PALM HARBOR - Young golfers from all over the world made their way to Innisbrook Golf Resort as the Canadian Junior Golf Association presented the 24th annual CJGA World Junior Challenge, Dec. 28 to 30.
Over 160 junior golfers from 21 different countries, 20 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces played on the Copperhead, Island and North courses.
Golfers are broken up into seven divisions of competition: The Junior Girls and Boys categories for 17 and 18-year-olds; the Bantam Boys and Bantam Girls categories for 13 and 14-year-olds; the 17 Juvenile Boys category for 15 and 16-year-olds; and the Peewee Boys and Girls categories for 11 and 12-year-olds.
Trout fishing has been good this winter county wide; there’s lots of big trout in the northern region around the spoil islands, and there’s plenty of gator-sized trout to be caught in the southern portion of our county as well, in and amongst the many potholes of Fort DeSoto.
Our water temperature was right around 70 degrees before this last front came through. Now a good 15 degrees colder, we should see more large trout move into shallow water as they try to warm themselves by the mid-day sun.
I think it would be safe to say that most people know what a Bald Eagle looks like without ever having seen one in the wild. They have large white heads with a bright yellow bill and a large white tail you can see in flight. Advanced birders will often hear a Bald Eagle before they see one, but their call doesn’t quite match their large and fierce appearance.
Their main call is a series of short, high-pitched whistles. Movies often use the hoarse, screaming call of a Red-tailed Hawk when showcasing large birds like a Bald Eagle, but don’t let those sound effects fool you. Once you learn the call of an eagle, it’s hard to mistake with any other bird. It’s a good way to know there is an eagle in the area and then you can use binoculars to locate them in the sky.
Coast Guard auxiliaries around Pinellas offer regularly scheduled classes that teach safe boating, including the following.
Flotilla 11 offers boat safety course CLEARWATER - A boating safety course will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14-15, by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11. The classroom is located on the second floor of the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion on the Morton Plant Hospital campus, 455 Pinellas St. Classes start at 8 a.m. and parking is free. Materials are $35.
The class, taught by certified USCGAUX instructors, will include instruction on topics such as boating emergencies, navigation, operating your boat safely and legal requirements. All graduates receive a Florida state certification card. For information and to register, call Kathy Lloyd, 727-469-8895 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Professor Lara Milligan of Eckerd College, who has been studying plastics in the Gulf for the past year, will be the guest speaker Thursday, Jan. 19, at the IRB Boat Club meeting at Jimmy Guana’s.
Social hour is 6-7 p.m. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
Is there plastic floating in the gulf (Yes)? How much? And is this a problem?
BELLEAIR - The Belleair Parks & Recreation Department and title sponsor Dex Imaging will host the 15th annual Belleair Sunset 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on Saturday, Jan. 21, 5 p.m., through the heart of town.
“After running along this beautiful race course, get ready for the best post party around! Enjoy more complimentary food, drinks and fun than one race can handle,” a town press release said.
Registration packet pick up will be held Friday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Dimmitt Community Center, 918 Osceola Road.
ST. PETERSBURG - A new year brings additional opportunities to enjoy the outdoors this winter at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S.
DIY Natural Paints will be presented Saturday, Jan. 14, 2 to 4 p.m., at the preserve. Attendees will learn about harvesting, making and using natural paints. All materials are included, and artists are welcome to bring their own canvas and brushes. Cost is $10. The program is designed for ages 18 and older.
Colors of the Season will be offered Wednesday, Jan. 18, noon to 1:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about harvesting, making and using natural paints with a guided hike and classroom activities for families. All materials are included, but artists are welcome to bring their own canvas and brushes. Cost is $10. The program is designed for ages 5 to adult.
TREASURE ISLAND - For nearly nine decades, sports and competitions have been the focal point of triathlete Jackie Yost’s life.
Yost has excelled consistently through the years and now, at age 88, received perhaps her most prestigious accolade Dec. 10 when she was inducted into the USA Triathlon Florida Region Hall of Fame in Orlando.
It capped a 23-year run as a triathlete that has not stopped and will continue into 2017 as the Treasure Island resident defends her No. 1 age group ranking.
Once again December has been one of the most beautiful months of the year. As we enter into January, water temperatures are holding in the low 70s. Fish remain active, bait can still be found and whether you fish inshore or offshore, there’s plenty of options.
Negative low tides this past week and virtually no wind created perfect conditions for tailing redfish. A scene so pretty that if you love flats fishing you know what I’m talking about. Quietly stalking a fish that is rooting the bottom for crabs in shin-deep water whether you’re in the water wading or on the bow of a shallow-draft skiff gives you the rush that fuels your angling fire. Plenty of redfish can be found cruising the flats of Tampa Bay as well as the many no-motor zone flats throughout the Intracoastal Waterway.
ST. PETE BEACH - The running of the St. Pete Beach Classic the weekend of Friday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, Jan. 15, will cause a number of road closures, restrictions or traffic delays before, during and after the event.
Roads affected include the following, according to St. Pete Beach city officials:
CLEARWATER - The eighth Annual Chapel-By-The-Sea BeachWalk/Walk featuring a walk along Clearwater Beach and a breakfast at the chapel will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Palm Pavilion, 18 Bay Esplanade on Clearwater Beach.
This event supports the Religious Community Services Food Bank and The Haven Domestic Violence Center. The event begins with coffee and snacks at the Palm Pavilion at 7:30 a.m. Walking starts at 8:30 a.m., prior to the two-mile walk ending at Chapel-By-The-Sea where a breakfast will be served. In addition, the silent auction will be available during breakfast.
All participants will receive a T-shirt and a goodie bag of favors donated by Clearwater Beach merchants. Registration is $25 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 18 years old and free for children under 6. Preregistration is encouraged but participants can register at The Palm Pavilion the morning of the walk.
This week’s new moon tides and warm weather will set us up for some great fishing opportunities for the closing week of Christmas break. Trout, both spotted and silver have been biting well as have near-shore bottom fish, such as hogfish and grunts and the occasional keeper gag grouper.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had consistent numbers of quality sized trout on nearly every outing, but it was the last full moon phase that really sticks out, where we saw some absolute banner days.