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Sharks in skinny water are a hoot

September 26, 2014
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

This week we fished inshore bars during tide changes. While casting spoons and top waters in the thin water we closely watched for the redfish's dorsal fins to break the water's surface giving away their location.

The bar was alive with hundreds of mullet which typically draw redfish so we had high hopes.

My angler pointed and asked if that was two redfish following each other? I watched as rounded fins, in line, kept appearing above the surface right in the middle of the huge school of mullet.

Article Photos

Captain George Tunison

"Shark," I said. That's his dorsal and tail fins, not two fish. This shark was smack dab in the middle of the mullet school slowly swimming aimlessly around the bar, food all around within easy reach.

I immediately cast my SkitterWalk near the cruising shark and worked it near him with no real reaction. Remembering you need to put a fly or plug right in a shark's face I recast dropping the plug on his nose for an instant and violent strike.

A 25-pounder on light snook/redfish tackle is awesome. Try it while there are plenty of sharks still around.

Face it, boats require regular ongoing maintenance and tips to make life easier are always appreciated. If you have a personal favorite maintenance tip please submit it to me and I will pass it along to the readers.

Here are a few.

It's been a long week and finally you are on the water. After nearing your hotspot you shut down the big motor and glide to a stop anticipating the first strike. Reaching out you grab the trolling motor lock release handle and pull it back to drop it in the water. This time the old frayed cord that you've been thinking about replacing for the last six months gives and the line parts. No trolling motor.

This doesn't happen often, but guaranteed that it will happen at some point in your trolling motor's lifetime, on your only Saturday. The line pieces are too short to tie back together. Now what? Drift around all day?

No, because you read this article you reach in your dry box and pull out a small six-foot roll of heavy weed trimmer line from your garage, cut off the old cord pieces and completely replace with the plastic line. Fifteen minutes, 5 cents worth of line, now back in the game.

You're excited to get your brand new boat in the water on this beautiful day. Two drain plugs required for this hull. You backed her in, tied off, and drove away to park the truck.

Plastic bag in hand with your lunch inside you walk happily back to the ramp to see the boat low, scary low in the water, bilge pump pumping, taking on water quickly.

You instantly realized your plugs were still home in your wash bucket. Oh Boy! What will you do now genius?

Too late to get it back on the trailer. Panic sets in. Since most hulls are self-bailing you could get in and take off and drive around to keep her from sinking while thinking of how to plug those holes, at least till you come up with an idea or run out of gas and sink. No good.

Suddenly, you recall an article in the Breeze about always carrying a wad of small plastic shopping bags onboard as they can have many marine, safety, and practical uses.

Smiling, you calmly reach into your plastic lunch bag and remove your five PB&Js, tin of sardines and zip-lock cookies laying them on the ramp as you wade into the water, bend down and stuff half a plastic bag drain plug into each opening.

The outside water pressure sealed the holes so well in fact that I (I mean this imaginary person) went fishing for the day with no problems.

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



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