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Chance to throw a (mullet) fish

March 21, 2014
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Did you ever wake up and feel like you just need to throw a fish? Saturday is your day as the Matlacha Mariners host the 23rd annual Matlacha Mullet Toss at Matlacha Community Park.

Pre-register starting at 10 a.m. The event starts at 11 and continues till 4 p.m. Prizes awarded for several age categories. Food and fun available for all ages.

Cold sensitive, shallow water snook are prone to shut down quickly in response to passing cold fronts as we've experienced this past week, but things will recover quickly as the sun warms the water. This ever-warming trend will eventually drive most snook out to the beaches, but in the meantime these fish are hungry as they start their journey from backwater wintering grounds.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

When experiencing frontal or post front conditions think slow lure presentations and/or live as well as dead baits. Suspending lures such as the classic MirrOdine is a perfect example of a lure that can be fished almost in place and in a cold snook's face with subtle rod tip twitches.

Fly rodders cash in as well by slowly moving nearly suspending flies swimming subtly with the slightest twitch or current.

When stocking up on your favorite MirrOlures save a few bucks for yet another amazing lifelike lure from Rapala. Since 1931 the Rapala Company has produced some of the most lifelike lures ever made. Good news; they work in salt water just as well.

Their newest entries, the Scatter Rap Shad and BX Minnow, need to be in your arsenal. The Scatter Rap in Blank and Helsinki Shad colors are the go-to colors. Silver and Smelt work well for the BX Minnow.

The SR Shad is an amazing lure offering incredibly lifelike action down to five feet. It's a floater as well so cast out across the flats and with rod tip held high - slowly - twitch it across and just under the surface all the way back to the boat. Chances are it won't make it back as everything wants a piece of this lure.

For hiding snook and redfish cast it up and under the bushes and dance in place. Fish it deeper across 3-5 foot grassy flats for trout. For trout reel down, pause, suspend, and reel again. Hits typically occur on the pauses.

This is a freshwater lure so rinse well. When upgrading to saltwater duty hooks and split rings, don't overdo it. A Rapala is a finely tuned lure. Too much increased weight will kill the great action. Try and stay close to the same sizes when upgrading hooks and rings on any fresh water lures destined for salt action.

The same can be said for leader size. Again, don't overdo it. I fish Rapala baits on 12- to 25-pound test fluorocarbon leaders. If the lure doesn't have a split ring installed at the nose then by all means uses a loop knot to attach the lure to your leader.

Use loop knots that have the finished tag end facing the lure after trimming. A loop knot with the tag facing away from the lure is a weed catcher.

The BX Minnow is a larger four-inch lure looking good dressed in silver or smelt colors running a little deeper. Like its cousin the X-Rap, both are great choices when selecting longer profiled baits for snook fishing.

The Twitching Rap by Rapala is yet another hot lure especially for cooler water fish. As this lure slowly drops it has a very lifelike wiggle designed into the lure. Twitch and reel slowly to make this lure come alive. Unbeatable, in chrome flavor.

When faced with a deeper shoreline it's hard to beat the old standard sinking MirrOlure. Cast to the edge and let sink to the desired depth and give it a twitch or two, pause and repeat. Works great around docks and concrete.

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



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