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Fishing Derby free for kids

March 14, 2014
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Parents take the children to the 26th annual Kiwanis Club Free Kids Fishing Derby at the Cape Yacht Club fishing pier on March 29.

The derby is limited to 400 kids ages 5-15. Younger participants should be accompanied by an adult. No advance registration is required. Just check in before 8:30 a.m. Rods, reels and bait provided.

All participants receive a rod and reel. Bicycles will be given away as door prizes. Trophys awarded for the first, second and third largest fish and a trophy for the smallest.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

This annual event is sponsored by the club in hopes of getting more kids involved in fishing.

If we keep one kid out of trouble by offering a positive alternative then it is time and effort well spent. Besides the smiles on the faces are priceless. Call Wally Laumeyer for more information at 239-772-8678.

If it's time to teach your child the safe and responsible use of firearms and are looking for a good place to shoot, head over to the range at Shoot Straight in Fort Myers, 2418 Colonial Blvd. Children 12 and under shoot for half price and ladies shoot free on Mondays. LEO and first responder discounts. Range memberships are available. Open seven days. Call 239-939-0357 for information.

Please contribute to the NRA today. Make no mistake, your legal rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment and future rights of our children to protect their families and to enjoy the shooting sports are under attack 24/7. Radicals like Gov. Cuomo of New York already have called for door to door confiscation of all firearms in his state. Now with a President that rules by Executive Order bypassing Congress at every turn, who knows what the future will bring for lawful and responsible firearms owners, especially after the upcoming elections.

When getting the kids out fishing or shooting make sure to size the equipment to the child so it's comfortable for them. Be patient. Don't expect the gang to get too excited about making a thousand casts an hour with no results. Their excitement level ship sailed about 15 minutes into that boring cast fest.

Put them on ladyfish or a school of trout. Travel out to the passes for Spanish mackerel with multiple catches and lots of action. Be wary of flying hooks with four 13-year-olds in the boat where constant supervision is needed.

When going to the shooting range fit the gun to the child. Consider weight and recoil. Most good ranges in the area rent a variety of firearms to use at the facility. These ranges offer gun and gun safety classes and are glad to assist with any questions.

Offshore anglers are catching when the winds permit a trip. Capt. Roy Bennett took a crew out to 90 feet to catch a limit of red grouper. Live grunts on the high hooks and ladyfish chunks fished on 6-oz. bucktail jigs did the trick.

Inshore the bite continues with redfish prowling mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. Snook are everywhere and hitting netted baits as well as lures. Trout are stacked in holes and fan out over the flats on warming afternoons. Sheepshead continue to eat your shrimp without you knowing it at a bridge or dock piling near you.

Remember the secret to catching sheepies; set the hook just before they steal the bait.

Been catching lots of rat reds on lures, but seeing some bigger fish that won't respond. If you're looking to score on the bigger bulls pick an area and do the cut ladyfish/shrimp on a jighead or circle hook under the mangroves thing on a rising tide.

Pitch the bait under the trees. Sit quietly for 15 minutes. Move quietly to the next spot. Remain quiet and repeat. It's a low tech, no-brainer method that produces reds year in and year out.

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



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