South Florida outdoors notebook


•  A top prize of $5,000 will be awarded in the Wahoo Smackdown Thursday-Saturday at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina in the Bahamas. Entry fee is $1,250 per boat. For more information, visit biggameclubbimini.com or call 1-800-867-4764.

•  Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida will host the 2014 Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament on Saturday out of Bahia Mar Marina, 801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Entry fee is $1,000 per team; $500 for current NSU students, faculty or staff. A captains’ meeting will be held Thursday at the NSU Oceanographic Center, 8000 N. Ocean Dr., Dania Beach inside John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. Email fishingtournament@nova.edu or call 954-262-2105.

•  Divers, snorkelers and beach walkers are invited to volunteer for the annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 29 sites. For more information, visit www.waterwaycleanup.org.

•  Everglades National Park is offering free admission at the Homestead entrance in honor of Vintage Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Costumed interpreters playing Gladesmen, plume hunters and game wardens will appear and there will be exhibits and discussions. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/ever.

•  Paddlers of surf skis, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are invited to the Paddle House Indian Creek Paddle Showdown on Sunday out of the Miami Beach Rowing Club, 6500 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach. Proceeds benefit the club’s scholarship fund. For more information, visit wwww.rowmiamibeach.com.

•  The Hollywood Hills Saltwater Fishing, Science and Social Club will meet at 6 p.m. March 5 at Shenanigan’s East Side Pub, 1300 S. Federal Highway, Hollywood. Guest speaker is captain Bouncer Smith on marine protected areas. Admission is free; door prizes will be awarded. Email professorarthurmariano@gmail.com.

•  The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will conduct a free hunter safety course March 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Markham Park shooting range clubhouse, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise. Students must complete the online portion beforehand. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or call 561-625-5122.

•  Check out the feathered visitors around Lake Okeechobee in the Big O Birding Festival March 9-13 sponsored by the Hendry County Tourist Development Council. Birder Greg Miller will give the keynote speech. For more information and to reserve bus tours, visit BigOBirdingFestival.com.

•  Youngsters are invited to participate in a free Junior Birder event March 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9700 SW 328 St. near Homestead. Participants can watch and sketch birds and receive a certificate for turning in their checklist. A free trolley ride is available from Homestead’s Losner Park. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bisc; for trolley information, visit www.CityofHomestead.com/Gateway.

•  Register for the 21st annual Capt. Bob Lewis Kids Fishing Classic April 25-26 out of Shake-A-Leg Miami in Coconut Grove. Entry fee is $35 per angler; $40 for the offshore drift boat division covering one adult and one child. For more information, visit www.kidsfishingclassic.com or call 305-725-5614.

To our readers

This page is a regular weekly feature focusing on Florida outdoors adventures. Email scocking@MiamiHerald.com.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  • Fishing report

    Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported that catch-and-release fishing for snook with live baits and artificial lures day and night has been outstanding in and around the Sebastian Inlet all the way north to the Patrick Air Force Base. Redfish and a few permits are biting in the Sebastian Inlet and are being caught on small blue crabs. Along the beaches, tarpon, bonito, jacks and sharks can be targeted all the way to Port Canaveral. These fish have been feeding along the big baitfish schools. Offshore reef fishing has been good for cobias and mangrove snappers up to 12 pounds.

A large Goliath grouper nestled into the Bonaire shipwreck off Jupiter.


    Outdoors feature: Goliath groupers make recovery but harvest remains on hold

    Dropping into the roiled, murky waters 60 feet deep off Jupiter Inlet on Monday, I heard the annual spawning aggregation of Goliath groupers before I actually saw it. Below me, I could barely make out the wreck of the MG 111 or the mottled, gentle giants that show up each year between late July and mid-October to keep their species going. But the Goliaths already had seen our group of divers and weren’t too happy about our visit. They emitted loud, bass booming noises that sound a little like gun reports – probably to alert each other and to warn us not to get too cozy.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Under the sea:</span> The ferro cement sailboat Usikusiku sits 75 feet deep on the ocean floor after being deployed Tuesday as an artificial reef off Hollywood. It already is attracting marine life.


    Sailboat finds new life in final resting place

    The 43-foot ferro cement sailboat doesn’t look very impressive sitting on the ocean floor about 75 feet deep off Hollywood. It’s plain and bare with no design flourishes.

Miami Herald

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