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For twins, fish bring on change

March 6, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

With a few days to kill before taking the boys up to Disney, they decided a Florida vacation also needed to include a fishing trip for the 8-year-old twins.

A local tackle store gave them my info and the date was set.

The twins had caught a few sunnies and crappies, but nothing that really pulled line or made drags scream. From past experience I knew that if high energy kids aren't catching they aren't happy as their attention span is incredibly short.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

I knew right away these two qualified as "high energy." Within 10 minutes of boarding and still at the dock, one had managed to almost start the big motor while the other got the stowed trolling motor spinning at 1400 rpm nearly slicing into his mother's leg as she boarded.

Every compartment had been gone through, every tackle box opened with breathless multiple questions about each and every lure. A jig box overturned spilling countless jig heads everywhere. Pints of sun screen spray filled the air as they chased each other around the boat spraying each other, life vests, the boat, tackle, me.

Several return trips to the car resulted in bags of clothes, chips, dips, pretzels, cold cuts, rolls and bad luck bananas. Then ice, soda, juices, medications, and water.

The boat now sat unnaturally low in the water. We had provisions for at least two weeks for this four-hour tour.

I should have known trouble was brewing when the mother said; "Before we go out in your boat I have two questions, do you really know what you are getting into and are you sure you want to do this?"

Both parents had this nearly spent, shell shocked, faraway look like they had been in combat too long (eight years). I could instantly relate as I already was mentally exhausted after 30 minutes.

Finally underway, we stopped four times to get them to put their life vests back on to crying, screaming, pouting, and one full blown, double twin, fist pounding, feet kicking, tomato red faced, full blown tantrum.

We had left the dock nearly 40 minutes before and had only travelled 200 yards as the parents fought to regain control of the vest situation after I made it clear we can't go on, without vests being on.

Finally regaining control, we made our way to a secret location (Matlacha power lines) that usually holds lots of trout and ladyfish during the winter season. Action is what we needed as I got out two four-foot kids' rods with bobbers. Opening the livewell I gazed upon mostly dead shrimp as earlier on someone had pulled the livewell plug.

Shifting to plastic shrimp we finally got our first bobber in the water since leaving the dock nearly 90 minutes before and traveling only three miles.

I prayed for action as bobber #2 hit the water. We were in luck as trout after trout and ladyfish pulled down the bobbers then quickly taking to the air as only "poor man's tarpon" can do, making the kids dance and squeal with delight on every jump.

Before long the boat, the kids, seemingly everything was coated in ladyfish mess, especially me as we caught and released tons of fish.

Taking turns sitting in my lap each twin took a turn driving the boat home. Happy as clams, calm and focused, they were changed forever. Two anglers for life already planning their next Florida ladyfish assault.

Even the parents seemed relaxed and happy promising a return trip next year.

Then she said, "Wow the kids really liked you and listened to you, you really have a way with children. Have you ever thought of opening a summer camp?"

Redfish under the bushes on the higher tides using shrimp. Trout hitting everything in your box. Offshore anglers waiting for calm winds.

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



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