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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Tarpon Springs, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Tarpon Springs, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Tarpon Springs, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Tarpon Springs, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Tarpon Springs, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Tarpon Springs, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Tarpon Springs, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Tarpon Springs, FL

Latest News in Tarpon Springs, FL

The Miraculous Story of St. Michael’s Shrine in Tarpon Springs

Saint Michael’s Shrine at 113 Hope Street in Tarpon Springs, Florida, is a place where the faithful have reported miracles for decades. It was built more than eighty years ago to fulfill the promise an ill eleven-year-old boy made to the Archangel Michael after the Saint saved his life, according to his sister, Goldie Parr.To this day, people visit the shrine to pray and light a candle, and ...

Saint Michael’s Shrine at 113 Hope Street in Tarpon Springs, Florida, is a place where the faithful have reported miracles for decades. It was built more than eighty years ago to fulfill the promise an ill eleven-year-old boy made to the Archangel Michael after the Saint saved his life, according to his sister, Goldie Parr.

To this day, people visit the shrine to pray and light a candle, and there are testimonies of true miracles which have taken place there.

The story of the icon from the Holy Abbey of Taxiarchis Michael of Panormitis on the island of Symi in Greece’s Dodecanese and how it came to St. Michael’s Shrine began many decades ago.

In June 1937, Maria Tsalickis, wife of Tarpon Springs sponge diver James Tsalickis, visited her birthplace Symi to meet the Abbot Prior Chrysanthos of the Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael of Panormitis. The purpose of the long journey was to fulfill an old promise.

Her husband, who had been in danger while on a voyage, had promised the Abbot Prior that he would make an offering to the Monastery. His wife was proud to deliver an offering of $300 on his behalf. This constituted an enormous sum of money at that time. The Abbot Prior thanked her, and to show his gratitude, he took a small silver icon of Taxiarchis Michael, which was hanging in the Church, and gave it to her.

Maria Tsalickis said that chills of emotion and awe seized her body and soul as soon as she touched the icon. Upon her return to Tarpon Springs, she placed the Holy Icon of Taxiarchis on a table under the Iconostasis.

A year later, on the 6th of November, 1938, she was sitting at home with relatives when all of a sudden they heard the sound of a church bell—the very same bell as that of the Holy Abbey of Taxiarchis of Panormitis back in Symi. The sound was somehow emanating from the Icon of Taxiarchis, which was on the table. The sound lasted until 3 AM the next day and left everyone dumbstruck with awe.

Maria visited Father Theophilos Karaphilis, the priest of the Church of Saint Nicholas of Tarpon Springs, and told him what had happened. Father Theophilos instructed her to bring the icon to church, where a holy ceremony of breaking the holy bread was performed.

The following day was the Feast Day of Saint Michael Taxiarchis. After eight days, Maria brought the icon home. The extraordinary event of the pealing bells repeated itself the following year, and the next, and the same church ceremony was repeated.

In December 1939, Maria’s second-born son Steve became sick with a high fever and was taken to the hospital, where his condition worsened. He was then diagnosed with a brain tumor, and he fell into a coma. He then suddenly awoke and told his mother, “Mama, I want you to bring me the Icon of the Taxiarchis.”

The mother asked her koumpara to bring the icon to the hospital. As soon as Steve saw the icon, he asked his mother to place it on his chest. He crossed his hands over the icon and began speaking unintelligibly. He then told his mother, clearly, “Mama, Taxiarchis wants you to build his shrine.” Maria automatically agreed just to satisfy her son.

Steve said, “Mama, say yes with your heart, for he says tomorrow at 10 AM I will be cured.” and Maria replied, “Yes, Steve, yes, my Steve, with all my heart, I will erect his shrine, as long as he wishes it.” The boy then slept quietly until the following day.

The next day Steve was indeed cured and went back to school only days later. His parents, with much difficulty, erected a small stone chapel in their backyard a year later. Steve, now strong and healthy, grew up to become a popular middle school guidance counselor.

From that day on, several miracles have been reported at the shrine after many people came there and prayed to the Holy Icon of Saint Michael Taxiarchis. Local papers wrote about a young girl who was blinded and regained her sight; a crippled woman began walking again.

Another woman reportedly got up from her wheelchair after nine failed operations; tumors disappeared; a deaf woman’s hearing was restored; and women who previously had been unable to conceive became pregnant.

Today, Goldie Parr, the daughter of James and Maria Tsalickis and Steve’s sister, tends to the shrine, keeping the flame of faith alive. Steve Tsalickis passed away in 2007—many, many years later than the 24 hours the doctors gave him as a prognosis when he was only eleven years old.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Tarpon Springs says its closed-door meeting was legal. Experts disagree.

As a lawsuit over the most contentious project in Tarpon Springs history drew to a close, Mayor Costa Vatikiotis announced in August that the city commission would need to discuss it behind closed doors.A nonprofit group, Concerned Citizens of Tarpon Springs, had sued in 2021 after the city OK’d a developer’s plan for 404 apartments to be built along the An...

As a lawsuit over the most contentious project in Tarpon Springs history drew to a close, Mayor Costa Vatikiotis announced in August that the city commission would need to discuss it behind closed doors.

A nonprofit group, Concerned Citizens of Tarpon Springs, had sued in 2021 after the city OK’d a developer’s plan for 404 apartments to be built along the Anclote River. Now a panel of appellate judges was signaling they were ready to rule in favor of the city and its co-defendant, the Morgan Group Development.

Commissioners convened privately for 37 minutes on Aug. 22 in what is known as a “shade” meeting. It’s an exception in Florida’s Sunshine Law that lets government bodies meet out of public view to discuss settlement negotiations or strategy on expenditures for any pending litigation they have.

But according to the transcript of the meeting obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, commissioners wandered into another topic — how to avoid getting sued again, this time by Morgan Group.

They delved into the city’s rationale for not yet issuing permits for the apartments, and the likelihood the company could seek millions in court over the delays.

The project was approved in November 2021, but an election four months later brought a new commission majority that opposed the apartments. Since then, Morgan Group has submitted at least two demand letters to begin construction.

While city attorney Andrew Salzman said the topics commissioners discussed complied with the law because they related to ideas for settling the Concerned Citizens litigation, the Times interviewed three Sunshine Law experts who disagreed.

“Even if you said the meeting had a legal purpose of trying to settle that pending case, when they start talking about other potential cases and how to resolve them, that looks like they probably exceeded the scope of the permissible topic,” said Timothy Weber, a St. Petersburg attorney who won a lawsuit against St. Pete Beach in 2014 for holding an illegal shade meeting.

Although people may have known commissioners’ stances on the project, the shade meeting discussion into the permits and future litigation should have occurred at a public meeting, said Edward L. Birk, general counsel for the First Amendment Foundation.

“They were discussing public business in private,” said Birk, who reviewed the transcript for the Times. “The harm is that secrecy breeds contempt and transparency cultivates trust. This just chips away at the trust the public can have for their elected officials.”

At a 2nd District Court of Appeal hearing seven days before the shade meeting, the judges’ questions on the Concerned Citizens lawsuit indicated they were leaning toward a ruling to uphold the city’s approval of the project.

According to the transcript, Salzman told commissioners that, once the lawsuit was over, Morgan Group would likely petition a judge to order the city to release the permits.

When that happens, he said he would tell the court the rationale that commissioners discussed during the shade meeting — that Morgan Group must first obtain a clearance from the Army Corps of Engineers related to the property’s wetlands.

But Morgan Group has stated an Army Corps approval is not required, and Salzman said they might also file a lawsuit for delay damages.

He explained that if the commission wanted to try for a settlement between Morgan Group, the city and Concerned Citizens, “now is the time” to do so before the litigation ended, according to the transcript.

“What leverage do we have to negotiate with them?” asked Commissioner John Koulianos. Because the developer is expected to make millions in profit annually on the project, and was about to defeat the Concerned Citizens challenge, Koulianos said “they’re not going to walk away for $2 million” in payment from the city.

Salzman said the only thing the city could offer Morgan Group was to “streamline the process for them to get moving forward and you to get something out of the deal.” Commissioners discussed asking for a guarantee Morgan Group wouldn’t sue in exchange for the easier process.

In an interview, Salzman said the topics discussed in private were within bounds because explaining what could happen after the Concerned Citizens lawsuit ended was “part and parcel” to the shade meeting’s purpose of exploring whether a settlement could be arranged to “make everybody happy.”

He said Morgan Group’s permits were relevant because Concerned Citizens’ lawsuit was a challenge to the legality of the city’s November 2021 approval of the project.

“It was just informational purposes,” he said. “There was no intent there to discuss future litigation.”

But Michael Barfield, director of public access initiatives for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, disagreed after reviewing the transcript. He said the discussion about the Army Corps of Engineers permit and how to handle future legal action had “nothing to do with the pending litigation” and was “a shocking violation of the Sunshine Law.”

He added: “The commission then engaged in a long discussion about what ‘leverage’ they had to negotiate with the developer to avoid a potential lawsuit by streamlining the development process. That discussion was clearly outside the boundaries of what could be discussed during a shade meeting.”

The meeting concluded without the commission agreeing on any proposed settlement terms to present to Morgan Group. Salzman told the Times he also did not believe a Sunshine violation occurred because no action was taken at the meeting.

However, Weber, the St. Petersburg attorney, said the law also applies to discussions and deliberations. He said the commission could foreseeably vote in the future on what they discussed in the shade meeting, like resolving a forthcoming damages lawsuit.

Commissioners also discussed how they might handle future actions, according to the transcript.

“Right now I don’t think they’re going to give in to anything,” said Commissioner Mike Eisner, referring to Morgan Group. “We can always at a certain point speed through it and give them concessions if we have to stay out of litigation.”

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled against Concerned Citizens on Aug. 23, the day after the shade meeting, and the case was closed on Sept. 12. The city has not yet issued permits.

In an interview, Ed Armstrong, an attorney representing Morgan Group, declined to answer whether the developer is preparing to sue Tarpon Springs for damages but said the firm has long felt that the city has been blocking its permits.

“It is remarkable that the commission focused their discussion on ‘leverage’ against the Morgan Group in order to fulfill their political agenda,” Armstrong said of the shade meeting. “This reflects a total disrespect for the rule of law by the body elected to enforce it.”

The apartment project, named Anclote Harbor, has been highly controversial from the start. Before the commission approved the application in 2021, residents came out in droves to argue against the environmental impact on the nearly 74-acre property and safety concerns on the stretch of road along U.S. 19.

In an interview, Vatikiotis, the mayor, acknowledged he felt the shade meeting “became legal strategy for if and when something else came up.”

“I felt uncomfortable that we strayed from what the original objective is,” he said, “but I have to defer to the attorney.”

West Central Florida Forecast

Capt. Ray Markham covers the fishing forecast from Aripeka to Longboat Key, including Hudson, Anclote Key, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and BradentonFlorida Sportsman Action Spotter Podcast Fisherman's Gratitude: Captains Give Thanks 30 00:00:00 / 00:47:59 30 The weeks around full moons seem to always have chang...

Capt. Ray Markham covers the fishing forecast from Aripeka to Longboat Key, including Hudson, Anclote Key, Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and Bradenton

Florida Sportsman Action Spotter Podcast

Fisherman's Gratitude: Captains Give Thanks

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00:00:00 / 00:47:59

30

The weeks around full moons seem to always have changeable weather. For sure fish are affected by the strong tides that are produced by lunar influences. Changes in barometric pressure can also be a major contributor to fishing action. Paying attention to the changes that are created by lunar cycles will give you keys to the feeding patterns of fish.

Rainy, stormy weather kept a lot of boats at the dock last week, but recent trips on the Gulf with Captain Brian Morgan have been very productive for anglers targeting hogfish. Nearshore waters from about 40 to 80 feet have given up good numbers of hogfish, white grunts, an assortment of snappers, and sheepshead. Live shrimp for most anglers have been the bait of choice for all.

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Areas along the beaches continue to show some action with Spanish mackerel prior to the mid-week cold front that passed. The temperature drop will force another push of kingfish south if there are any more remaining to the north. Freezing temperatures from the Panhandle south to the Nature Coast will see to it. If you’re still looking for some kings, some of the deepwater wrecks might still hold some fish.

The activity seen in recent weeks with tripletail tells me a few things. First, these fish have moved into shallow nearshore waters in good numbers. It’s no surprise since stone crab season is well underway and crabbers are seeing a good haul of crab claws on these most recent storms. Stormy weather makes these crabs move. So, freshly baited crab traps also tend to attract marine growth and ace as a mini artificial reef, attracting baitfish and tripletail that move in to feed. With storms not far off on the horizon it also makes for a short ride to target some good table fare.

Cooler weather may slow the action temporarily, but fish will begin to chew again on the next warm-up. Many fish are still in the process of moving to their winter haunts, so you’ll continue to find fish on the move until the weather patterns begin to stabilize.

You can always count on seeing some bluefish slashing your baits and ripping some soft plastic lures. Capt. Rick Grassett of Sarasota has been having good success on recent trips around Sarasota Bay with both spin and fly anglers. Targeted fish include bluefish, Spanish mackerel, trout, pompano, and tripletail on Cal Jigs with Shad tails and flies.

Redfish are on the move with this weather change. Some of the big breeders are headed back offshore except for some of the warmer back bay areas. Look for shrimp, pinfish, and cut baits to work for the natural baits, but suspending and slow-sinking lures like the MirrOlure 18MR808 Heavydine and TTR26 MirrOdine to pick up some nice trout. Larger trout have been showing up along coastal areas with passes from Sarasota to Anclote Key.

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Get out the sheepshead gear because that time is just about here. Greater numbers of sheepshead have been moving into the bays over the past few weeks. Judging by the photos of sheepshead being caught on the piers, around rock piles, seawalls, and docks, we will probably see some great action this winter as the cold fronts crank up. It’s a good time to pick some sunny days and find out where fiddler crabs are hanging out. Fiddlers and sand fleas have always been choice baits for sheepshead, but since beach renourishment began some years ago, the numbers of coquinas and sand fleas have both been disappearing on the shores of the beaches. Pompano eat both live baits, but Doc’s Goofy Jigs seem to work just as well as any live bait for them when these silver saucers are around.

I’ve had a few crappie reports in the past couple of weeks but with this cooler weather, speckled perch fishing action could just kick it up a notch. I like tossing tiny jigs for speckled perch. Vibe Runners and Crappie Tamers from Blakemore always do the trick with no muss or fuss with live wells and aerators to deal with. If you’re into live bait, Missouri minnows will be your best bet rigged on a #6 Daiichi red hooks. Paper-thin mouths of these fish can pull hooks easily, so a gentle lifting of the rod is all that’s needed to set the hook on these fish when using light wire hooks. If you’ve never taken a few specks home for dinner, I hesitate to tell you to now, because you’ll be hooked on them and then there will be fewer crappie for me. So, just leave them for me to catch. ‘Til then…I’ll catch ya later!

Capt. Ray MarkhamRAY.MARKHAM@GMAIL.COM(941)228-3474www.CaptainRayMarkham.com

Read The Next Article: Big Bend Forecast

Tarpon Springs man fights for his life after charcoal grill explosion

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — A charcoal grill explosion left a Tarpon Springs man fighting for his life.The family identified their loved one as 79-year-old Drosos Mavromatis. He is a legendary bridge painter in Tarpon Springs, known for helping his Greek community.Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue said the charcoal grill exploded at his home on Riverside Drive on Wednesday night.“All I heard was oh my god fire,” said Niki Mavromatis, daughter.Niki happened to be on the phone with her mom. Her mom was ...

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — A charcoal grill explosion left a Tarpon Springs man fighting for his life.

The family identified their loved one as 79-year-old Drosos Mavromatis. He is a legendary bridge painter in Tarpon Springs, known for helping his Greek community.

Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue said the charcoal grill exploded at his home on Riverside Drive on Wednesday night.

“All I heard was oh my god fire,” said Niki Mavromatis, daughter.

Niki happened to be on the phone with her mom. Her mom was not hurt, however, fire crews said 85% of her father’s body was burned. Drosos was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

“My grandmother keeps saying I heard, almost like bombs and we didn’t hear until after the investigators came to tell us what happened that there was aerosol cans, and the explosion caused the fire, and my grandfather caught on fire,” said Athena Mavromatis, granddaughter.

A neighbor jumped into action and put out the fire with a garden hose before fire crews arrived.

“If it had not been for them my dad would not be here because he put the fire out on him and saved him,” said Niki.

Athena is praying her grandfather pulls through and is asking for the community’s prayers.

“He’s an elderly man and all of these procedures that he’s going to undergo are going to be quite risky for him,” said Athena. “I’m asking all of Tampa Bay, and whoever is concerned about my grandfather to please pray for this very strong man.”

Athena’s twin sister, Dorssoulla, was named after their grandfather.

“I just asked for prayers and continuous support because he’s not just my hero but I know he did a lot for the community in Tarpon Springs and our lot for our island,” said Dorssoulla.

The family is asking for any local Eastern Orthodox priest to go to the hospital to pray and perform a sacrament.

Voters to decide Polk commission seats; land purchase referendum in Tarpon Springs

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Voters in Tarpon Springs and across Polk County will cast ballots on multiple issues Tuesday.Polk residents in Auburndale, Fort Meade, Lakeland and Winter Haven will decide city commission seats.Meanwhile, Tarpon Springs voters will decide on a referendum regarding the potential purchase of a Roosevelt Boulevard property near the sponge d...

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Voters in Tarpon Springs and across Polk County will cast ballots on multiple issues Tuesday.

Polk residents in Auburndale, Fort Meade, Lakeland and Winter Haven will decide city commission seats.

Meanwhile, Tarpon Springs voters will decide on a referendum regarding the potential purchase of a Roosevelt Boulevard property near the sponge docks.

The Polk County races are as follows:

In Auburndale, Jordan Helms faces Donisha Yarde for the city commission seat #4 and Maulissa Braverman and Alex Cam opposing one another for seat #5.

In Fort Meade, Bob Elliott and Jaret Landon Williams face off for seat #4 while the seat #5 candidates are Samuel Berrien, Candice Filyaw Lott and Donnie True.

It's not the busiest election day 🗳� (I see you, 2024) but some Tampa Bay area cities are holding municipal elections. In Tarpon Springs, voters will be asked if the city should purchase land near the sponge docks for $1.8 million. It's to be used for parking, event space @BN9 pic.twitter.com/ZZmno4eU2F

There’s also a charter amendment regarding electing commissioners.

In Lakeland, there are two city commissioner seats being decided. In District A, the candidates are Lolita Berrien, Guy LaLonde Jr. and Samuel Simmons. In District B, voters will decide between Kay Klymko, incumbent Chad McLeod and Dennis Odisho.

The Winter Haven commission races are between Kim Davis and L. Tracy Mercer in Seat #1 and Jonathon D. Bush, Clifton E. Dollison and Tom D. Freijo for Seat #5.

The Tarpon Springs charter referendum asks voters to authorize the purchase of 1.91 acres of vacant undeveloped parcels fronting Roosevelt Boulevard, Hill Street and Cross Street for $1.8 million.

According to officials, the land would be used for preservation, parkland, event space, parking and civic uses.

Polling locations across Polk County and in Tarpon Springs are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Manatee County, the cities of Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach will hold municipal elections on Tuesday. All candidates are running unopposed, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office: https://www.votemanatee.com/Candidate-Information/Local-Candidates-Committees

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