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Outdoor Notes: Fishing helps take edge off coronavirus fears

News-Journal - 3/18/2020

Capt. Michael Mulholland, who runs the Sea Spirit party boat, says its business as unusual at Ponce Inlet.

Mulholland said the coronavirus outbreak has his business running on a "day to day basis."

"We are taking extreme precautions for our passengers and staff," he said. "We have decreased the number of passengers we take out on each trip. We are screening people before they board.

"For instance, we're advising our passengers they if they have any flu-like symptoms it would be in their best interest not to come out; for their safety and others."

Mulholland said he is following the guidelines of the CDC and county health department.

"We sanitize the vessel before, during and after each trip," he said. "We are constantly sanitizing. The No. 1 priority is the safety of our passengers and crew."

The Sea Spirit has a normal passenger limit of 69 people.

"We have cut that down to 30 to 40," he said. "Again, we have cut back the capacity for the safety of the passengers and crew."

The other party boat operating out of Ponce Inlet, Critter Fleet, confirmed they are still running full-day and half-day fishing trips.

Mulholland said his customers tell him going out to the ocean for a day or half-day is a nice diversion from reality.

"I think a day out on the water is good for people," he said. "It gets you away from all this (coronavirus) news out there."

Gene Lytwyn at The Fishin' Hole in downtown Daytona Beach said it is a great time to go fishing.

"With all the precautions and limitations going on around us, going fishing is still a safe activity right now," he said. "So let's go get 'em."

Offshore Challenge

The Halifax Sport Fishing Club's 20th annual Offshore Challenge will run for two weeks, from Saturday through April 4.

The captain's meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday at the HSFC clubhouse, 3431 S. Ridgewood Ave., Port Orange.

At least one representative from each boat must attend the captain's meeting.

For early registration or information regarding the tournament, contact tournament director Capt. Jesse Jones at tournaments@hsfc.com or 386-453-6489.

Surf tournament

The Surf Fishing Challenge Tournament has been postponed from April 3-4 to May 22-23. For detailed information about this event go online to surffishingchallenge.com.

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