Daylight Saving has begun, and on March 15th, we had equal daylight and dark hours. As we get progressively into summer, the longer daylight hours will continue to heat area waters, always changing where fish will feel comfortable. But for the present, fish of all kinds are loving what we have going on here in lower Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Terra Ceia Bay, and surrounding bay and Gulf waters.
I’ve had a tremendous winter catching quality fish the whole time. Now that spring is around the corner the fish are eating like there’s no tomorrow. Even the live bait is showing up quicker this year than last. Overall, things are shaping up nicely for April.
I’ve had an awesome last three months catching nice Spotted Sea Trout using shrimp and artificial lures. It’s always nice not having to throw the net for awhile. We had some really great days with Trout measuring in the low- to mid-20" range, along with a few nice Redfish, Pompano and large breeder Sheepshead.
Recreational boat owners who paid state sales taxes on a boat purchase, or those who secured a loan to finance a boat, may have some tax deductions coming to them when filing their 2011 federal income tax return. The tax tip comes from the nation’s largest boater’s advocacy group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).
Two iconic paintings of Sharks doing battle with their undersea foes will be the touchstones of SHARK!, an upcoming exhibition at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Both are by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006), widely viewed as the first, and still foremost, painter of game fish in their natural settings. Neither has been on public display since Meltzoff’s death six years ago.
Fans of fine sporting art will have no trouble recalling Stanley Meltzoff.
Let’s admit it. We’ve all made mistakes. And when it comes to boating goof-ups that can cause a little pain, the folks at BoatUS Marine Insurance have seen them all, handling hundreds of claims each year. So here’s a look inside the claims files for some of the more preventable mistakes that cause injuries around the boat yard every springtime, and some tips to avoid them:
Boat trailer lights are critical and under-discussed components that seem to fail at the most inconvenient times. Don’t risk getting a ticket or in an accident because you neglected your boat trailer’s lighting. Most light fittings are vehicle types with incandescent lamps. They are easily flooded and waterlogged, which results in burnouts and failure. Moisture is the enemy of all electrical systems and connections. Water, especially saltwater, quickly and easily corrodes electrical connectors, which wreaks havoc on lighting systems.
Recently, improvements to lighting components have resulted in waterproof fixtures that virtually eliminate water intrusion. Most of these new components utilize the innovative LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs.
At last, April is nearly upon us, and with it comes some of the best fishing Tampa Bay has to offer. Anglers from Double Branch in the north to Bishop Harbor in the south are treated to some of the best inshore fishing anywhere in the state. Snook start their migration from the creeks and rivers to the flats and eventually to the passes to spawn by the first full moon of May.
We have some great catches going on right now but you have to fish in between the cold fronts this time of year On Show Me the Fish Charters. My clients are catching greater Amberjack, Cobia, Blackfin Tuna, Kingfish, Mangrove Snappers, Porgys, Triggerfish, door mat size Flounder, Sea Bass, Bonita [Little Tunny's], Blacktip Sharks up to 5 ft. An over abundance of catch and release of Grouper and Red Snappers have been enjoyed as well.