I just got off the phone with my fishing buddy from Delaware. He was heading north away from the beach area with his truck and boat, chock full of his most important possessions.
His family vacation (fishing) trailer is 30 feet from the edge of the bay, which puts him at about one foot, elevation.
Today, he not only got a mandatory evacuation order, but just heard on the radio of an expected, eight-foot storm surge topped by large waves, to roll across the bay and right to (over) his doorstep. Pretty grim news to be sure, but at least he's out of danger and won't end up taking a tin can ride to Kansas.
When I hear the first bit of hurricane news on TV my blood pressure immediately starts to rise. Suddenly, dramatic music erupts and the screen is flooded with hundreds of images of buildings being ripped apart, roofs flying away, boats sinking, and grim-faced weather men that I swear secretly wait for these events all year long to scare us to death.
I went through Charlie and I won't ever forget it. I felt my walls vibrating as I peered outside through the cracks in the storm shutters and watched my two trailered boats skate around the field next to my house. Both boats were strapped to the trailers and 1/4 filled with water. I flattened all the trailer tires.
Twenty concrete blocks were carefully added to each boat and three anchor lines were run tightly off the bow and stern to anchors, sledge hammered into the ground. I saw the force of the storm pull the anchors and watched for 30 minutes as my boats were first pulled and pushed and spun by the winds trailing the ropes and anchors in one direction then another without ever once turning over.
The field was completely gouged by random skid and anchor marks in every direction. When it stopped the bigger boat was more than 50 yards away from the house with the other flats boat, deck tucked under but not touching, the bow of the bigger boat.
It doesn't take much to scare me when it comes to hurricanes and high winds. I have friends that say I'm crazy for living in Florida and having to risk life and limb just so I can enjoy the great fishing and wonderful winters. I'll take my chances.
The weather is even mad at Washington, first offering up an earthquake and now this storm which will be rolling into town by Saturday.
Hopefully, none of this will disturb the First Family's latest and well deserved, vacation/golf outing on Martha's Vineyard.
Locally, beside dodging a huge bullet and continuing windy conditions, redfish are still cooperating.
Capt. Brian David of Matlacha took friends from Ohio out Thursday in the high winds and anchored behind the islands in Matlacha. They coaxed a half-dozen reds, a jack, and a bonnethead shark to the boat in a "we are leaving tomorrow desperation fishing trip." (Shrimp still rules and has been the redfish go-to bait for the last several months aboard my boat.) All aboard caught fish and smiles were broad as pictures were taken.
Our area with it's abundance of islands, irregular shorelines, canals, and back country not only offers superb fishing, but a place to escape the recent constant winds and still be able to catch quality fish.
Use the wind to your advantage. If you have a Power Pole (or anchor) let the wind take you, then anchor down, cast the area, anchor up and drift a hundred feet, anchor down again. It's easy to cover miles of water in a day's fishing and find lots of feeding fish that normally you would not have run into.
Most folks anchor on the calm side of an island during windy conditions. If you're not catching fish on bait within 30 minutes move around to the windy side and you'll find the fish.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.