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Spring fish bites easily stirred up

April 18, 2014
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Spring fishing is on. As the weather gets warmer the fishing gets hotter. What a deal!

The redfish bite has been strong and snook are stirred up with giant spotted almost daily with some lucky anglers bagging monsters. Please handle with care.

Sheeps-head are still available to steal your fiddler crabs and shrimp. Some real brutes have been hanging out at the new Matlacha Bridge this year.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

There is one I've named Big Carl that owns a good deal of my tackle. I've had only a brief glimpse of him and he looked to be nearly as big as a trash can lid. So far, he's been unstoppable.

Trout fishing is good with some big gators (over 6 pounds) recently boated. I've taken two baby tarpon on a fly last week in my canal, but they are typically tarpon style unpredictable as in here today, gone tomorrow.

Offshore, look for tripletails on floats and cruising cobia along with a variety of bottom fish on near shore reefs

Kingfish are being reported out of Boca Grande - fish over 60 pounds, Mangrove snappers of 4-8 pounds along with arm breaking amberjack.

Big snook are on the flats and even bigger snook are around big structure, bridges and docks heading out to the passes. Jigs, plastic swim baits, top waters, and MirrOlures will do the trick or fill the well with cast-net caught baits and pitch them around the bushes or structure. The snook trophy hunter is fishing a live ladyfish under a float around structure with current.

Free jumping tarpon are being reported with many already caught with thousands more still making their way here shadowed by an army of sharks of all sizes, including some of the largest thousand-pound-plus hammerheads on the planet.

Hi energy flats sharks of all sizes are patrolling really clear skinny water looking for a fight.

This week grab the kayak and your heavy gear and head out to your favorite moonlit stretch of sand, preferably near a pass. Get set up and then bait your favorite brand of circle hook with a skate wing, ladyfish, jack, or mackerel. Hop in the yak and paddle 100 yards offshore and drop your weighted bait to the bottom. Return to the beach without being mistaken for a large prey species and wait for the big bite.

Make no mistake, if you are new to this don't take it too lightly. Make it a team effort. You can be quickly and severely injured landing a big shark at night in the surf. If you are badly cut you may run out of time before help arrives. Never assume that you are out of reach of a shark's mouth as they can twist, bend, and touch their tails and yours with their teeth.

Never assume a shark is dead as they can and will play possum when out of the water surprising the unlucky angler with a sudden burst of energy and a mouth full of razors. Tarpon time always means shark time and our waters, including the river, host thousands, many of which are huge.

If you aren't interested in a backbreaking tug of war with a giant offshore or surf Jaws, but still want a shark fight, then rig up a rod with 20-pound braid, a SPRO brand swivel, a piece of 60-90 pound single strand wire and a 5-6/0 circle hook. Set up a chum slick along the dropoff of your favorite flat.

Newbies to the area are amazed at the sharks we see in super shallow water as I pole them along casting for redfish.

Superfast spool-emptying runs and even jumps make inshore flats sharking a blast. Get them stirred up enough in the chum slick and throw a big bushy orange fly right at their face or a heavy duty topwater plug.

Hang on!

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



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