By Christine Patton
Closure Notices Mark the Change in Seasons
It’s April and suddenly there is a shift — it may start with Daylight Savings Time, but it continues into many of the outdoor activities, both social (“When are you going up north?”) and natural (“Did you hear that bird call?”). Some activities wind up quietly, while others come to a crescendo, with tournaments and trophies.
For the Rod & Gun, it’s both: the Shooting Range will be closing on April 22 (the last day it will be open). It’s been a great season, with a new instructor, Pablo Montealegre, and improved facilities attracting a record-setting number of shooters. With bow and pellet ranges, and shotgun skeet, trap and five-stand, it is the best facility in southern Florida, and next year will come sooner than we know, but for now it will close down.
In the fishing world, it’s springtime and all that entails. Permit spawning season officially starts on April 1, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has issued a CLOSURE of the spawning waters including all of the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay from April 1 to August 1 (See Bulletin).
That ruling impacts the Rod & Gun Club’s Pick Any Three Days fishing tournament, running from March 1 to April 15. Currently, the Offshore category of sailfish has Carmen Sferrazza as leader, after his epic single day of 21 sails; in the Flats category, where permit are no longer included with the Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook, the leader is Steve Woodsum, who racked up an amazing 6,600 points in three days! Tough targets to beat, but there you are…
Meanwhile, as the weather warms up, being out on the water proves to be the best place. Breezes moderate the temperature and clothing is designed to keep you covered and cool. If you are feeling competitive, the Fish of the Month for April is Cobia and Tuna, open to all ORC members and their guests. Bring your entry to MarineMax Tackle Shop for official weigh-in and win the gift certificate and bragging rights. A day on the water is never wasted.