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Snook head to beaches after rains

June 7, 2013
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON (captgeorget3@aol.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Sitting here with a bad case of tarpon fever, looking out the window for tornados that my cell keeps squawking about.

After Oklahoma's tragedy I'm understandably a little edgy. Even the resident alligator has taken shelter and now the dog's whimpering every time the thunder cracks. They say dogs sense things and I hope it's not my impending doom this afternoon.

When things return to normal we can get back to the hot fishing going on in and offshore. Other than the occasional front and winds, June is a banner month for the local angler. The birds have flown home and the waters and ramps are less crowded. The weather, other than these occasional fronts, is usually most pleasant and all species are actively biting.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

The fresh rain should really push the snook to the passes and Gulf beaches as they need salty water to spawn successfully, which they will do over the next several months.

On your weekend snook hunt think docks along the Intracostal and the east side of Sanibel. The Causeway spans hold armies of biting snook. All the passes and beachfronts, especially areas , downed timber, or troughs in the surf zone.

The tiniest bit of beach structure can hold multiple snook or one big gal. Beach walkers score at dawn making long casts parallel to the beach using white bucktails and long, clear, fluorocarbon leaders. Also predawn, toss out chrome topwaters and work them back with an erratic retrieve. Expect to see smaller males right up on the beach and the big girls hanging back in the first depression or drop off. Remember long casts out into the Gulf are usually wasted as the majority of beach snook, are in the surf zone in knee to ankle deep water.

This is very clear water so be stealthy and crouch down to get into casting distance of sighted fish. Stay low in the surf zone. It may draw odd looks from tourists, but if you're walking high up on the beach in a bright red shirt and hat chances are you won't see much action.

Sometimes beach walkers can use a team approach with one angler in the surf and a spotter high up on the beach out of range of the fish's vision directing the angler to the action. Hook a snook then trade places.

Moving inside, lure anglers will score big around potholes and oyster bars with topwater plugs, MirrOdines, and gold spoons. Great fly rod territory as well.

Docks and structure are covered by casting DOA Shrimp up current and letting them sink (or skip casted far back and under) slowly. Mend your line as your shrimp is washed back to you with an occasional slight twitch without overworking your fake.

Line watchers have the edge as big fish inhale DOA's with hardly a twitch. Hi-viz yellow line, clear leaders, and a slow patient retrieve with a gold glitter or glow color shrimp is deadly. Never overwork this lure.

Cast netted white baits, pinfish, or shrimp under a cork and cast next to a dock piling to bring them out for a fight. Free-lined white baits pinned to a small circle hook cast up and under structure is a killer.

Snook always look for docks with good current flow and deep water either under or close to the dock.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or captgeorget3@aol.com, or www.flyingfinssportfishing.com.

 
 
 

 

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