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Sharks scan shallows for your catch

March 20, 2015
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Shallow water sharks were tough on our snook catches yesterday, eating snook, the lure and cutting lines in two feet of water a rod's length away from the boat.

Charged up feeding sharks around bars have little fear of boats or people when in pure feeding mode. This particular five-footer ap-peared in a flash, bit a snook in half, turned in a tiny circle and ate the other half faster than I typed this sentence.

Amazing creatures no matter what the size, and the reason I don't wade fish since we are in shark central. I know sharks don't hunt humans on purpose, but I'll continue to do my fishing in my boat and my swimming in my pool.

Article Photos

Capt.George Tunison

On the other hand, setting up near a shallow water oyster bar with a rod or two sporting cut baits on the bottom (cut a lady fish in half) likely will get attention.

A 3-5 footer in a couple of feet of water is a blast. Don't over tackle. Let them run on a reel with good capacity. Twenty-pound braid tied to a 50-pound leader is sufficient.

Make sure to add a foot of 50-pound single strand wire to the end of your leader using the Albright Knot. Add a 5/0 circle hook to the wire with a Haywire Twist, add bait and go fishing. (

Tip: Often a shark will eat without getting the hook. If you get a big hit then nothing, don't reel in and check your bait let it sit as he likely will return quickly or another shark will clean up behind the first one.

Pictures with your Florida shark are fun but be warned - if you think a shark is dead, he's probably not and will bite you.

With no bones he can reach around and bite you especially if you hold one by the tail vertically. Doing so will result in a Florida vacation picture of you holding a shark that is gums deep in your thigh.

Give sharks as much care as any prize gamefish. Carefully release them as they are a vital part of the fishery and deserve your respect and careful handling.

Some taste good if bled immediately and heavily iced. Before harvesting a shark make sure it's legal to take as many are protected.

Snook are on! From little guys to heavy females many already are at or close to the beaches for their summer fun. Expect to find them anywhere as the full-on summer beach transition is not yet complete.

Cast netters are using fresh caught baits pitched into likely hide outs. Others are using topwater lures, spoons, hard MirrOlure twitchbaits and soft plastics to score.

Trout fishing is hot in the predawn using jumbo topwater lures if you are looking for a true SW Florida gator six pounds or better. Just looking for action? Can't ever beat a shrimp under a popping cork. Drift and pop.

Mark your calendars and check your tide charts looking for an early morning incoming tide to fish redfish tailing on the flats. On the higher tides return to the bushes and soak baits under the bushes on circle hooks.

Offshore anglers getting out between windblown days will find what they are looking for with a big variety of species to pursue.

New to the area? Be careful as a fairly calm morning offshore can quickly change to a black nasty afternoon storm in record time in Southwest Florida.

Don't push your limits or overestimate your boat or nature. Nature usually wins.

Tarpon are showing up and even canal action for one to four footers is on! Be warned - these little guys are super finicky and will cause you to lose hair.

Small jigs, or better yet small flies, do the trick. Bring lots of tackle and give them a choice to see what works.

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



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