The fog was almost absolute, out in a boat as we were in the aquatic study area that we monitor for bottlenose dolphins. Capt. John Heidemann and I could only see a small dim circle of the world immediately around us, the edges of which faded into a hushed formless white.
We had been tricked into venturing out. The fog at our launching point had faded. We were past the point of no return when gossamer patches gave way to thick clouds that, tired of hanging, had descended to stretch out on the seas.
March is when we usually start to see more redfish start to show up. This year, despite all the cold weather, the actions seem to be on track. Schools of fish have been spotted from Tierra Verde all the way north to Tarpon Springs.
The best bite lately has been the afternoon high tides. By 2 to 3 p.m., the water has warmed up a good 5 degrees since sunrise. Typically the schools are more easily targeted when the water is high. This seems to give the fish a sense of comfort, and even if they are spooked, they’ll often come right back to where they were hanging out.
Life jackets, personal flotation devices, PFD’s - no matter what you call them, if someone says, “Put on your life preserver” you probably know exactly what they mean.
When I purchased my first boat in this area several years ago my salesman told me that my purchase included a “Coast Guard Kit.” When I inquired what was in the kit, he simply said, all the stuff you need to satisfy the Coast Guard so you don’t get a ticket. Seldom have I heard such an understatement, for inside, among a few other little things required by the United States Coast Guard, were six life preservers.
Flotilla 11-1 Clearwater United Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 Clearwater is offering the About Boating Safely Class on Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9, promptly at 8 a.m., at the Clearwater Police Department Headquarters, 645 Pierce Street located on the southwest corner of Myrtle and Pierce streets.
Unlike Internet Courses, the ABS Class is taught by certified USCGAUX instructors who can answer questions and share their experiences on local waters.
Topics include boating emergencies, know your boat, getting underway, navigating, operating your boat safely and legal requirements. All graduates receive a Florida State Certification Card. Materials are $35. For information and to register, call Manny Sosa, Flotilla Commander at 727-469-8895 or email email@example.com.
The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier game fish, snook, reopened March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.
In the Gulf, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license unless exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.
When am I going to learn? How many times do I need to see something to learn that it is real, I should believe it and even depend on it?
For example, in our hyper-capitalized society, how much proof do I need to concede that the initial quoted price is not real? The storefront advertises two pair of glasses for $100. But did I want lenses with those new frames? The utilities or cable company rep reassures me that the quoted monthly fee is the true fee. But to get the service, I will also need to pay the swollen list of additional fees. When am I going to learn that there is usually more to it?
Last week we started to get a taste for things to come in the fishing world. As the water warmed over several days of upper 70-degree weather, the fish responded.
Trout fishing on the strong part of the incoming tide was phenomenal. Schools of adult trout can be found around many of the spoil islands in the northern part of the county. Whether you choose to cast artificials, or free-line a variety of different kinds of live bait, this good fishing opportunity should continue for weeks to come.