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Fishing in wind has challenges

March 12, 2011

I'm starting to wonder if I should take up kite flying, wind surfing, sailing, soaring, anything wind related as it seems it will never stop.

Many thousands of articles have been written on using the wind to your advantage while fishing and I've read them all. I don't care, fishing in high winds is a pain and, of course, can be dangerous.

Wind or no wind, it won't be too long before the tarpon fleet gathers off Sanibel, anchored in the rolling waters greeting the tarpon heading north from the Keys.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

On the other hand, during the last couple of weeks the bite always slowed if the wind died. Go figure.

It won't matter soon as it will be hotter than the sun and as humid as the Amazon in July. The good news is the fishing is really good and getting better as the water warms.

Trout fishing is hot over the grass flats in three- to six-feet of water. If you are new to the trout game, motor upwind of a large grass flat and silently wind drift across it while randomly casting various plastic jigs and jerk baits, topwaters, flies, slender shaped plugs, or the timeless shrimp on a popping cork. When you find the trout stop the boat. Fish and drift once again as the bite slows. Nothing beats a Power Pole or Minn-Kota auto anchor for this type of fishing.

If a power pole is out of your wallet range then get a small anchor with three- to four-feet of plastic coated chain (quiet) and a length of rope.

Redfishing continues to be steady under the bushes with lots of rats mixed in with an occasional 30- to 35-inch fish. One of the biggest mistakes new anglers make when fishing overhanging mangrove shorelines for redfish or snook is to sense the bite and make a giant overhead Roland Martin style bass hookset. As soon as you hook a red or snook the first place they head for is back under the structure they came out from to nab your bait or lure.

If your line and rod is held back and overhead on the hookset, the fishy end usually gets tangled in the mangrove branches and then you get to hear those dreaded words: fish off!

When fishing under mangrove branches, I feel the strike, and with my rodtip almost in the water I rotate my hips to set the hook and keep the line almost flush with the waters surface during the fight till I'm well clear of the branches.

My spring calendar is filling quickly, call or email, let's go fishing!

Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters reports fishing has been terrific with trout to 22 inches, Spanish mackerel, redfish, flounder and sharks. A word of caution to those that like to wade fish. I have had sharks six to eight feet come right up to my boat in as little as three feet of water. I advise them to not wade fish alone and have a spotter in the boat as a lookout.

The redfish in my boat have been on the small side except for one 28-inch fish. The trout are in three to five feet of water.

Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One II Charters recently took out his 13th Operation Open Arms Charter.

On board was Sgt. Justin Pack from Kansas City, along with fiance Gina Pearl of Cape Coral. Justin serves in the U.S. Army stationed in Iraq.

Pack was on a two-week leave before returning to Iraq for another 10 months. They fished up sound on a beautiful day and they enjoyed catching about 40 trout of which three were able to be kept.

Pack had something large on for about 10 seconds running the drag, but it broke his 30-pound leader and left a huge swirl on the surface.

Fish hard, be safe!

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.



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