A great blue heron takes flight through a section of John Chesnut Sr. Park, 2200 East Lake Road. The species is typically seen along coastlines, in marshes, or near the shores of ponds or streams. They are expert fishers. Herons snare their aquatic prey by walking slowly, or standing still for long periods of time and waiting for fish to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills.
We’re profoundly privileged to have such a rich environment for dolphins around here. Local waters host 30-40 different dolphins a month. They are a spectacular amount of biomass, but how they coordinate themselves is a mystery.
Some are just passing through. Others stay for a period of time. Others stay for a period of time in the same general waters. This is a treat because free-ranging dolphins are inherently mobile, like their food. You never know if or where you’ll find them.
After a brief drop in the water temperature early last week our inshore waters once again are pushing 80 degrees. The rise in the temperatures will undoubtedly slow the bite on the shallow flats. Anglers looking to target the coveted big three (redfish, trout and snook) should now begin to focus their attention on deeper areas that offer a stronger current flow. Jetty rocks are among the more obvious choices fitting the description, but sand points near the passes will often have a deep curve nearby that will offer a staging area for all three species. Also, check rocky areas around bridges. Most of these spots will fish better on one tide or another, but typically the prime spot will be a small bend on the up-current side of the point.
Scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have uncovered a new species of black bass in the southeastern United States. Scientists have proposed naming the new species the Choctaw bass and recommended the scientific name of Micropterus haiaka. They revealed their discovery at a meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society earlier this year.
The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on May 16, with the last day of harvest on May 15. This closure occurs each year during the species’ peak spawning season to help protect and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15.
Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season but only if they have been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.
Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after the close of the stone crab season unless a special extension is granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Free fishing derby for kids planned ST. PETE BEACH - The St. Pete Beach Recreation Department is hosting a free fishing derby for kids Saturday, May 18, 8 to 11 a.m., at the Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. Bait will be provided and prizes awarded to biggest and smallest fish caught. No pre-registration required. Light refreshments will be for sale by the St. Pete Beach Fire Department. For more information, call 363-9245 or visit www.spbrec.com.
Kiwanis Club hosts Children’s Fishing Derby PINELLAS PARK - The Pinellas Park Kiwanis Club will host a Children’s Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 1, 8 a.m., at Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St. N. This free event is open to children ages 12 and under. Bait will be provided and fishing poles will be available if needed. Prizes will be awarded in several categories and free food will be available for participants and their families. Call 541-0895.
TAMPA - Chart your course to Florida State Fairgrounds - Main Expo Hall on May 17, 18 and 19 for the Tampa Bay Boat Show.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is free.
The Tampa Bay Boat Sale is a grand event showcasing area boat dealers and manufacturers, the latest in boating and fishing supplies and great accessories too. This three-day sales event offers a great way to see and compare all available makes and models in one location. Florida State Fairgrounds will be filled with new boats, trailers, docking and safety equipment and lots of related exhibits.
Tarpon are beginning their migration through our area. For those who love the pursuit of the silver king it’s been the better part of eight months since your last opportunity to attempt to fool the beast.
For some the thrill is in the hunt, a well-trained eye will pick up on the subtle rolls or daisy chain tailers, slick spots and other dead give aways alerting anglers of their presence.