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Commercial fisherman Gus Muench (“Crabby Gus”) spent his youth along the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay estuary. “Billions of good brain cell connections from my childhood established deep roots. Guess that’s why I’m so connected to the water. We had an eight-foot homemade boat we...

Ray Markham spends his days chasing the bay’s bounty – snook, trout, redfish and flounder, along with tarpon and cobia in season. He can’t remember a time when he wasn’t on the water. “My family had a cabin up on the Chassahowitzka River and from...

Khris Johnson switched midstream from pre-med to English Lit in college, and graduated from USF without a clear roadmap. “Plan B” is working out pretty well, thanks to a home-brewing hobby he took up at 22. Seven years and multiple awards later, the St. Pete kid...

There is nothing typical about Maya Trotz. The globe-trotting science educator teaches civil and environmental engineering at the University of South Florida, while building partnerships focused on water sustainability here and in the Caribbean. Born and raised in Guyana, Trotz earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering...

Tourists aren’t the only ones in search of fun in Tampa Bay. Residents list water recreation as a main reason they live here. Boating, fishing, paddling, swimming, or simply gawking at a gorgeous sunset are essential to our collective zen. Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular way...

A least tern shades its chick beneath a wing in this heartwarming image captured by photographer Joan Miller. Terns, plovers, and skimmers nest in colonies on sandy beaches in the Tampa Bay region. Their well-camouflaged eggs and chicks are hard to see, and the parent...

Jan Kaminis Platt was born with saltwater in her veins, thanks to a Greek grandfather still working on the Anclote River and a fishing-fanatic dad. Jan and younger sister Bobbie Lou grew up fishing, wading and swimming the bay. Her legacy spans more than 50 years. In...

The clear, emerald waters off the beaches of Manatee and Pinellas counties attract large numbers of migrating tarpon every Spring. The tackle-busting "silver kings" lure anglers from near and far, hoping to hook up with one of the world's premier gamefish. Fly Fishing guide Bryon...