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Diving birds clue to location

July 11, 2009
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON, captgeorget3@aol.com

Capt. Sean Davis of Fishwarrior Charters reports he has been fishing near the passes looking for birds dive bombing baits as they get swept along by the currents.

Free-lining live bait is the sure way of catching scores of snook with some nice trout and jacks mixed in. If you can't find whitebaits, pinfish and even small ballyhoos have been producing. Spanish mackerel are making their presence known as well.

Big Carlos Pass holds lots of Spanish. Once again look for the birds to show their location and any live bait put near them will get a bite.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

Capt. Rob Modys of SoulMate Charters reports a strong redfish bite in Estero Bay. Bait was still tough to come by on the outside beaches, but there was plenty of dollar-sized pinfish on the flats. That was the ticket for the reds and quite a few quality snook.

The trout bite on the flats has slowed quite a bit, but there still are plenty of them in all sizes near the passes. On a recent offshore trip with his family and friends the crew caught some nice snapper, grouper, and cobia. The highlight of the trip was a 40-pound cobia caught by Capt. Rob and a goliath grouper caught by Capt. Mark Combs.

Capt. Greg Hood tells me the west winds have made the snapper bite tough in Boca Grande and Captiva Pass. When the wind does quiet down, he likes to drift small pinfish for the mangrove snapper. The limit is five per person.

It's a great time to take the kids and let them hook into fish then take them back to the dock to filet your fresh snapper dinner. His favorite recipe is to dip the filets in flour and pan fry them golden brown with garlic, artichoke hearts, capers, lemon, white wine, and butter, over a bed of sauteed fresh spinach. Mmmmm !

Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One II Charters weighs in with reports of decent fishing for snook and trout in the river mouth and in Pine Island Sound. We spent a lot of time looking for tarpon on half-day trips. We only saw a few and soaked some catfish tails, but never even got a jump out of one.

The Caloosahatchee River's name should be changed to the Black River. With up to six billion gallons of water laced with tannic acid, phosphates, and nitrogen we don't stand a chance. Turn your dock snook lights out as you are wasting your money.

Slime buildup on my dockside bait wells is out of control. Is the EPA sleeping or just ignoring us?

What a devastation of a great natural resource and tourist attraction.

Lehr's Economy Tackle tells me that upriver, all the excess fresh water runoff coming through the Franklin Locks has turned the fishing on with snook, big jacks,and tarpon being caught in the vicinity. They are reporting that 2.5 to 6 billion gallons of water is coming through the locks, but it's mostly runoff water from the rain rather than Lake O discharges.

Lehr's suggests heading to the Punta Rassa area for awesome snook action. Fish around the docks, anchored boats, and any cover in the area. Use live shiners, pinfish, or whitebaits to cash in on the hot bite. Start fishing in the late afternoon into the evening.

Also, reports of a good tarpon bite at the C span of the Causeway.

Try Captiva Pass for mangrove snapper from 12 to 18 inches. Small (2.5-inch) threadfins are a great choice for live bait. Redfishing is reported to be tough.

Two reports of bonefish in the past two weeks. Five caught last week near Cayo Costa and one this week off Sanibel Island.

Historically, small numbers of bonefish are caught here every year and the reports are becoming more numerous.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at captgeorget3@aol.com, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.

 
 

 

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