Hook & Trigger Magazine May/June 2018

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GATOR-GETTER

BRINGING HOME A SWAMP MONSTER

Northwest Florida’s Premier Outdoors Magazine MAY/JUNE 2018

FREE


7

TABLE OF CONTENTS

20

5

12

5

LAKE PLACID SWAMP MONSTERS

14

CATFISH: NO NOODLING AROUND

6

ON PATROL

15

TAMING THE LIONFISH

7

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

18

GO WITH THE FLOW

8

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?

20

BRINGING TOUCH TANKS TO KIDS

10

PLATED: WILD RECIPES

22

SIGHTING IN THE BOBWHITE QUAIL

12

TROPHY WALL

James Powell and Darlene Wilkinson had a monster of a hunting day during a trip to South Florida. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Reports for Northwest Florida Hunting columnist Ernie Martin keeps his eye on the prize: a remote Alaskan moose hunt USDA Conservationist Darryl Williams quizzes readers on wildlife habitat knowledge Lemon pepper red snapper

Hook and Trigger readers share their hunting and fishing trophy photos and stories – submit yours!

2 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Topwater bass fishing has a way of getting the blood flowing – from the boat! Lionfish Challenge 2018 runs May 18 to Sept. 3, as the FWC looks to eliminate the invasive species Tide chart information helps anglers of all kinds CBA’s hands-on approach to learning helps to ensure healthy fishing waters The FWC is working with landowners to restore a species on Florida’s private lands

ON THE COVER

James Powell of Crestview took an 11 foot, 1 inch alligator that weighed 400 pounds during a hunting trip last April.


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

X x

Phil Heppding

Publisher

HNH Media Holdings, LLC

Since 1988 • Trusts & Wills • NFA Gun Trusts/Florida Gun Law • Commercial Litigation • Business Law & Transactions • Pest/Mold Litigation • Agricultural Law & More

GREG D. CROSSLIN LAW OFFICE OF

3999 Commons Dr. West, Suite D, Destin • 850-650-7378 • destinlegal.com The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience by contacting us online or by phone. MAY 2018 • 3


Owner/Publisher Phil Heppding phil@hookandtrigger.com

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Michelle Farnham editor@hookandtrigger.com Contributing Writers: Don Buchanan, Arlo Kane, Ernie Martin, Darryl Williams

DESIGN Creative Director Michelle Farnham

SALES Sales Director Phil Heppding, Alton Nixon phil@hookandtrigger.com

HOOK AND TRIGGER MAGAZINE HNH Media Holdings, LLC P.O. Box 1441, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 850-687-3776

Copyright May 2018, HNH Media Holdings, LLC All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Web: www.hookandtrigger.com Facebook: facebook.com/hookandtrigger/ Twitter: @hookandtrigger Instagram: hookandtrigger

4 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Hook and Trigger is a free, bimonthly outdoors magazine serving Northwest Florida. For advertising information and rates, call Publisher Phil Heppding at 850-687-3776 or email phil@hookandtrigger.com. To submit stories, information, or photographs, email phil@hookandtrigger.com or mail to P.O. Box 1441, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 34259. Once content is received, it becomes the shared property of Hook and Trigger, unless alternate arrangements are agreed upon.


Darlene Wilkinson’s alligator measured 9 feet and 250 pounds.

LAKE PLACID MONSTERS Crestview couple has hunt of a lifetime

James Powell and girlfriend Darlene Wilkinson had a monster of a hunting day last April during a trip to South Florida. Powell said they were riding along a canal on private land south of Lake Placid and west of Lake Okeechobee when they spotted an alligator close to the bank. “I said, ‘OK girl, this is yours,’” Powell remembered. Wilkinson got out of the truck and set up for the shot, using a Remington .243 automatic rifle. “She made the shot and was able to get it out of the water. It was a nice 9-footer and weighed 250 pounds.” Later in the day, the Crestview couple decided to take a break for lunch. As they were driving back through the gate, the driver pointed out a “monster gator” laying on the bank beside a small water hold. “I get out of the truck to get a shot, but it goes into the water,” Powell said. “It just would not come up so I can get a shot, so we See Monsters on page 7 Photos: James Powell

At right: James Powell and Darlene Wilkinson of Crestview snared a pair of gators while on a hunting trip in South Florida.

MAY 2018 • 5


ON PATROL

OFFICER KNOCKS ABOUT DEAD FOX FOX TROT – FWC dispatch received multiple complaints regarding a subject who shot a gray fox. Several officers began working the case and gathering information including Officers Mullins, Hoomes, Roberson and Jones. Officer Mullins contacted the subject and met with him about the fox. The subject admitted to Officers Mullins and Jones that he shot the fox. The officers went back with the subject to where the carcass had been discarded and located the fox, as well as the spent buckshot casing. After reviewing the evidence, charges were filed on the subject by Mullins for killing a gray fox. OKALOOSA COUNTY NOT TOO BRIGHT – Investigator Molnar was working night hunting activity on a county maintained road which passed through Eglin Reservation. A pickup truck slowed down while the passenger displayed a LED light into an open field in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of deer. Molnar followed the vehicle for about half a mile and conducted a traffic stop. A pump action 12-gauge shotgun was located between the passenger side door and the seat, along with five 00 buck shotgun shells. An LED flashlight was also located in the center console and there was dried deer blood and hair in the bed of the truck. After speaking with the subjects, it was determined they were attempting to take deer with a gun and light. Appropriate citations were issued. Eglin Range Patrol also cited the subjects restricting them from using the reservation for three years. KIDDIE POOL – Officer Corbin conducting boating safety inspections near the entrance to Destin Harbor and observed two kayaks, each occupied with an adult and a small child. An inspection of the children’s life jackets showed they were U.S. Coast Guard rated for individuals 90 pounds and above. Both children were under 65 pounds. Both kayaks were rented. Due to rough seas and a strong current, Corbin assisted both kayaks in getting back to the dock. The owners of the rental company met Corbin and the renters at the dock. The owners admitted they did not have youth size life jackets for the children. The officer conducted a livery inspection and determined the business was in violation of several statutes and rules. The owner was issued a notice to appear citation for renting a vessel without the proper safety equipment, person providing pre-rental/ pre-ride instructions has not completed approved safety course, and boating safety information not properly displayed at livery. STRAIGHT SHOOTERS – Officers Maltais and Rockwell taught the law portion of a Hunter Education class. There were 39 students with several parents in attendance for the spring class. Several related questions were answered. Maltais served as a firearm instructor for the follow-on skills evaluation portion of the class. FREE TO FLEE – Officer Jarvis and Lieutenant Clark assisted the park staff and Gulfarium staff at Henderson Beach State Park with the release of two loggerhead turtles and three green turtles. Four of the sea turtles were rescued during the recent cold snap. The other had a fish hook removed. Approximately 400 to 500 people attended. The officers provided security and traffic control. FISHY MATH – Officer Pifer was conducting fisheries inspections on the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier when he contacted an indi-

6 • HOOK & TRIGGER

vidual who was actively engaged in fishing. A resource inspection revealed a total of 67 Spanish mackerel, six of which were undersized. The individual was fishing alone and claimed some of the fish were given to him by other individuals. State law prohibits the possession of more than 15 Spanish mackerel while on a pier. The individual was cited for possessing over the bag limit and possession of undersized Spanish mackerel. SANTA ROSA COUNTY UP TO SNUFF – Officers Ramos, Lugg, Wilkerson, Clark, Long, Cushing and Land participated in targeted enforcement of pompano regulations along Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia County beaches. They checked more than 200 anglers in a two-week span, totaling five citations and 12 warnings for various violations. FISH DON’T MEASURE UP – Officer Ramos observed two men return from a fishing trip and followed them to a local boat ramp. The vessel was pushing a wake in an idle speed zone until they saw the officer approach. After a boating safety inspection, Officer Ramos asked if the men had caught any fish. The men showed him 10 gray snapper and several unregulated fish in a cooler. Upon measuring the snapper, seven of the 10 were undersized. The captain of the vessel admitted he should have measured the fish and took responsibility for the seven undersized fish. The fish were seized and the man was cited for the undersized fish and issued a warning for violating the idle speed zone. CHARGES PENDING – Officer Jones issued a citation to a subject for the charges of entering a closed area and attempting to take deer over bait on a management area on the Eglin Wildlife Management Area. Lieutenant Berryman and Officer Mullins assisted Officer Jones in the investigation which led to the charges. LICENSE AND REGISTRATION, PLEASE – While on vessel patrol in Escambia Bay, Officer Ramos saw a vessel operating in a restricted military zone. After conducting a vessel stop, he found the vessel to be lacking required safety equipment. A resource inspection was conducted and Ramos determined that the two occupants had been commercial fishing, but only one man had the required saltwater products license (SPL). While inspecting the cooler of fish, a commercial quantity of mullet was found, in addition to a concealed undersized black drum measuring 10.5 inches, under the required 14- to 24-inch slot limit. The captain was issued warnings for operating in a restricted zone, missing safety equipment and not having his SPL license available for review. He was issued a citation for the undersized black drum. The second man was issued a citation for engaging in commercial fishing without a saltwater products license. WALTON COUNTY GOBBLE-GOBBLE – Officer White located two subjects turkey hunting in a closed portion of Eglin Wildlife Management Area. The subjects had previously been told at an Eglin check station that the area they were in was closed for the day due to an active military mission. They were charged for entering the closed area and Eglin Security Forces personnel issued a suspension from Eglin property. – Courtesy of FWC Division of Law Enforcement: Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties


HUNTING

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

Remote Alaskan moose hunt inspires BY ERNIE MARTIN Hook & Trigger It is never too early to start preparing for the next hunting season. Of course, there are several species we can hunt year-round, but I personally do not hunt those species during the summer months. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t take the life of a wild animal unless one of us is in danger or I plan on making a meal out of it. Instead, I will use these months for gun shopping, camouflage upgrades, target practicing, sighting in a new weapon, and looking for new places to hunt. I consider this to be the perfect time of year to make the necessary adjustments in gear and to repair old stands. WILD, WILD (FAR) WEST If you are a bucket list type of hunter, now is the time to seek out that chance of a lifetime hunt. If it is elk hunting in Colorado or moose hunting in Alaska, the time to look is now. Remember their season starts earlier than ours, so you need to start the process now. I have a good friend who has invited me on an Alaskan moose hunt. The five-day trip allows us to be flown to a hunting lodge in the Alaskan wilderness. We then take a float plane to a lake that is up river in the tundra where we will begin our quest for a moose. We have options on this trip, and fishing is an option! We can purchase tags for other animals if we desire. The lodge is within a satellite phone call so that when the moose is harvested, they will fly in and take our trophy back to the lodge for processing. We just need to have the moose field dressed and quartered. Prepping a huge moose may take several hours to complete. Once the moose is loaded on the plane, we can continue our float trip and use any other tags we have purchased, or just camp and fish our way back to the extraction point.

Monsters

continued from page 5 had to go and get a treble hook.” The hook landed just right, the gator came up and Powell was able to make the kill shot. “It was awesome! It was 11 feet, 1 inch, and weighed 400 pounds. It was a great hunt,” he said. Wilkinson reported the gators were skinned, harvested for meat, hides tanned, and both heads were mounted. “They look great,” she added. Not to be forgotten, Powell was also able to get a 250-pound hog on this epic day. “Hopefully with the good Lord above, we will be able to go again in 2018,” Powell said.

Photo: Ernie Martin

Tripp Parker snuggles up to this 200-pound wild boar taken on private land in Mossy Head, Fla.

I plan on taking this trip as a retirement present to myself. Of course, there are other hunting trips I would love to try. I have watched too many television shows about Alaska and I find it very intriguing to see the vastness and richness of wildlife in this area of the United States. Don’t think that I wouldn’t pass up a weekend deer hunting trip to any of our southern states as well. So, if you’re asking, the answer is yes, I will go. There is excellent hunting in the Southeast and the Midwest. I would love to try it sometime, but for me, my Alaskan trip for moose is the one trip that keeps me going back to work every day. What is on your hunting bucket list?

The

Gator Café Mon-Wed: 10:30AM-8:30PM Thurs-Sat: 6:30-9:30PM Sunday: 11AM-3PM 5747 Highway 4 Baker, FL 32531

(850) 537-4949 MAY 2018 • 7


CONSERVATION

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WILDLIFE HABITAT? BY DARRYL WILLIAMS District Conservationist USDA NRCS, Crestview

1. Everything you do on your land affects wildlife. a. True b. False 2. What are the basic needs of wildlife? (Choose best answer) a. Food, water, cover and space b. Food, water, and shelter c. Food, water, and a place to raise young d. Food, water, and winter cover 3. Which habitat statement is most nearly correct? a. What is good for one species is good for all others as well. b. Individual species have specific habitat needs. c. Habitat you create for one species will be wrong for all others. 4. A soft, gradual transition from crop field to other habitat is better than an abrupt change. a. True b. False 8 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement conservation practices.

5. Rotational grazing helps birds as well as cows. a. True b. False 6. The best conservation practices for fish and wildlife habitat include: a. Restored wetlands, streamside buffers, and ponds b. Windbreaks, diverse grass plantings, and clean water c. Connecting corridors, and managed timber and grassland d. All of the above 7. Which is not a good general rule for habitat plantings? a. Prefer natives over exotics b. Use a variety of plants c. Create habitat away from water d. Use plants that offer food and cover for wildlife 8. You may benefit grassland birds by discing old grass. a. True b. False 9. Conservation is a never-ending process. a. True b. False 10. Can you attack wildlife in your backyard? a. Yes b. No For more information on wildlife habitat or conservation practices to use for management of wildlife, check the web at www.nrcs. usda.gov or stop at our office at 3070 Adora Teal Way in Crestview. Answers: 1.a; 2.a; 3.b; 4.a; 5.a; 6.d; 7.c; 8.a; 9.a; 10.a

Nearly two-thirds of all wildlife species federally listed as threatened or endangered live on private lands. The Working Lands for Wildlife partnership between NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service combats the decline of seven wildlife species whose decline can be reversed and recovery will benefit other species with similar habitat needs. In Florida, the threatened species is the gopher tortoise. Agricultural producers who want to help can get technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Through EQIP, NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you. Wildlife habitat improvement is the conservation assistance that a landowner can utilize to improve their land. Below is a factorial questionnaire for your knowledge and enjoyment. Do you have a good basic understanding of what fish and wildlife need to survive? You probably do if you can answer the questions below correctly. Choose only one answer for each.


Law enforcement officers Brandon Lewis and Steve Hoomes of the FWC are pictured with Anderson Parker and his father. Anderson won a youth model Winchester 20-gauge pump shotgun.

BLACKWATER FAMILY HUNT YIELDS 18 DEER

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers teamed up with staff from the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation to work the Blackwater Family Hunt. The FWC reported hunters enjoyed beautiful weather and saw lots of deer movement. Participants harvested 18 deer over the weekend and used 43 of the issued permits. Several of the young hunters won donated door prizes, including two firearms and a double ladder stand.

Photos courtesy of Barbara Almario

FWC law enforcement officer Brandon Lewis presents Karissa Fink and her father with the 12-gauge shotgun Karissa won during the Blackwater Family Hunt.

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Mention this ad to receive 50 cents off per square foot on any full epoxy flake floor! MAY 2018 • 9


READER POLL What do you think about Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed gun law changes? – March 2018 50%

I support some but not all proposed changes.

33%

I do not support the proposed changes.

17%

I support the proposed changes.

APPLY FOR AN ALLIGATOR HUNTING PERMIT STARTING FRIDAY, MAY 18

Florida’s statewide recreational alligator harvest runs Aug. 15 to Nov. 1, 2018. There are more than 6,000 alligator harvest permits available, and a permit allows a hunter to harvest two gators from a designated harvest unit or county. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15. Applications may be submitted at any county tax collector’s office, license agent, and at GoOutdoorsFlorida. com. The application period for Phase I random drawings runs May 18 at 10 a.m. through May 28. Following the Phase I deadline, any remaining permits will be offered during Phase II (June 1-11) and Phase III (June 15-25). Hunters are only allowed one permit during Phases I to III. If any permits remain, anyone may apply during Phase IV – beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 28 – until all permits are sold, even if the applicant was already awarded a permit. For more information, visit www.gooutdoorsflorida.com. 10 • HOOK & TRIGGER

PLATED WILD RECIPES FROM HOOK & TRIGGER

LEMON PEPPER RED SNAPPER Yield: 4 servings Prep time: 9 minutes Total time: 13 minutes INGREDIENTS 2 lemons 4 6-ounce red snapper fillets 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons butter, softened 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 1 lemon into eight slices. Place slices, in pairs, on a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Grate remaining lemon to get 1 teaspoon lemon rind; set that aside. Place 1 fillet on top of each pair of lemon slices. Combine salt, paprika, and pepper; sprinkle evenly over fish. Bake at 425 degrees for 13 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. While the fish bakes, combine reserved lemon rind, butter, and herbs in a small bowl. Use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, like basil, parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Place fish and lemon slices on individual serving plates; top each fillet with herbed butter, spreading the butter to melt.

ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS Phone: 850-687-3776 Email: phil@HookAndTrigger.com www.HookAndTrigger.com


2018-19 Northwest Florida Resident: Zone D

HUNTING SEASONS • Seasons do not apply to wildlife management areas •

Deer Archery Crossbow I Crossbow II Muzzleloader Muzzleloader General Gun I General Gun II General Gun General Gun

Oct. 20-Nov. 21 Antlered or antler-less deer: bow/crossbow Oct. 20-Nov. 21 Antlered or antler-less deer: bow/crossbow Nov. 26-Nov. 30 Antlered deer only: bow/crossbow Dec. 1-7, Feb. 18-24 Antlered deer: muzzleloader, bow/crossbow Dec. 1-2 Antlerless deer in DMU D2 only* Nov. 22-25 Antlered deer Dec. 8-Feb. 17 Antlered deer Nov. 24-25, Dec. 29-20 Anterless deer in DMU D1 only* Nov. 24-25, Dec. 15-16, Dec. 29-30 Anterless deer in DMU D2 only*

Fall Turkey (no fall harvest in Holmes County) Archery Crossbow I Crossbow II Muzzleloader General Gun I General Gun II

Oct. 20-Nov. 21 Oct. 20-Nov. 21 Nov. 26-30 Dec. 1-7 Nov. 22-25 Dec. 8-Jan. 13

Gobblers/bearded turkeys: bow/crossbow Gobblers/bearded turkeys: bow/crossbow Gobblers/bearded turkeys: bow/crossbow Gobblers/bearded: muzzleloader, bow/crossbow Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloader, cross/bows, pistols Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloader, cross/bows, pistols

Spring Turkey (north of State Road 70) Youth Hunt Spring Hunt

Mar. 9-10 Mar. 16-Apr. 21

Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, cross/bows, pistols Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, cross/bows, pistols

Oct. 13-Mar. 3

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, pistol, air gun

Nov. 10-Mar. 3

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, pistol

Dec. 1-Mar. 31

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloaders, cross/bow, pistol, air gun

Dec. 1-Mar. 1

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloaders, cross/bow, pistol, air gun

Year-round

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloaders, cross/bow, pistol, air gun

Year-round

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloaders, cross/bow, pistol, air gun

Gray Squirrel General Gun

Quail General Gun

Bobcat Statewide

Otter Statewide

Rabbit Statewide

Wild Hog Statewide

Raccoon/Opossum/Coyote/Beaver/Skunk/Nutria Statewide

Year-round

Rifle, shotgun, muzzleloaders, cross/bow, pistol, air gun

Florida Hunting Zone D: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington counties. * DMU-D1 runs south of I-10 between Escambia and Leon/Wakulla counties; DMU-D2 lies north of I-10. MAY 2018 • 11


TROPHY

WALL

Tristan Lennard of Crestview caught this 27-inch red drum while fishing in Tampa Bay. He made the tremendous catch April 7 using live bait on light tackle.

This gobbler was killed on public land within the Blackwater River State Forest on opening day of turkey season. Bryan Holley of Baker said the bird had an 8-inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs. “My dad called this turkey in for me and my brother with his box call,” Holley explained. “The turkey just happened to come to my side. This is the first turkey I have killed in the three years I have been turkey hunting with my dad. Persistence and patience is what it takes and it definitely paid off.”

12 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Crestview’s Selena Jacks bagged her very first deer Jan. 13 in northern Walton County. She took down the 7-point, 135-pound buck with a .243 rifle on her first shot.


Macey Kervin of Crestview tagged her first buck of the season Jan. 20, 2017, on private land in Laurel Hill. She brought down the 5-point whitetail with a Browning BAR .30-06.

Hunter Johnson of Crestview made a collegiate catch on the campus of the University of Souther Florida, where he attends school. He caught these two bass – approximately 4 and 5 pounds – on April 15 in a public lake using artificials on light tackle. They were catch-and-release.

Darryl Williams of Crestview took this spring gobbler on private land in Okaloosa County on April 6. The turkey had a 5-inch beard and weighed approximately 20 pounds. Williams said it was an early, cool morning hunt with gobbling going on from daylight for an hour or more. “It was a very active morning,” he said. “This gobbler was one of five in a bunch.” He used yelping, calling, and chucking calls to lure them in.

CATCH A REAL

WHOPPER?

Submit your hunting/fishing trophy photo and appear in Hook and Trigger for free! A Dec. 16, 2017 trip to Old Town, Fla., proved successful for 13-yearold McKenna Helms of DeFuniak Springs. The seventh-grader got a 14-point whitetail buck on her very first hunt, using a .243 rifle.

Complete the online form: http://bit.ly/2vcmSUI MAY 2018 • 13


FISHING

CATFISH: NO NOODLING AROUND Topwater bass fishing gets blood flowing BY ERNIE MARTIN Hook & Trigger While in a conversation with my fishing partners, the question was posed to me if I had ever tried “noodling” for catfish. In case you are not familiar with this technique, let me explain. The art of catfish noodling takes 20 percent skill and 80 percent insanity. People find holes in the lake or riverbank where the big catfish are spawning and dive into the hole to wrestle the beast from its hole. Now I love a good catfish dinner as much as any other good Southern-raised individual, but under no circumstances have I ever felt the need or desire to stick my hand – much less the rest of me – in a watery hole to grab my dinner! The answer to my partner’s question was an emphatic “No.” I’m sorry, call me a scaredy-cat or chicken if you must, it won’t bother me. It’s not what you call me that concerns me, but more over what I answer to that makes me who I am. I’m not going noodling for catfish, period. Now you might enjoy a test of strength and courage by catfish noodling and that would be OK with me. I won’t mind going along so I can explain to the officers and your next of kin exactly what occurred! Having been around water all my life, I have seen a lot of God’s creatures in and around the riverbanks and most of them were not catfish. Most of the creatures are well-equipped with sharp teeth, armor-plated bodies, venom, and an attitude that would rival a New York City cab driver. So, if you happen to see me this summer up to my neck in Blackwater River, it’s because I am cooling off or I fell out of the boat. GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING! Now let’s talk a little about early summer fishing. Early summer can be a bass fisher’s favorite time of year – if you understand the current mode of the bass. It will be a post spawn bite and a time

The Rusty Nail & Sharp Hook Shiners, Minnows, Worms, Crickets & Tackle

Reclaimed Wood Home Decor 573-528-6084 5788 Hwy 4 Baker, FL 32531 14 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Photo: Ernie Martin

Ernie Martin (left) and Tim Hatten snagged a table’s worth of speckled trout on a 2-day trip in the Louisiana marsh.

for the bass to replenish their bodies of expended energy from said spawning season. One of my favorite techniques for catching early summertime bass is topwater. Topwater bass fishing is probably the single most heart-pounding, fist-pumping, adrenaline-surging technique of any freshwater species. There is a plethora of lures dedicated to the top water fishing junkies. I know because I have more than enough – too many according to my lovely wife. I could tell you which topwater bait I think works best, but you must know how to read the water and listen to the fish. Just call me the bass whisperer! I’ve learned that weather conditions and moon phase play a significant role in my determining which topwater lure is warranted. You must match the weather conditions to your lure selection. A noisy day will need a noisy lure. Buzzers, chuggers, and propbaits will most likely fill the bill. A calm and quiet day will need a calm topwater bait. Floating stick baits, glide baits and hollow body frogs can be very productive in these conditions. If you are going to be fishing tournaments in the early summer, make sure that you get plenty of practice with your topwater bait. Don’t make the same mistake that I have made and yank the bait away from the striking bass. The hook set on topwater bait must be timed just right for a good hook set. Set the hook too early and you better be good at dodging or you might end up in the emergency room explaining to the doctor how that lure got stuck next to your lip! Be patient and allow the fish time to change direction to get a clean hook set. There are more useful hints and techniques on topwater bass fishing that I will share in a later issue. Until then, y’all keep fishing and hopefully I’ll see you on the water. God bless and good fishing.


LIONFISH CHALLENGE 2018 KICKS OFF MAY 19

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hosting Lionfish Challenge 2018. Kicking off on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19) and running through Labor Day (Sept. 3), this statewide program offers several prizes across two categories. RECREATIONAL CATEGORY • Harvest and submit first 25 lionfish via photo to Lionfish@ MyFWC.com. Photo requirement: Lionfish must be easy to count and include name, date of harvest and signature. • Submit tails (after first 25) to checkpoints located statewide. COMMERCIAL CATEGORY • Send photo of electronic trip tickets to Lionfish@MyFWC. com. Photo requirement: Amount of lionfish harvested (pounds), name, date of harvest and signature. REWARDS All qualified participants that submit 25 lionfish (recreational) or 25 pounds (commercial) will receive a 2018 Lionfish Challenge t-shirt, commemorative coin and entry into the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame (coin valid for one extra spiny lobster per day during the two-day sport season, July 25-26.) 1. Tiered prizes for additional lionfish submitted include: • 75 lionfish (150 pounds commercial): customized neck gaiter and reusable heat pack for stings • 150 lionfish (300 pounds commercial): customized beach towel and Engel tumbler • 250 lionfish (600 pounds commercial): Neritic or ZombieStickz polespear, grip kit and TurtleSkin puncture-resistant gloves • 400 lionfish (1,200 pounds commercial): customized ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Unit 2. Raffle drawings every two weeks for all qualified participants. Prizes donated by sponsors: • Lionator Polespears External Website • Dive Rite surface marker tubes • Narked Scuba Nitrox Classes 3. Lionfish King/Queen: Most lionfish by recreational harvester • Lionfish King/Queen trophy • Feature article in Saltwater Regulations publication • $500 gift card for scuba tank air fills • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler • Other prizes: GoPro Hero 5, Engel 65-quart Cooler 4. Commercial Champion: Most lionfish by weight submitted by commercial harvester • Commercial Champion trophy • Feature article in recreational Saltwater Regulations publication • $500 gift card for scuba tank air fills • Customized Engel 65-quart Cooler • Other prizes: GoPro Hero 5, Engel 65-quart Cooler For more information, including an additional tagged lionfish category, visit https://bit.ly/2rjkic7

Northwest Florida’s Premier Outdoors Magazine Follow the revamped Hook and Trigger Magazine for the latest on local hunting, fishing, conservation, and the great outdoors. Find upcoming events, trophy photos and everything in between, for free!

facebook.com/hookandtrigger @hookandtrigger hookandtrigger www.HookAndTrigger.com MAY 2018 • 15


© Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission – 2018

16 • HOOK & TRIGGER


2018 Recreational Species With No Closed Seasons - AT-A-GLANCE © Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation – 2018 Gulf of Mexico State Waters Click on the species for up-to-date sizeCommission and bag limits. JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

Bonefish Catch and Release Only

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

King Mackerel

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Sheepshead

Spanish Mackerel

Snapper (all snappers except red)

Mullet

Spotted Seatrout

Black Drum

Blue Crab (regional trap closures apply)

African Pomano

Lionfish

Bluefish

Cobia

Dolphin, Mahi

Flounder

Hogfish

Florida Pompano

Red Drum (redfish)

Black Sea Bass

Shark (Non-prohibited species)

Other Groupers Includes Red, Black, Yellowfin, Yellowmouth, Rock Hind, Red Hind & Scamp Excluding Monroe County

Tripletail

White Grunt

Whiting

Prohibited Species: Goliath Grouper, Nassau Grouper, Queen Conch, Prohibited Sharks, Sturgeon, Spotted Eagle Ray. (Does not include all prohibited species)

MAY 2018 • 17


TIDE-SUN-MOON TABLES

Choctaw Bay • 30.4083ºN, 86.7317ºW

DAY LOW/HEIGHT HIGH/HEIGHT SUNRISE SUNSET MAY 1...............12:53AM/-0.0 ft...............1:44PM/1.4 ft................. 6:03AM................. 7:24PM 2...............1:42AM/-0.1 ft................2:17PM/1.5 ft.................. 6:02AM................. 7:25PM 3...............2:31AM/-0.2 ft.................2:53PM/1.5 ft................. 6:01AM................. 7:26PM 4...............3:20AM/-0.1 ft................3:32PM/1.5 ft................. 6:00AM................. 7:26PM 5...............4:10AM/-0.1 ft.................4:14PM/1.4 ft.................. 5:59AM................. 7:27PM 6...............4:59AM/-0.1 ft................4:58PM/1.4 ft................. 5:59AM................. 7:28PM 7...............5:43AM/0.0 ft.................5:44PM/1.3 ft................. 5:58AM................. 7:28PM 8...............6:20AM/0.1 ft.................6:32PM/1.1 ft................. 5:57AM................. 7:29PM 9...............6:47AM/0.2 ft.................7:26PM/1.0 ft................. 5:56AM................. 7:30PM 10..............6:59AM/0.3 ft.................8:48PM/0.8 ft................. 5:56AM................. 7:30PM 11..............6:49AM/0.5 ft.................12:57PM/0.8 ft................ 5:55AM................. 7:31PM .................8:46PM/0.6 ft 12.....................................................12:01AM/0.7 ft................ 5:54AM................. 7:32PM .................5:49AM/0.6 ft.................12:07PM/0.9 ft................ .................9:58PM/0.4 ft 13..............10:52PM/0.1 ft...............12:01PM/1.1 ft................ 5:53AM................. 7:32PM 14..............11:45PM/-0.1 ft...............12:17PM/1.3 ft................ 5:53AM................. 7:33PM 15.....................................................12:47PM/1.5 ft................ 5:52AM................. 7:34PM 16..............12:39AM/-0.3 ft...............1:25PM/1.7 ft.................. 5:52AM................. 7:34PM 17..............1:35AM/-0.4 ft................2:10PM/1.8 ft.................. 5:51AM................. 7:35PM 18..............2:32AM/-0.5 ft................2:58PM/1.9 ft................. 5:50AM................. 7:36PM 19..............3:29AM/-0.5 ft................3:48PM/1.8 ft................. 5:50AM................. 7:36PM 20.............4:24AM/-0.4 ft.................4:39PM/1.7 ft................. 5:49AM................. 7:37PM 21..............5:11AM/-0.2 ft.................5:28PM/1.5 ft.................. 5:49AM................. 7:37PM 22.............5:47AM/-0.0 ft.................6:13PM/1.2 ft.................. 5:48AM................. 7:38PM 23.............6:02AM/0.2 ft.................6:33PM/0.9 ft................. 5:48AM................. 7:39PM 24.............5:45AM/0.4 ft.................12:39PM/0.8 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:39PM 25.............4:22AM/0.5 ft.................11:45AM/1.0 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:40PM .................10:31PM/0.4 ft 26.............11:02PM/0.1 ft................11:42AM/1.2 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:41PM 27..............11:39PM/-0.0 ft...............11:57AM/1.4 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:41PM 28....................................................12:21PM/1.5 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:42PM 29.............12:50PM/1.6 ft................12:17AM/-0.1 ft............... 5:46AM................. 7:42PM 30.............1:22PM/1.6 ft.................12:56AM/-0.2 ft............... 5:45AM................. 7:43PM 31..............1:56PM/1.6 ft.................1:36AM/-0.2 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:43PM JUNE 1...............2:17AM/-0.2 ft.................2:31PM/1.6 ft.................. 5:45AM................. 7:44PM 2...............2:58AM/-0.2 ft................3:07PM/1.6 ft.................. 5:45AM................. 7:44PM 3...............3:38AM/-0.1 ft................3:42PM/1.5 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:45PM 4...............4:13AM/-0.0 ft.................4:15PM/1.4 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:45PM 5...............4:42AM/0.1 ft.................4:45PM/1.3 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:46PM 6...............5:01AM/0.2 ft.................5:02PM/1.1 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:46PM 7...............5:04AM/0.3 ft.................3:25PM/0.9 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:47PM 8...............4:39AM/0.5 ft.................11:57AM/0.9 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:47PM 9...............2:50AM/0.5 ft.................11:07AM/1.1 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:48PM .................10:05PM/0.3 ft 10..............10:27PM/0.1 ft................11:01AM/1.3 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:48PM 11..............11:07PM/-0.1 ft...............11:18AM/1.5 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 12..............11:53PM/-0.3 ft...............11:50AM/1.7 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 13.....................................................12:30PM/1.9 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 14..............12:44AM/-0.5 ft...............1:15PM/2.0 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:50PM 15..............1:37AM/-0.5 ft.................2:02PM/2.0 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:50PM 16..............2:29AM/-0.5 ft................2:51PM/1.9 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:50PM 17..............3:18AM/-0.4 ft.................3:38PM/1.8 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:51PM 18..............3:59AM/-0.2 ft................4:20PM/1.5 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:51PM 19..............4:25AM/0.0 ft.................4:50PM/1.2 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:51PM 20.............4:25AM/0.3 ft.................4:09PM/1.0 ft................. 5:45AM................. 7:51PM 21..............3:45AM/0.5 ft.................11:12AM/0.9 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:52PM 22.............1:41AM/0.5 ft..................10:31AM/1.1 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:52PM .................10:29PM/0.3 ft 23.............10:35PM/0.1 ft................10:37AM/1.3 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:52PM 24.............11:03PM/-0.0 ft...............10:58AM/1.5 ft............... 5:46AM................. 7:52PM 25.............11:37PM/-0.1 ft...............11:27AM/1.6 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:52PM 26....................................................12:00PM/1.7 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:52PM 27..............12:13AM/-0.2 ft...............12:34PM/1.7 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:52PM 28.............12:50AM/-0.2 ft...............1:09PM/1.7 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:53PM 29.............1:27AM/-0.1 ft.................1:44PM/1.7 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:53PM 30.............2:03AM/-0.1 ft................2:18PM/1.7 ft.................. 5:48AM................. 7:53PM

MOON

Last

New

First

Full

Last

New

First

Full

Note: The information contained in these charts is not intended to be used for navigation. Hook & Trigger assumes no liability for damages arising from use of this information. Storms, environmental changes and other phenomenon can impact these predictions without notice.

18 • HOOK & TRIGGER

Navarre Beach • 30.3767ºN, 86.8650ºW

DAY HIGH/HEIGHT LOW/HEIGHT SUNRISE SUNSET MOON MAY 1...............9:10AM/1.3 ft..................6:56PM/-0.1 ft................ 6:04AM................. 7:25PM 2...............9:47AM/1.4 ft.................8:04PM/-0.1 ft................ 6:03AM................. 7:26PM 3...............10:26AM/1.4 ft...............9:21PM/-0.1 ft................. 6:02AM................. 7:26PM 4...............11:08AM/1.4 ft................10:29PM/-0.1 ft............... 6:01AM................. 7:27PM 5...............11:53AM/1.4 ft................11:21PM/0.0 ft................ 6:00AM................. 7:28PM 6...............12:41PM/1.3 ft....................................................... 5:59AM................. 7:28PM 7...............1:32PM/1.3 ft.................12:02AM/0.1 ft................ 5:58AM................. 7:29PM Last 8...............2:29PM/1.2 ft.................12:34AM/0.2 ft................ 5:58AM................. 7:30PM 9...............3:34PM/1.1 ft.................12:56AM/0.3 ft................ 5:57AM................. 7:30PM 10.....................................................1:07AM/0.4 ft................. 5:56AM................. 7:31PM .................9:38AM/0.9 ft.................12:26PM/0.8 ft .................5:00PM/0.9 ft 11.....................................................1:11AM/0.5 ft.................. 5:55AM................. 7:32PM .................8:53AM/0.9 ft.................2:02PM/0.7 ft................. .................8:38PM/0.8 ft 12.....................................................1:13AM/0.6 ft.................. 5:55AM................. 7:32PM .................8:34AM/1.1 ft.................3:08PM/0.5 ft .................10:40PM/0.8 ft 13.....................................................1:12AM/0.7 ft.................. 5:54AM................. 7:33PM .................8:14AM/1.2 ft.................4:07PM/0.3 ft 14..............8:04AM/1.4 ft.................5:07PM/0.1 ft.................. 5:53AM................. 7:33PM 15..............8:23AM/1.5 ft.................6:14PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:53AM................. 7:34PM New 16..............8:56AM/1.7 ft.................7:41PM/-0.2 ft................. 5:52AM................. 7:35PM 17..............9:37AM/1.8 ft.................9:13PM/-0.3 ft................. 5:52AM................. 7:35PM 18..............10:22AM/1.8 ft...............10:23PM/-0.3 ft............... 5:51AM................. 7:36PM 19..............11:10AM/1.8 ft................11:21PM/-0.2 ft................ 5:50AM................. 7:37PM 20.............11:59AM/1.7 ft....................................................... 5:50AM................. 7:37PM 21..............12:46PM/1.5 ft................12:06AM/-0.0 ft............... 5:49AM................. 7:38PM First 22.............1:30PM/1.3 ft.................12:25AM/0.1 ft................ 5:49AM................. 7:39PM 23....................................................12:05AM/0.3 ft................ 5:49AM................. 7:39PM .................9:13AM/0.9 ft..................9:58AM/0.9 ft .................2:06PM/1.0 ft 24....................................................12:01AM/0.5 ft................ 5:48AM................. 7:40PM .................8:26AM/1.0 ft.................1:24PM/0.8 ft .................2:21PM/0.8 ft..................5:49PM/0.7 ft .................8:09PM/0.7 ft 25....................................................12:06AM/0.6 ft................ 5:48AM................. 7:40PM .................8:25AM/1.1 ft.................5:58PM/0.5 ft .................10:14PM/0.6 ft 26....................................................12:06AM/0.6 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:41PM .................8:20AM/1.2 ft.................6:23PM/0.3 ft 27..............7:48AM/1.3 ft.................6:51PM/0.1 ft.................. 5:47AM................. 7:42PM 28.............7:50AM/1.4 ft.................7:14PM/-0.0 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:42PM 29.............8:17AM/1.5 ft..................7:31PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:46AM................. 7:43PM Full 30.............8:51AM/1.5 ft..................7:54PM/-0.2 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:43PM 31..............9:28AM/1.5 ft.................8:30PM/-0.2 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:44PM JUNE 1...............10:06AM/1.5 ft...............9:11PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:45AM................. 7:44PM 2...............10:44AM/1.5 ft...............9:50PM/-0.0 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:45PM 3...............11:23AM/1.4 ft................10:25PM/0.0 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:45PM 4...............11:59AM/1.4 ft................10:51PM/0.2 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:46PM 5...............12:33PM/1.3 ft................11:07PM/0.3 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:46PM 6...............1:02PM/1.2 ft.................11:12PM/0.4 ft................. 5:45AM................. 7:47PM Last 7...............1:07PM/1.0 ft.................11:13PM/0.6 ft................. 5:45AM................. 7:47PM 8...............7:37AM/1.1 ft.................11:09PM/0.6 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:48PM 9...............7:18AM/1.2 ft..................4:39PM/0.5 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:48PM 10..............7:09AM/1.4 ft.................4:46PM/0.3 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 11..............7:10AM/1.5 ft..................5:27PM/0.0 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 12..............7:32AM/1.7 ft.................6:21PM/-0.2 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:49PM 13..............8:06AM/1.8 ft.................7:22PM/-0.3 ft................ 5:44AM................. 7:50PM New 14..............8:47AM/1.9 ft.................8:24PM/-0.4 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:50PM 15..............9:32AM/1.9 ft.................9:22PM/-0.3 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:50PM 16..............10:18AM/1.8 ft................10:14PM/-0.2 ft............... 5:45AM................. 7:51PM 17..............11:02AM/1.7 ft................10:54PM/-0.1 ft............... 5:45AM................. 7:51PM 18..............11:40AM/1.5 ft................10:54PM/0.1 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:51PM 19..............12:08PM/1.3 ft................10:15PM/0.3 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:52PM 20.............12:20PM/1.0 ft................10:11PM/0.5 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:52PM First 21..............7:03AM/1.0 ft.................5:39PM/0.6 ft................. 5:46AM................. 7:52PM .................6:28PM/0.6 ft.................10:08PM/0.5 ft 22.............7:05AM/1.2 ft.................5:21PM/0.4 ft.................. 5:46AM................. 7:52PM 23.............7:08AM/1.3 ft.................5:46PM/0.2 ft................. 5:46AM................. 7:52PM 24.............7:01AM/1.4 ft.................6:16PM/0.0 ft.................. 5:46AM................. 7:53PM 25.............7:06AM/1.5 ft.................6:47PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:53PM 26.............7:32AM/1.5 ft.................7:17PM/-0.2 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:53PM 27..............8:06AM/1.5 ft.................7:44PM/-0.2 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:53PM Full 28.............8:42AM/1.5 ft.................8:07PM/-0.2 ft................. 5:47AM................. 7:53PM 29.............9:19AM/1.5 ft..................8:29PM/-0.1 ft................ 5:48AM................. 7:53PM 30.............9:56AM/1.5 ft.................8:51PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:48AM................. 7:53PM


TIDE-SUN-MOON TABLES

Destin, East Pass • 30.3950ºN, 86.5133ºW

DAY HIGH/HEIGHT LOW/HEIGHT SUNRISE SUNSET MOON MAY 1...............11:40AM/0.6 ft....................................................... 6:02AM................. 7:24PM 2......................................................12:11AM/-0.1 ft................ 6:01AM................. 7:24PM 12:13PM/0.6 ft 3......................................................1:00AM/-0.1 ft................ 6:00AM................. 7:25PM .................12:49PM/0.6 ft 4......................................................1:49AM/-0.1 ft................ 5:59AM................. 7:26PM .................1:28PM/0.6 ft 5......................................................2:39AM/-0.0 ft................ 5:59AM................. 7:26PM .................2:10PM/0.6 ft 6......................................................3:28AM/-0.0 ft................. 5:58AM................. 7:27PM .................2:54PM/0.6 ft 7......................................................4:12AM/0.0 ft.................. 5:57AM................. 7:27PM Last .................3:40PM/0.5 ft 8......................................................4:49AM/0.0 ft................. 5:56AM................. 7:28PM .................4:28PM/0.5 ft 9......................................................5:16AM/0.1 ft.................. 5:55AM................. 7:29PM .................5:22PM/0.4 ft 10.....................................................5:28AM/0.1 ft................. 5:55AM................. 7:29PM .................6:44PM/0.3 ft 11.....................................................5:18AM/0.2 ft.................. 5:54AM................. 7:30PM .................10:53AM/0.3 ft...............7:15PM/0.3 ft.................. .................9:57PM/0.3 ft 12.....................................................4:18AM/0.2 ft.................. 5:53AM................. 7:31PM .................10:03AM/0.4 ft...............8:27PM/0.2 ft 13..............9:57AM/0.5 ft.................9:21PM/0.1 ft.................. 5:53AM................. 7:31PM 14..............10:13AM/0.6 ft................10:14PM/-0.0 ft............... 5:52AM................. 7:32PM 15..............10:43AM/0.6 ft...............11:08PM/-0.1 ft............... 5:51AM................. 7:33PM New 16..............11:21AM/0.7 ft....................................................... 5:51AM................. 7:33PM 17.....................................................12:04AM/-0.2 ft............... 5:50AM................. 7:34PM .................12:06PM/0.8 ft 18.....................................................1:01AM/-0.2 ft................. 5:50AM................. 7:35PM .................12:54PM/0.8 ft 19.....................................................1:58AM/-0.2 ft................ 5:49AM................. 7:35PM .................1:44PM/0.8 ft 20....................................................2:53AM/-0.2 ft................ 5:49AM................. 7:36PM .................2:35PM/0.7 ft 21.....................................................3:40AM/-0.1 ft................ 5:48AM................. 7:37PM First .................3:24PM/0.6 ft 22....................................................4:16AM/-0.0 ft................. 5:48AM................. 7:37PM .................4:09PM/0.5 ft 23....................................................4:31AM/0.1 ft.................. 5:47AM................. 7:38PM .................4:29PM/0.4 ft 24....................................................4:14AM/0.2 ft.................. 5:47AM................. 7:38PM .................10:35AM/0.4 ft 25....................................................2:51AM/0.2 ft.................. 5:46AM................. 7:39PM .................9:41AM/0.4 ft..................9:00PM/0.2 ft 26.............9:38AM/0.5 ft.................9:31PM/0.1 ft.................. 5:46AM................. 7:40PM 27..............9:53AM/0.6 ft.................10:08PM/-0.0 ft............... 5:45AM................. 7:40PM 28.............10:17AM/0.6 ft................10:46PM/-0.1 ft............... 5:45AM................. 7:41PM 29.............10:46AM/0.7 ft...............11:25PM/-0.1 ft................ 5:45AM................. 7:41PM Full 30.............11:18AM/0.7 ft....................................................... 5:45AM................. 7:42PM 31.....................................................12:05AM/-0.1 ft............... 5:44AM................. 7:42PM .................11:52AM/0.7 ft JUNE 1......................................................12:46AM/-0.1 ft............... 5:44AM................. 7:43PM .................12:27PM/0.7 ft 2......................................................1:27AM/-0.1 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:44PM .................1:03PM/0.7 ft 3......................................................2:07AM/-0.0 ft................. 5:44AM................. 7:44PM .................1:38PM/0.6 ft 4......................................................2:42AM/-0.0 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:45PM .................2:11PM/0.6 ft 5......................................................3:11AM/0.0 ft.................. 5:43AM................. 7:45PM .................2:41PM/0.5 ft 6......................................................3:30AM/0.1 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:46PM Last .................2:58PM/0.5 ft 7......................................................3:33AM/0.1 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:46PM .................1:21PM/0.4 ft 8......................................................3:08AM/0.2 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:46PM .................9:53AM/0.4 ft 9......................................................1:19AM/0.2 ft.................. 5:43AM................. 7:47PM .................9:03AM/0.4 ft.................8:34PM/0.1 ft 10..............8:57AM/0.5 ft.................8:56PM/0.0 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:47PM 11..............9:14AM/0.6 ft.................9:36PM/-0.1 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:48PM 12..............9:46AM/0.7 ft.................10:22PM/-0.1 ft............... 5:43AM................. 7:48PM 13..............10:26AM/0.8 ft...............11:13PM/-0.2 ft................ 5:43AM................. 7:48PM New 14..............11:11AM/0.8 ft........................................................ 5:43AM................. 7:49PM 15..............11:58AM/0.8 ft................12:06AM/-0.2 ft............... 5:43AM................. 7:49PM

Panama City Beach • 30.2133ºN, 85.8800ºW

DAY LOW/HEIGHT HIGH/HEIGHT SUNRISE SUNSET MOON MAY 1......................................................8:50AM/1.4 ft .................6:32PM/-0.1 ft....................................................... 6:00AM................. 7:21PM 2......................................................9:28AM/1.5 ft .................7:35PM/-0.1 ft....................................................... 5:59AM................. 7:21PM 3......................................................10:09AM/1.5 ft .................9:01PM/-0.1 ft........................................................ 5:58AM................. 7:22PM 4......................................................10:54AM/1.5 ft .................10:07PM/-0.1 ft...................................................... 5:57AM................. 7:23PM 5......................................................11:44AM/1.4 ft .................10:55PM/-0.0 ft...................................................... 5:56AM................. 7:23PM 6......................................................12:37PM/1.3 ft .................11:35PM/0.0 ft....................................................... 5:56AM................. 7:24PM 7......................................................1:28PM/1.2 ft.................. 5:55AM................. 7:25PM Last 8...............12:10AM/0.1 ft................2:17PM/1.1 ft.................. 5:54AM................. 7:25PM 9...............12:40AM/0.2 ft...............3:09PM/1.0 ft................. 5:53AM................. 7:26PM 10..............12:58AM/0.3 ft...............8:52AM/0.8 ft................. 5:53AM................. 7:27PM .................12:58PM/0.7 ft................4:14PM/0.8 ft .................7:03PM/0.7 ft.................7:17PM/0.8 ft 11..............12:50AM/0.4 ft...............8:53AM/0.9 ft................. 5:52AM................. 7:27PM .................2:39PM/0.6 ft.................9:04PM/0.7 ft 12..............12:44AM/0.5 ft...............8:55AM/1.0 ft................. 5:51AM................. 7:28PM .................3:37PM/0.4 ft.................10:28PM/0.7 ft 13..............12:54AM/0.6 ft...............7:57AM/1.1 ft................. 5:50AM................. 7:29PM .................4:23PM/0.1 ft 14.....................................................12:06AM/0.6 ft................ 5:50AM................. 7:29PM .................1:00AM/0.6 ft.................7:50AM/1.3 ft .................5:07PM/-0.0 ft 15.....................................................8:14AM/1.5 ft.................. 5:49AM................. 7:30PM New .................5:56PM/-0.2 ft 16.....................................................8:46AM/1.7 ft................. 5:49AM................. 7:31PM .................7:00PM/-0.3 ft 17.....................................................9:24AM/1.8 ft.................. 5:48AM................. 7:31PM .................8:45PM/-0.3 ft 18.....................................................10:09AM/1.8 ft............... 5:47AM................. 7:32PM .................10:10PM/-0.3 ft 19.....................................................11:02AM/1.7 ft................ 5:47AM................. 7:32PM .................11:00PM/-0.3 ft 20....................................................11:59AM/1.6 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:33PM .................11:34PM/-0.2 ft 21.....................................................12:55PM/1.4 ft................ 5:46AM................. 7:34PM First .................11:53PM/0.0 ft 22....................................................1:43PM/1.2 ft................. 5:45AM................. 7:34PM 23.............12:01AM/0.2 ft................8:17AM/0.8 ft.................. 5:45AM................. 7:35PM .................10:17AM/0.8 ft................2:26PM/0.9 ft .................5:24PM/0.8 ft.................6:43PM/0.8 ft 24.............12:02AM/0.4 ft...............8:10AM/0.9 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:35PM .................1:09PM/0.6 ft.................3:04PM/0.6 ft .................5:32PM/0.6 ft.................8:21PM/0.7 ft .................11:56PM/0.5 ft 25....................................................8:24AM/1.1 ft.................. 3:04PM/0.4 ft...... .................3:36PM/0.4 ft.................5:55PM/0.4 ft................. 9:47PM/0.6 ft...... 11:48PM/0.6 ft ............................................................................................... 5:44AM................. 7:36PM 26....................................................8:37AM/1.2 ft.................. 5:44AM................. 7:37PM .................4:24PM/0.2 ft.................4:43PM/0.2 ft .................6:18PM/0.2 ft 27.....................................................7:08AM/1.3 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:37PM .................4:52PM/0.0 ft 28....................................................7:27AM/1.5 ft.................. 5:43AM................. 7:38PM .................5:26PM/-0.1 ft 29....................................................7:59AM/1.6 ft................. 5:43AM................. 7:38PM Full .................6:03PM/-0.1 ft 30....................................................8:34AM/1.6 ft................. 5:42AM................. 7:39PM .................6:45PM/-0.1 ft 31.....................................................9:10AM/1.7 ft.................. 5:42AM................. 7:40PM .................7:36PM/-0.1 ft JUNE 1......................................................9:47AM/1.6 ft.................. 5:42AM................. 7:40PM .................8:37PM/-0.1 ft 2......................................................10:27AM/1.6 ft................ 5:42AM................. 7:41PM .................9:32PM/-0.1 ft 3......................................................11:09AM/1.5 ft................ 5:42AM................. 7:41PM .................10:15PM/-0.0 ft 4......................................................11:54AM/1.4 ft................ 5:41AM................. 7:42PM .................10:48PM/0.1 ft 5......................................................12:37PM/1.2 ft................ 5:41AM................. 7:42PM .................11:11PM/0.2 ft 6......................................................1:13PM/1.1 ft.................. 5:41AM................. 7:43PM Last .................11:11PM/0.3 ft MAY 2018 • 19


CONSERVATION

Photos: Sean Murphy

Touch tanks allow Okaloosa and Walton County children to observe Choctawhatchee Bay fish, shrimp, and crabs as long as they wish.

BRINGING TOUCH TANKS TO KIDS CBA’s hands-on approach to learning helps to ensure healthy fishing waters BY ERIKA ZAMBELLO Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance Just after dawn breaks in Northwest Florida, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) staff and AmeriCorps team members are up to their knees in the calm waters of the bay. Working in pairs, they use long seine nets to scoop up aquatic critters, carefully transferring them to a cooler for transport to elementary schools in Okaloosa and Walton counties. For CBA, March was Grasses in Classes touch tank month. The program is a hands-on, environmental education initiative that gives students a direct role in the restoration of Choctawhatchee Bay. Grasses in Classes students tend salt marsh nurseries throughout the school year, and receive monthly education on local estuarine topics that meet Florida’s state science standards from CBA and CBA partners (e.g. AmeriCorps members). At the end of the school year, Grasses in Classes culminates with students planting their shoreline grasses at salt marsh restoration sites along Choctawhatchee Bay as part of CBA’s living shoreline initiative. In total, CBA visits nearly 2,000 students in the dual-county region each month. To help students become more familiar with the species that will eventually call their restoration sites home, CBA brings the fish and 20 • HOOK & TRIGGER

In addition to improving the students’ identification skills, the kids learn about the adaptations of individual species to their estuarine home in the Choctawhatchee Bay.

crustaceans to the kids. As the third and fifth-graders surround the clear tanks – bubblers running to keep the critters comfortable – instructors describe each species, from silverside minnows to mangrove snappers to blue crabs to ghost shrimp and so much more. In addition to improving the students’ identification skills, the kids learn about the adaptations of individual species to their estuarine home in the Choctawhatchee Bay. See Tanks on page 21


REPORT VIOLATIONS AND INJURED WILDLIFE TO FWC

START ‘EM YOUNG

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hosts a wildlife alert 24-hour hotline. Outdoors enthusiasts are encouraged to report a suspected crime against Florida’s fish, wildlife, or natural resources. The hotline is also available to report an injured animal. Call 888404-FWCC (3922).

FEEDING FORECAST Northwest Florida Fish • May-June

DATE MAJOR

MINOR

MAY 1 1:40A/2:10P 7:15A/9:05P 2 2:30A/3:00P 7:55A/10:00P 3 3:20A/3:45P 8:40A/10:50P 4 4:10A/4:35P 9:25A/11:40P 5 5:00A/5:20P 10:15A/n.a. 6 5:45A/6:10P 12:30A/11:05A 7 6:35A/6:55P 1:10A/12:00P 8 7:20A/7:40P 1:50A/12:50P 9 8:05A/8:25P 2:25A/1:45P 10 8:50A/9:10P 3:00A/2:40P 11 9:40A/9:55P 3:35A/3:40P 12 10:25A/10:40P 4:10A/4:40P 13 11:10A/11:30P 4:45A/5:40P 14 12:05P/n.a. 5:25A/6:45P 15 12:25A/1:00P 6:10A/7:55P 16 1:25A/2:00P 6:55A/9:00P 17 2:25A/3:00P 7:50A/10:05P 18 3:30A/4:00P 8:50A/11:10P 19 4:30A/5:00P 9:50A/n.a. 20 5:30A/5:55P 12:05A/10:55A 21 6:25A/6:50P 12:55A/12:00P 22 7:20A/7:40P 1:35A/1:05P 23 8:10A/8:25P 2:15A/2:05P 24 8:55A/9:15P 2:50A/3:05P 25 9:45A/10:00P 3:25A/4:00P 26 10:30A/10:50P 4:00A/5:00P 27 11:15A/11:35P 4:35A/5:55P 28 12:05P/n.a. 5:15A/6:50P 29 12:25A/12:50P 5:55A/7:50P 30 1:15A/1:40P 6:35A/8:45P 31 2:05A/2:30P 7:20A/9:35P JUNE 1 2:50A/3:15P 8:10A/10:25P 2 3:40A/4:05P 9:00A/11:10P 3 4:30A/4:50P 9:50A/11:50P 4 5:15A/5:35P 10:45A/n.a. 5 6:00A/6:20P 12:25A/11:35A 6 6:45A/7:05P 1:00A/12:30P 7 7:30A/7:45P 1:35A/1:25P 8 8:15A/8:30P 2:05A/2:25P 9 9:00A/9:20P 2:40A/3:20P 10 9:50A/10:10P 3:15A/4:25P 11 10:45A/11:05P 4:00A/5:30P 12 11:40A/n.a. 4:45A/6:35P 13 12:05A/12:40P 5:35A/7:45P 14 1:10A/1:45P 6:30A/8:55P 15 2:15A/2:45P 7:35A/9:55P

DATE MAJOR

MINOR

16 3:20A/3:45P 8:40A/10:50P 17 4:20A/4:45P 9:50A/11:35P 18 5:15A/5:35P 10:55A/n.a. 19 6:10A/6:25P 12:20A/12:00P 20 6:55A/7:15P 12:55A/1:00P 21 7:40A/8:00P 1:25A/1:55P 22 8:30A/8:45P 2:05A/2:55P 23 9:15A/9:30P 2:40A/3:50P 24 10:00A/10:20P 3:15A/4:45P 25 10:45A/11:05P 3:50A/5:40P 26 11:35A/11:55P 4:35A/6:35P 27 12:25P/n.a. 5:15A/7:30P 28 12:50A/1:10P 6:05A/8:20P 29 1:35A/2:00P 6:55A/9:05P 30 2:25A/2:45P 7:45A/9:45P JULY 1 3:15A/3:30P 8:40A/10:25P 2 4:00A/4:15P 9:30A/11:00P 3 4:45A/5:00P 10:25A/11:35P 4 5:25A/5:55P 11:20A/n.a. 5 2:35A/2:40P 12:35A/4:40A 6 6:55A/7:10P 12:40A/1:10P 7 7:40A/8:00P 1:15A/2:10P 8 8:30A/8:50P 1:50A/3:10P 9 9:20A/9:45P 2:30A/4:15P 10 10:20A/10:45P 3:20A/5:20P 11 11:20A/11:50P 4:15A/6:25P 12 12:25P/n.a. 5:15A/7:35P 13 12:55A/1:25P 6:20A/8:35P 14 2:00A/2:25P 7:30A/9:25P 15 3:00A/3:25P 8:35A/10:15P 16 4:00A/4:20P 9:45A/10:55P 17 4:50A/5:10P 10:50A/11:30P 18 5:40A/5:55P 11:50A/n.a. 19 6:25A/6:45P 12:05A/12:50P 20 7:10A/7:30P 12:40A/1:45P 21 8:00A/8:15P 1:15A/2:40P 22 8:45A/9:05P 1:55A/3:35P 23 9:30A/9:55P 2:35A/4:30P 24 10:20A/10:40P 3:15A/5:25P 25 11:05A/11:30P 4:00A/6:15P 26 11:55A/n.a. 4:50A/7:05P 27 12:20A/12:45P 5:40A/7:45P 28 1:10A/1:30P 6:35A/8:25P 29 1:55A/2:15P 7:25A/9:05P 30 2:40A/3:00P 8:20A/9:40P 31 3:25A/3:40P 9:15A/10:10P

Photo: Jeannie Maloney

Madelyn Farnham of Santa Rosa Beach, 3, fires up her new fishing pole during the Coastal Conservation Association Kid’s Fishing Tournament April 29. Held at Grayton Beach, the first 200 anglers received a rod and reel combo from CCA Florida, pompano rigs and shrimp from Yellowfin Ocean Sports, a beach rod holder from Ferguson Water Works, a branded t-shirt, and a CCA Rising Tide Membership. This was the 13th annual tournament, and included educational stations to teach children about local fish species identification.

Tanks

continued from page 20 Students learn differently, and the touch tanks allow each and every one to observe the fish, shrimp, and crabs as long as they wish. Gentle handling of the creatures is encouraged, and the elementary schoolers can bring the mud crabs up to eye level, or feel the slippery sides of a Mojarra. “Touch tanks are the perfect segue between classroom activities and their field trips in April and May,” explained Alison McDowell, CBA director. During their restoration experiences, students spend time examining native species in their natural environment, drawing on prior experience learning about the minnows and crabs. After completing Grasses in Classes, students are armed with knowledge about our beautiful coastal environment. Learning to identify aquatic species inspires the children to become water ambassadors, practicing and encouraging good management activities. Fishing in our region is critically important not only to our economy, but our community and culture as well. By instilling knowledge and appreciation for the unique creatures that call our waterways home, CBA and partners work toward a healthy future for the Choctawhatchee Bay and its creatures. MAY 2018 • 21


CONSERVATION

SIGHTING IN THE BOBWHITE QUAIL Restoring a species on Florida’s private land BY DON BUCHANAN FWC Private lands biologist, Landowner Assistance Program The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is sighting in on the restoration of the native Northern Bobwhite Quail by partnering with private landowners to gain a better understanding of the distribution and abundance of bobwhite quail populations on private lands. Bobwhite quail populations across Florida have steadily declined for more than 50 years, with estimated population losses in the millions. The FWC’s Landowner Assistance Program works cooperatively with private landowners to restore bobwhite quail habitat. But to stabilize and improve the Bobwhite quail populations across bobwhite quail Florida have steadily declined for more current than 50 years, with estimated popula- populations across Florida, tion losses in the millions. more information is needed. NEW WEBSITE COLLECTING DATA To gather valuable data on Florida’s bobwhite quail populations, the FWC is launching a new webpage: Northern Bobwhite Quail Sightings. It allows private landowners to record when and where they see or hear bobwhite quail on private lands. If you own land in Florida with bobwhite quail populations, or know someone who does, enter your sightings at MyFWC.com/ quailsightings. This application also will work on your mobile device, making it easy to collect information when you are in the field. You can also click on “Be a Citizen Scientist” under “Get Involved” at the top of our MyFWC.com home page, then click “Sightings.” There you will find the Northern bobwhite quail sightings webpage as well as other animals the FWC is asking citizens to help conserve by reporting sightings. Private landowners who have released pen-raised bobwhite quail are asked not to add sightings for at least one year following their release. Pen-raised quail do not add to the wild breeding population,

Photos: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A new webpage, MyFWC.com/quailsightings, allows Florida landowners to record when and where they see or hear bobwhite quail on private lands.

and in some ways hinder wild populations. For privacy reasons, the locations of bobwhite quail entered will not be visible on the sightings page. However, location data will be used by FWC to help biologists better understand the current distribution and abundance of bobwhite quail populations in Florida. With a better understanding of where bobwhite quail occur across Florida’s private lands, the FWC will be better equipped to allocate resources to “sight in” on the target of restoring our native bobwhite populations to their former glory. If you would like to speak with a professional biologist regarding managing or restoring Northern bobwhite quail habitat contact your local Landowner Assistance Program regional biologist.

FLORIDA OFFERS 8 LICENSE-FREE FISHING DAYS EVERY YEAR

Florida offers several license-free fishing days over the course of the year, allowing those who do not yet have a license the opportunity to try out the sport. On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers (residents and non-residents). License-free fishing days for freshwater fishers are the first Saturday and Sunday in April, and the second Saturday and Sunday in June. For saltwater anglers, the license requirement is waived on the first Saturday and Sunday in June, the first Saturday in September, and the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The saltwater waiver applies to any recreational harvest requiring a saltwater fishing license (e.g., crabbing, lobstering, scalloping, etc.) as well as fishing from shore or a boat. A snook or spiny lobster permit is not required on these days. All other rules – including seasons, bag limits, and size limits – still apply for both water types. 22 • HOOK & TRIGGER


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