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Did a boater have to steal normal life from an innocent dolphin? A grievously wounded dolphin haunts John’s Pass in shock, panic and profound pain. In critical condition and fighting for its life, “it” is Babyface.

She was born in 2006 in the shadow of the VA Hospital. Capt. John Heidemann and I named her after her mother, Face, named for the silhouette of her dorsal fin. Babyface is a notably gentle “only child” dolphin with a very special mother.
 ... Read More 
Sunday, July 27
ST. PETERSBURG - The closure of the boat ramp at War Veterans’ Memorial Park in St. Petersburg has been extended into next week as crews finish improvements to the ramp area and entry road.

The ramp was originally scheduled to be closed from Saturday, July 18, to Sunday, July 26, so contractors could pour new concrete for the ramp, resurface the park’s entry road and boat ramp area parking lot, replace curb and enlarge parking spaces for vehicles with boat trailers.

A few additional days are needed to finish the curb and allow the new concrete and asphalt to cure. Weather permitting, the ramp is expected to be open by next weekend.
 ... Read More 
Friday, July 25
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Remember the Alamo! Custer’s Last Stand! Pyrrhic Victory!

The Alamo, Custer and Pyrrhic victories are symbols for lost causes. We “remember the Alamo!” as the last ditch defense of a Texan fort in 1836 because they died to the last man. We remember “Custer’s Last Stand” as the disastrous slaughter of Custer’s Seventh Cavalry by Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians in 1876. We remember King Pyrrhus’ battle against the Romans in 279 BCE because his army was slaughtered but won the battle.
 ... Read More 
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Persistent west winds made our protected inshore waters especially appealing this past week. With snook fishing being a bit off due to the dirty water around the passes, redfish, trout, Spanish mackerel were all target species.

Finding quality sized reds really depends on whether or not you can find the larger mullet. Higher tidal stages have been best for the reds. Cast gold spoons near to any mangrove points that are holding mullet. Once you’ve located the reds you can expect them to return to the same point on the same tide for days to come. Switching to natural baits either live or dead will yield numbers of reds.
 ... Read More 
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TARPON SPRINGS - On a humid summer afternoon, a gust of wind blows up the steep hillside and cools off a group of youngsters scurrying to the top of the playground slides.

They hardly notice the sweeping view of Lake Tarpon below them.

Their mother sits nearby on a bench shaded by oak trees. When one of her boys slips, the soft, rubbery material on the ground doesn’t leave a scratch.

A.L. Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs provides a natural escape from the commercial bustle of U.S. 19 with trails, waterfront picnic shelters, a dog park and boat access to 2,500-acre Lake Tarpon.
 ... Read More 
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SEMINOLE - As a teen growing up in New York during the 1950s, Sandy Scott wanted to be a football player.

Towering at 6 feet tall, but weighing just 150 pounds, it was obvious he didn’t have the physique for the sport. So instead, he ran.

He joined his high school’s track team and enjoyed competing. But when it came time for college, he decided to focus on his studies and hung up his running shoes. He graduated from the University of California in Berkeley with a degree in engineering.
 ... Read More 
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TIERRA VERDE - During a recent Tampa Bay Watch event, 22 volunteer boaters removed 207 derelict crab traps July 11 at six locations throughout Tampa Bay due to the regional closure of blue crab fishing.

Collection sites included Belleair Bluffs, Upper Tampa Bay, Alafia River, Cockroach Bay, Boca Ciega Bay and Demen”s Landing.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission mandated a temporary closure for the harvest of blue crabs from traps in all waters of Broward through Pasco counties including the waters of Tampa Bay.
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, July 15
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MADEIRA BEACH - The Old Salt Fishing Foundation recently sponsored a day of fishing for summer campers at Madeira Beach Recreation, complete with rods and reels, bait and tackle.

Volunteers were on hand to help some of the kids catch their first fish off the seawall at the Madeira Beach Recreation Center.

“There were a few kids that arrived in the morning, rod in hand, ready to go,” said Jill Foraker, an Old Salt board member. “Others had never touched a fishing pole before. One thing was for sure - excitement was in the air.”
 ... Read More 
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