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

Boaters and divers look for lobster off Cape Florida on Wednesday July 30, 2014.


    Ex-Penn football player dies on dive during lobster miniseason

    A Broward man lost his life diving on the first day of the lobster miniseason. He might have run out of air.

  • Fishing report

    Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported that nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs offshore of Miami has been red hot. Plenty of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut bait over the reef in depths of 25 to 60 feet of water. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime mangrove snapper fishing on the reef is off the chart. Nighttime snapper anglers are having no problem catching a limit of snappers, which are eating ballyhoo and threadfin herring.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Off-road vehicles such as swamp buggies, street-legal 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs will be allowed back in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, marking the end of the annual 60-day recreational closure to ORV access. Only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open. All secondary trails will remain closed for an additional 60 days. The closure does not affect landowners’ access to private property using permitted trails. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bicy.

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