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Some friends looking for a free lunch. Photo: J. Cladas...

A dolphin leaps in the bow wake created by a ship traversing Tampa Bay. The area's two largest ports -- Port Tampa Bay and Port Manatee -- together support more than 100,000 jobs. And occasional surfing opportunities for fun-loving dolphins! Photo by Scott Browning...

Shrimp boats unload their fresh catches at the Tampa Shrimp Docks. Two family-owned companies, Versaggi Shrimp and Superior Seafood, operate their own fleets and process 4 to 5 million pounds of wild Gulf--caught shrimp yearly. Most is bound for restaurants and markets throughout the U.S....

With ardor most guys reserve for their first car, Russell Farrow recalls his first kayak, a British sea-touring rig he paddled from Pensacola to Siesta Key in 1993. “That’s when the bug really bit me,” he says. “I was able to see and go places...

Piloting ships as long as a 100-story skyscraper is tall leaves little margin for error. It takes a superior helmsman who intimately knows the bay to safely navigate the bay’s shipping channels aboard vessels that barely clear the bay bottom. “It’s empowering,” says Capt. Carolyn Kurtz,...

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...