Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Only in Florida

Do you need to buy a gun, come to Florida and you can buy one off a road side vendor. Only in Florida do you see this type of thing. I just had to share this with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trio of whooping cranes shot dead in Georgia

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are investigating the suspicious deaths of three whooping cranes in southern Georgia.
The cranes were found and reported by hunters in Calhoun County, just west of Albany, Ga., on Dec 30. The landowner reported the cranes had been in the area for a few weeks before they found them dead just before New Year’s Eve.

The cranes are part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership effort to reintroduce whooping cranes into the eastern United States. These three cranes were released in October 2010 with seven other first-year birds in Wisconsin as part of the Direct Autumn Release program. They generally follow other older whooping cranes and sometime sandhill cranes during the fall migration to find suitable wintering habitat. They were banded and equipped with transmitters and were part of the ultralight aircraft-led migration effort.

Wildlife scientists determined three whooping cranes found dead in southern Georgia in December were shot and killed.

Preliminary testing shows the cranes sustained injuries consistent with gunshot wounds, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release.


Whooping Cranes are back in Florida 2011

Shortly before 10:30 a.m. Friday, a hush came over the crowd of hundreds gathered at the Dunnellon airport to witness what some call a magical moment in nature.

The quietness, however, was soon replaced by the drone of ultra light aircraft engines flying some 500 feet overhead.

Operation Migration pilots Joe Duff and Richard van Heuvelen, along with a support crew on the ground, began their day some 70 miles north of Dunnellon in Gilchrist County. They were determined to lead five endangered Whooping Cranes ever closer to their destination off the Citrus County coastline in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

The yearling birds flew for the first time with the aircraft Friday after nearly a month of down time, resting in Gilchrist County.

The unpredictability of the weather, mainly the wind, has been keeping the birds on the ground, according to those at the event.

Ivan Vincent, visitor services specialist for the Chassahowitzka National Wild­life Refuge, said, “The biggest challenge this year has been the wind. In previous years we’ve had fog to contend with, but not this year. The wind has either been blowing in the wrong direction or too hard for them to fly.”

The last two attempts at a flight were Dec. 16 and 17. Both tries were scrubbed due to high winds.

Vincent described Friday’s weather as “nearly perfect” for flying.

Read more of the story

Crazy Florida Weather

After a very wet day yesterday that produced some strong storms to hit Florida today  is going to be a beautiful day for drying out. With highs in the 70’s and plenty of sunshine it is going to heaven on earth today in Central Florida.

AccuWeather.com states “A round of strong thunderstorms produced wind damage and even spawned a funnel cloud as they plowed across the Sunshine state on Monday.
An observer near Port St. John, Fla., a town about 10 miles northwest of Cape Canaveral, observed a funnel cloud with a debris cloud.”

None of these strong storms hit the nature coast area, thank God. Now the weather forecast is for another round of storms to hit on Friday and driving the temperatures down into the upper 50’s and low 60’s for the weekend. I wonder what this is going to do for the fishing along the nature coast this weekend. You will have to tune into my fishing report next week to find out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Florida Considering Vegas-Style Casinos

The state of Florida is considering expanding casino gambling statewide, and has received proposals from some of Las Vegas' leading hotel and entertainment companies. During his campaign for governor, Rick Scott opposed expanding casino gambling in the state, but now that he's in the driver's seat, he said he's open to the proposition.

Florida passed some laws last summer that made it easier to operate a poker room in the state which has led to a boom of poker rooms opening up. Having noticed that the sky didn’t fall on them and the world didn’t end, legislators are now considering a bill that would allow for full fledged Las Vegas-style casinos to be opened.

In a radio interview, Florida Senator Mike Haridopolos said, “We’re a big-time gambling state, and we need to figure out in general how we’re going to maximize revenue because people are going to gamble.”

Employment was touted with job creation from each casino being estimated at between 5,000 and 7,000 with a maximum total of up to 35,000 new jobs being created.

The proposed Florida casino legislation would permit the building of up to five large casino resorts with all the Las Vegas-style fixings including slot machines, poker and carious table games like craps and blackjack. Several of the proposed games aren’t even currently permitted in the state of Florida so there is a great deal of change being proposed with the bill.


Florida Gulf Fishing

Wow this winter has really been crazy. Florida being the only state in the Continental US that has not yet had snow this year. We have had some cold snaps but overall the weather has been great for fishing. With temperatures hovering in the 60's and 70's this makes it pleasant for a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Along the Nature Coast of Florida we have been seeing and hearing of good action coming from Red Fish and Sheepsheads and Trout. Most of the reports have been that they are feeding on Shrimp. We have had our best bet with shrimp also. The reports have been circling that large Drum fish have been seen in the 1 to 2 foot of water range and on oyster bars and muddy bottom areas. Sheepshead tend to steal your bait so keep a tight line and be ready to set the hook. Chumming for these is also a good way to get them to start feeding. As the water temperature drops we will be seeing more action from the Sheepshead and the Drum Fish.

Reports and sightings are saying that in the back waters and back creeks and coves have been reporting good trout fishing and Red Drum fish. Live bait and minnow like lures and white jerk shad have been working great on these. Big schools of mullet have been reported with large Red Fish mixed in the schools of mullet. 

We are heading back out this weekend if the weather permits and I should have more updates from our trip. In future blog post I will do more reporting of fishing in the nature coast of Florida for you.

The good thing about fishing the nature coast is that you never leave the area without fish. Every time we head out we come home with fish of some sort.



Florida Red Fish


 Speckled Trout