after a big front, offshore bottom fishing can be a bit more reliable than searching out keeper trout or schools of redfish.
Beautiful weather conditions last weekend made for some calm seas and some excellent light tackle bottom fishing for hogfish, white grunts, blue porgies and the occasional keeper red grouper. With trout fishing being a bit slow in the northern part of the county, this particular style of fishing has not only helped in putting some quality tasting fish in the cooler but is an absolute blast on the same tackle used for trout and redfish.
ST. PETERSBURG - For the third straight year, the Tampa Bay Rays, Majestic Athletic and Suncoast Credit Union will provide jerseys and caps to more than 10,000 T-ball players and coaches from more than 80 local leagues.
The program reaches Little League, Cal Ripken, Dixie and Pony T-ball teams in Charlotte, Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.
PINELLAS PARK - Aidan Lynn-Klimenko and Madison Perrins of Backpacker Magazine will lead a nature photography presentation and clinic on Saturday, Feb. 27, 1 to 2 p.m., at Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. 19 N.
Lynn-Klimenko and Perrins - known as the Backpacker NPS100 Team - will take a short break from touring the country collecting beautiful imagery from national parks to host the presentation. The two are in the middle of an epic road trip to more than 40 National Parks to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service.
TREASURE ISLAND - The Gulf Beaches Rotary Club and the city of Treasure Island are again joining forces for the 17th annual Rotary Tennis and Golf Challenge Saturday, March 5 at Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis, 10315 Paradise Blvd.
The Tennis Challenge will be a men’s and women’s doubles round robin for players of all playing levels and abilities starting at 9 a.m. The golf scramble will be for both men and women with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.
Last weekend’s cold front was as extreme as we have seen this winter, briefly dropping bay water temperatures below 50 degrees in the morning Sunday into Monday. Luckily we’re warming up a little bit between these fronts otherwise this weather pattern could be catastrophic for our fishery. This weekend’s forecast looks to be much better. Stabilizing water temperatures and light winds will give anglers an opportunity to fish either inshore for redfish and trout or venture offshore for hogfish along with other tasty bottom fish.
Taking advantage of the one good weather day last week, we were able to maximize our efforts by fishing the afternoon incoming tide in which we saw a 5 degree increase in water temperature over a six-hour period. These afternoon tides are notorious for producing fish this time of year, redfish and trout especially.
LARGO - The weather may be cooling off, but running season is just heating up in Largo. So, if your New Year’s resolution was to get in shape, or if you would just like to compete, you’ll have plenty of
opportunities coming up. The first event is the city’s fourth annual Play! Dirty Adventure Run on Feb. 6. Here’s a look at some of the races on the way.
Fourth annual Play! Dirty Adventure Run
WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 WHERE: Largo Nature Preserve, 150 Highland Ave. SE. WHAT: Three-mile race takes you on off-road terrain and over 20 obstacles. The race includes a fun-run category, a competitive category and a youth 3K category. A $150 cash prize will be awarded to the top male and female finishers of the competitive category.
ST. PETERSBURG - The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta series, the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, will launch its 28th season in St. Petersburg.
The St. Pete NOOD - running Friday through Sunday, Feb. 12-14 - will be the first stop on the five-city circuit, with about 1,000 sailors competing on Tampa Bay for the event’s top prize - a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Championship Regatta, hosted by Sunsail.
During the three-day event hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, sailors participate in “one-design” racing, where similar types of boats race against each other in their own classes. Points are accumulated based on finishing position in each individual race, and the boat with the fewest total points at the end of the regatta wins their respective class. An overall winner is chosen based upon the strongest finish in the most competitive class.
CLEARWATER - Clearwater Marine Aquarium turtle department and stranding team responded to 19 live and eight deceased sea turtles the weekend of Jan. 23-25 that had been severely affected by the cold water temperatures.
As cold-blooded reptiles, sea turtles assume the temperature of their surroundings. When the turtles are exposed to frigid water temperatures (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit) over several days, their circulatory systems can slow to the point where they become cold-stunned. A cold-stun turtle is unable to swim or function properly, which puts the turtle at risk of being hit by a boat.
LARGO - Join the Highland Recreation Complex us at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Largo Nature Preserve, 150 Highland Ave. SE, to test your stamina and skill in the fourth annual Play! Dirty Adventure Run.
This event is a 3-mile race through Largo Central Park Nature Preserve on off-road terrain and over 20 obstacles. This race includes a fun-run category, a competitive category and a youth 3K category. A $150 cash prize will be awarded to the top male and female finishers of the competitive category.
CLEARWATER - Veteran and Stetson University College of Law alumnus Javier Centonzio will kick off the second annual Sgt. Jessie Davila Memorial Classic golf tournament Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, 3030 North McMullen Booth Road.
Proceeds will help fund a new scholarship for veterans attending Stetson law school.